The day before the senators returned to Congress for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unveiled his proposed rules package that would govern the proceeding.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) ripped into the rules in a press conference on Monday night and accused McConnell of participating in a coverup.
“It is now certain that Leader McConnell is going along with President Trump’s coverup hook, line, and sinker.”
Watch his comments below:
"On something as important and serious as impeachment, Sen. McConnell's resolution is a national disgrace."— CNN (@CNN) January 21, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responds to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposed impeachment trial rules.https://t.co/MnYpULarpX pic.twitter.com/QtCYOIMDCe
He called McConnell’s rules package a “national disgrace” and claimed it shows that McConnell is “hell-bent” on making it difficult to call new witnesses during the trial.
“After reading McConnell’s resolution, it’s clear McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through. On something as important and serious as impeachment, Senator McConnell’s resolution is a national disgrace.”
McConnell’s resolution gives both sides two days to present their case for or against impeachment and answer questions from senators — which means the trial could wrap up in a matter of weeks.
Additionally, the Senate would not automatically admit the findings from House Democrats’ impeachment probe as evidence.
Senators will be able to read the information, but for it to be added to the Senate record, a majority of senators would have to vote to include it after the opening arguments.
“Under the McConnell resolution, he’s saying that he doesn’t want to hear any of the existing evidence. And he doesn’t want any new evidence,” Schumer charged.
Under McConnell’s rules, the senators would decide to vote on whether or not to subpoena new witnesses or documents after hearing the opening arguments and questioning from senators.
Schumer said that McConnell’s resolution makes it difficult to call for new witnesses or documents, and vowed to force a vote on the matter before a rules package is adopted.
“Leader McConnell’s resolution makes it much harder to get witnesses and documents after the arguments are heard. We will be able to force votes on witnesses and documents before his resolution is adopted tomorrow. And we will.”
The Senate could vote to adopt McConnell’s resolution as early as Tuesday.