McConnell Dismisses Schumer’s Impeachment Demands as “Fishing Trip”

Wednesday, December 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Luis Miguel
Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck down Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday after the Democrat leader wrote a letter Sunday evening in which he called for multiple new witnesses to be summoned before the body as part of its trial should the House vote to impeach President Trump.

McConnell stated that the Senate’s role is to conduct a trial, not usurp the fact-finding function of the House. He panned Schumer’s demand as a “fishing expedition” that would set a “nightmarish precedent.”

“The Senate is meant to act as judge and jury, to hear a trial, not to re-run the entire fact-finding investigation because angry partisans rushed sloppily through it,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

In his letter, Schumer urged the Senate to subpoena new documents and call witnesses who had been blocked by the White House during the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing.

Among the witnesses Schumer said he wants to see brought before the Senate are Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, Senior Advisor to the Acting White House Chief of Staff Robert Blair, and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey.

“I also propose that the Senate issue subpoenas for a limited set of documents that we believe will shed additional light on the Administration’s decision-making regarding the delay in security assistance funding to Ukraine and its requests for certain investigations to be announced by the government of Ukraine,” Schumer wrote.

McConnell claimed that such procedures were the proper domain of the House, not the Senate, and called Schumer’s letter a proposal to do the House’s “homework” that could lead to “dubious” and “frivolous” impeachment inquiries in the future.

“We don’t create impeachments over here … we judge them,” McConnell declared. He also noted that Schumer misquoted the Constitution, saying that the Constitution gives the Senate “sole Power of Impeachment,” whereas Article I, Section 3 states that “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

McConnell criticized House Democrats for doing a rush job, saying Schumer wants “to make [Intelligence] Chairman [Adam] Schiff’s sloppy work more persuasive.”

The House’s investigation was the “most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history,” McConnell said.

According to the Senate majority leader, Democrats’ case does not come “anywhere near the bar for impeaching a duly elected president, let alone removing him for the first time in American history.”

“By any ordinary legal standard, what House Democrats have assembled would appear to be woefully, woefully inadequate to prove what they want to allege.”

Schumer’s letter referenced “keeping with the bipartisan spirit” of the 1999 impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton. But, according to McConnell, Schumer went on “to demand things that would break with the 1999 model.”

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