The impeachment trial of Donald Trump starts Tuesday with debate on trial procedures—namely, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s carefully planned cover-up. The debate will be conducted by the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team. On Tuesday McConnell released a slightly relaxed version of the dark-of-night procedure he initially proposed, but make no mistake that he and Trump’s team continue to press for a cover-up.
Republicans have voted down one Democratic amendment calling for new evidence. The House impeachment managers have been eating the Trump defense team’s lunch on both substance and style, but Republican senators do. not. care.
Of all the baffling statements from Trump’s attorneys during these opening statements, the idea that Barack Obama withholding military assistance from Egypt shows that there was no problem with Trump’s actions is maybe the most out there.
That suspension wasn’t made in secret. It was public. And it was made with the knowledge and urging of members of the House and Senate. Between the time the aid was allocated and the time it was to be sent, Egypt underwent a military takeover. Aid was suspended until 2015 when Obama worked with Egyptian President al-Sisi to restore assistance.
That anyone in the Senate would think these were equivalent is just … strange. This reads like something that Sekulow picked up from a Hannity broadcast and didn’t spent two minutes checking before taking it before the U.S. Senate.
As expected, McConnell has moved to table the request for documents from the OMB and Republicans are now undergoing the ritual display bowing to Trump. Someone wake up Risch.
And again, not a single Republican wants to see any evidence.
Schumer responds by directly subpoenaing Mick Mulvaney.
And dinner break, everyone. Thanks for sticking in there. Back in 30.
Amy Klobuchar briefly stops by C-SPAN’s basement cam. Says she looks around at Republican colleagues to see if they’re “looking guilty” for trying to have a trial without witnesses.
And they’re back.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries handling the discussion of why they want Mulvaney to appear. Jeffries was one of the stand out questioners in the House hearings. Interesting to see what he does here.
Schumer during the break: “The American people realized how unfair Leader McConnell’s resolution is, and they are telling Republican senators to change it. We’re very glad that they moved it to three days instead of two, so we won’t be hearing arguments at two in the morning. It’s good they admitted evidence, but the real test will be witnesses and documents. Will our Republican senators pressure McConnell, so we really have witnesses and documents produced, either now or after the arguments are made? And one other point. We hear a lot about arguments from the president’s counsel. None of them directly address why there shouldn’t be documents. They talk about how bad the House is. I don’t agree with that at all. But they don’t argue one… they don’t make a single argument why there shouldn’t be witnesses and documents. That speaks volumes. Thank you.”