Dec. 15 (UPI) — House Democratic leaders on Sunday rebuked Republican Senate leaders who said they would work with President Donald Trump and seek to ensure a speedy impeachment trial.
Appearing on ABC News’ This Week, House judiciary committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., criticized Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for saying he would cooperate with the White House on “everything” in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, calling his stance a subversion of constitutional order.
“The Constitution prescribes a special oath for the senators when they sit as a trial in impeachment. They have to pledge to do impartial justice and here you have the majority leader of the Senate, in effect, the foreman of the jury saying they’re going to work hand and glove with the defense attorney,” Nadler said. “Now that’s a violation of the oath they’re about to take and it’s a complete subversion of the constitutional scheme.”
McConnell told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday: “I’m going to take my cues from the president’s lawyers …
“My hope is that it will be a shorter process rather than a long, lengthy process.”
House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff appearing on Fox News Sunday warned against Republicans’ apparent refusal to rule against Trump on the two articles of impeachment charging him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“I would just say to my Republican colleagues — who appear to be on the verge of shirking their Constitutional duty — if they’re prepared to say a president can simply say no to any congressional subpoena and tie up the Congress for years in litigation, it is going to have to accept corruption malfeasance, negligence, misconduct in any future president — Republican or Democrat,” Schiff said. “Are we really prepared to go down that road?”
In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Senate judiciary committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said he would do everything he can to ensure that the impeachment proceedings “die quickly” in the Senate.
“I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind. I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here,” Graham said. “What I see coming, happening today is just partisan nonsense.”
Some Senate Republicans have suggested the chamber will not call any witnesses in its impeachment trial to ensure it is promptly dismissed as it would take 67 votes to remove Trump and Republicans hold a 53-seat majority.
Schiff on Sunday said he would like for witnesses to be called in the trail while also urging for McConnell to begin negotiating with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to ensure the Senate has a full record of administration documents.
“I think there are any number of witnesses that should be called in the Senate trial and many witnesses the American people would like to hear from that the administration has refused to make available and perhaps of equal and if not greater importance are the thousands and thousands of documents that the administration refuses to turn over,” Schiff said on This Week. “I would hope that every senator of both parties would like to see the documentary evidence.”
Impeachment proceedings will move forward this week with a full House vote on articles of impeachment expected to take place on Wednesday or Thursday according to House rules committee Chairman Jim McGovern.