Republicans block Schumer's proposed changes to impeachment rules

Marco Green
January 22, 2020

Democrats were vowing late Tuesday to force additional votes on subpoenas, likely pushing the session into the early hours of Wednesday. It's just the third impeachment trial of a president in US history. The rules also do not provide a guarantee that witnesses will be called to testify by forcing a vote on the issue.

Tuesday's session also provided the first glimpses of how House Democrats and the president's lawyers will present their cases over the next week.

The length of the impeachment trial is still up in the air.

There are a total of 100 senators in the US Senate.

Judy, the bottom line of all this is, now we have a better idea that this trial could, in fact, wrap up next week toward the end of next week. "They spent the entire day telling you and the American people that they can't prove their case", White House counsel Pat Cipollone told senators. For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered.

"The Articles themselves - and the rigged process that brought them here - are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected", the lawyers said, adding that Trump did not break any laws in his dealings with Ukraine.

Now that evidence, which includes, as you know, nearly 4,000 pages of witness testimony, will be entered into the record as part of this trial. James Risch (R-Idaho) was caught sleeping by a New York Times sketch artist. That seriousness was echoed throughout the Senate chamber last week as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who presides over the trial, swore the senators in as jurors.

But several Senate Republicans have rejected the idea of a quick dismissal, suggesting such a motion would fail. And he plans to introduce quite a few, Schumer revealed on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning.

But on Tuesday, we saw how some pushback from just a small number of members of McConnell's party can make a big difference in this trial.

McConnell left the lunch about halfway through and the remaining senators had a "pretty civil conversation" about expanding the length of arguments, said Sen.

"I think we had enough information to make a decision".

With an additional day for opening statements, the maximum time for debate will be 8 hours a day instead of 12.

Collins saw the changes as a "significant improvement", said her spokeswoman, Annie Clark.

But after a meeting with senators, including some Republicans, Mr McConnell agreed to three days for opening arguments. The updated resolution also automatically accepts the House's record of evidence.

He blasted Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposed rules, which set arguments from both sides for a 24 hour period over three days. The rules say that as long as McConnell has a majority vote, he has freedom to shape this trial in ways he wants.

Hannity reiterated that they shouldn't get to call witnesses and warned viewers that there are Republicans in the Senate who are "pretty weak" and "willing to lend credibility" to the Democrats' argument.

"The public said this is unfair".

What they're saying: Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday, "Under this resolution, Senator McConnell is saying he doesn't want to hear any of the existing evidence, and he doesn't want to hear any new evidence". He accused McConnell of rushing the trial and being "hell-bent" on making it harder for witnesses and documents to be presented.

He was responding to Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Democrats didn't even know about the rules until a day before the planned trial.

After the changes, King's spokesman, Matthew Felling, said he welcomed McConnell taking a step toward the senator's position.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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