Feb 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Rand Paul calls for shorter impeachment trials

Mike Allen

Screenshot via Fox News

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tells Axios that a lot of time was wasted with repetitious arguments at President Trump's impeachment trial, and that any future trials should be streamlined.

What he's saying: "If you ever do impeachment again, it's got to be a lot shorter," Paul told Axios in his Senate office Monday. "After sitting through hundreds of hours, it seems like, of repetitive testimony, I think we should change the process."

Paul said he agrees with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) that impeachment could be the new normal in American politics.

  • "I think that one of the messages that's going to come out of this is [that] for the time we spent doing it, I don't think [it] has done anything good for the country."

Paul said the Democratic House managers "said the same thing over and over again, every 30 minutes for 24 hours."

  • "I think eight hours would be plenty for each side, and then I would alternate every hour — go back and forth, so you don't hear 24 hours of the same people saying the same damn thing over and over again."
  • "The Supreme Court has really, really complicated arguments and really, really complicated cases," Paul continued. "Their longest oral argument is 30 minutes" for each side.
  • "People gave some of us a hard time for not paying attention every second of 100 hours. But they ... were giving speeches over and over and over again, and they really weren't trying to get our votes. They knew they weren't getting any new votes."

The bottom line: Paul said he thinks impeachment "ends up being tactically and politically a mistake for the Democrats. ... They've done this and gotten nothing."

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