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Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Photo:Win McNamee/Getty Images

Congressional Democrats are questioning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's ability to lead a possible Senate trial to remove President Trump from office, after McConnell vowed "total coordination" with the White House on impeachment plans, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: McConnell told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday there would be "zero chance" that Trump will be removed from office, adding the evidence against the president is "so darn weak coming over from the House. We all know how it's going to end."

  • “There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can," McConnell said.

What they're saying: Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) called on McConnell to recuse himself from the Senate proceedings, lambasting Republicans' claims that the process has been a biased "kangaroo court," per the Post.

Other Democrats who criticized McConnell's comments on Friday did not go as far:

  • “I think it was pretty bad for who is essentially the foreman of the jury to announce the verdict. The idea that he is working like that is pretty shameful,” said Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, per the Post.
  • "It is incumbent on every Senator to ensure that the impeachment trial not become a farce. That depends on whether 4 Republicans will stand up against a ridiculously quick process. Right now, you have head juror McConnell proudly promising that it will be over before it starts," tweeted Rep. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): “I call on every person in this country to demand that their U.S. senator demands an actual trial with the facts on the table. They can call the witnesses they want, but have a real trial and do not coordinate with the White House, because that’s a ridiculous idea.”
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told CNN: "The president is essentially a constitutional defendant, and he's a defendant because we have voted to send an indictment, articles of Impeachment, to the Senate, because of the high crimes and misdemeanors he’s committed.”

The other side: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), among Trump's most fervent defenders in Congress, said McConnell was simply stating “something the American people know, something you all know in the press, something the members know,” the Post reports.

Go deeper ...

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

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