Jan 21, 2020

Pelosi slams McConnell trial rules as "deliberately designed to hide the truth"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed in a statement Tuesday that the rules Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has proposed for President Trump's impeachment trial diverge from the Clinton precedent and show he has "chosen a cover-up" over a fair trial.

Context: McConnell made public an organizing resolution Monday laying out the terms for the trial, which include 24 hours over two days for each side to present their cases. It would block evidence discovered in the House impeachment investigation from being presented without a separate vote, and it would delay a vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents until later in the trial.

What she's saying: Pelosi condemned McConnell's proposal as a “dark of night impeachment trial,” claiming that he has "misled the American people" by insisting that he would adhere to the Clinton rules.

  • “Leader McConnell’s process is deliberately designed to hide the truth from the Senate and from the American people, because he knows that the President’s wrongdoing is indefensible and demands removal," Pelosi wrote.
  • "No jury would be asked to operate on McConnell’s absurdly compressed schedule, and it is obvious that no Senator who votes for it is intending to truly weigh the damning evidence of the President’s attacks on our Constitution."

What's new: Ahead of the start of the trial at 1 pm ET, House impeachment managers sent a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Trump's lead defense lawyer, accusing him of being a "material witness" to the allegations.

  • The managers said Cipollone has "detailed knowledge of the facts" alleged in the first article of impeachment, which involves Trump's dealings with Ukraine, and "played an instrumental role in the conduct charged" in the second article, which is obstruction of Congress.
  • Flashback: In October, Cipollone sent a letter to House Democrats rejecting the impeachment inquiry as "constitutionally invalid" and stating that the executive branch would not cooperate with the investigation.

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McConnell changes rules for Senate impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks back to the Senate through the Capitol Rotunda. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revised the terms for President Trump's impeachment trial during Tuesday's proceedings, after his office released the organizing resolution on Monday.

What's new: The House record will be admitted as evidence, but each side retains the ability to raise motions regarding what can be added or struck as evidence, a McConnell spokesperson told Axios. House Democratic managers and Trump's defense team will be given up to 24 hours over three days to present their cases, instead of the two days in McConnell's original draft.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 21, 2020

Trump impeachment trial recap, day 1: Senators approve rules of proceeding

Photos: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc; Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The first day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump saw a series of procedural clashes over the rules at the heart of the proceeding on Tuesday.

What happened: Senators ultimately approved Senate Majority Leader's Mitch McConnell's proposed roadmap for the trial after a series of votes initiated by Democrats to include more witnesses and evidence failed along party lines.

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020

Trump impeachment trial recap, day 11: Closing arguments conclude

Rep. Adam Schiff at closing arguments. Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

House managers and President Trump's defense team presented their closing arguments on Monday during the 11th day of the president's Senate impeachment trial.

The state of the play: The four hours of closing arguments were more for show than meant to change any minds, as Trump is all but certain to be acquitted on Wednesday.