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Pelosi rips McConnell over ‘sham’ impeachment resolution ‘designed to hide the truth’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday lambasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s (R-Ky.) organizing resolution outlining the rules of the Senate impeachment trial, calling it a “sham proposal” that is “deliberately designed to hide the truth.”

Pelosi said in a statement that the proposal for a compressed schedule would lead to a “dark of night impeachment trial” and argued that the rules diverged greatly from the ones utilized during the impeachment trial of former President Clinton.  

“McConnell’s plan for a dark of night impeachment trial confirms what the American people have seen since Day One: The Senate GOP Leader has chosen a cover-up for [President Trump],” Pelosi said. 

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McConnell’s organizing resolution calls for giving House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team 24 hours over two days to make opening arguments. The resolution also does not require additional witnesses to be subpoenaed and would not automatically admit House impeachment evidence into the trial record. 

Pelosi alleged that the plan is “deliberately designed to hide the truth from the Senate and from the American people, because [McConnell] knows that the President’s wrongdoing is indefensible and demands removal.”

“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,” she added. 

She also argued that McConnell’s push for a process similar to Clinton’s trial was a “lie” and that the Kentucky senator “misled the American people.” 

“His proposal rejects the need for witnesses and documents during the trial itself. In contrast, for the Clinton trial, witnesses were deposed and the President provided more than 90,000 documents,” she said.  

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The comments echoed the stance of many Democrats, who have roundly condemned McConnell’s resolution as a “disgrace” and one designed to cover up Trump’s alleged misconduct. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead House impeachment manager, said that the compressed schedule could force the trial to stretch until 1 a.m. 

“I think the question is what is … Sen. McConnell’s interest in structuring the trial this way? Is this about hiding the evidence from the American people with late-night sessions? Is this about just trying to get it over with?” Schiff asked. 
 
During the impeachment trial of Clinton, both sides were also given 24 hours to make their first round of arguments. However, that trial allowed those arguments to take place over a three-day period. 
 
McConnell’s resolution is expected to pass in a party-line vote when the Senate trial begins in earnest on Tuesday afternoon. In addition to opening arguments, the resolution would give senators 16 hours to ask questions, before then considering subpoenas of witnesses and documents.  

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