#MidnightMoscowMitch trends amid criticism of McConnell’s proposed impeachment trial rules

The hashtag “MidnightMoscowMitch” took off on Twitter on Tuesday after Democrats began criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) resolution setting rules for the impeachment trial of President Trump that is set to begin on Tuesday.

McConnell’s resolution, which the Senate is expected to vote on on Tuesday, would give House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team 24 hours apiece to present their arguments.

But both sides would have to do so over two legislative days, with sessions beginning at 1 p.m.

This is a change from the procedures used during the impeachment trial for President Clinton, when both sides also had 24 hours but were able to present their arguments over three days. 

Democrats charge that McConnell’s proposed rules will leave arguments ending in the middle of the night. 

Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein used the term “Midnight Mitch” during a Monday night interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and it seemed to pick up after that.

“Now we’re looking at ‘Midnight Mitch’ and the so-called world’s greatest deliberative body really embracing a cover-up that is there for all to see. That’s what this is about. It’s about preventing information from becoming known and seen by the American public,” said Bernstein, one of the Watergate reporters for the Post whose reporting led to President Nixon’s resignation. 

Democratic organizations, lawmakers and critics of Trump quickly took to Twitter to share #MidnightMoscowMitch and #MidnightMitch criticizing McConnell’s move.

Republicans want to speed the trial along, and have noted that in the Clinton trial, neither side used their allotted 24 hours of time.
In response to criticism about not allowing witnesses or additional documents, a GOP aide told The Hill previously that Trump’s lawyers did not cross-examine witnesses during the House inquiry.
The House did invite the White House to take part in the House process, however. The White House chose not to take part, arguing it would not participate in such a flawed process.
The Senate majority leader was previously called “Moscow Mitch” after he blocked two election security bills last year despite warnings from intelligence officials. 

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) tweeted Monday, “#MidnightMitch has already admitted he’s working hand-in-hand with Trump on the #impeachment trial & violating his oath to be impartial—but his proposed rules for the trial (holding the trial at 1am??) are yet more evidence that he’s helping the White House perpetrate a cover-up.”

McConnell has previously said he will be in “total coordination” with the White House during the president’s impeachment trial. 

#MidnightMoscowMitch had been tweeted over 7,000 times by early Tuesday morning.

Democrats and other critics of McConnell have also criticized the resolution for not requiring any additional witnesses to be subpoenaed or allowing House prosecutors to admit evidence into the trial record after the opening arguments are heard.

Twitter declined to comment to The Hill. 

Tags Bill Clinton Carl Bernstein Claire McCaskill Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Tammy Duckworth Trump impeachment
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