McConnell blasts impeachment inquiry as 'kangaroo court' in fundraising pitch

McConnell blasts impeachment inquiry as 'kangaroo court' in fundraising pitch
© Aaron Schwartz
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators MORE (R-Ky.) is doubling down on his criticism of the House impeachment inquiry, using a fundraising pitch to accuse Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address MORE (D-Calif.) of running a "kangaroo court."  
 
"Well Nancy Pelosi is conducting a kangaroo court over in the House, denying the president his due process rights that every American is entitled to," McConnell says in the Facebook ad. "If I have your support, I hope you'll donate now."
 
McConnell's campaign, according to Facebook's ad library, began running the ads on Thursday. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Each version of the Facebook ad includes the same video pitch from McConnell, but paired with five different captions that blast House Democrats over the impeachment inquiry. 
 
In one caption for the ad, McConnell's team argues that "we cannot sit back and let the House Dems deny President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE basic fairness and due process. Help me fight this kangaroo court!"
 
Another mentions the Senate GOP resolution formally condemning the House impeachment inquiry. The resolution, spearheaded by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE (R-S.C.), is backed by all but three Republican senators: Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Nadler calls Trump a 'dictator' on Senate floor MORE (R-Alaska) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Defense: Veterans group seeks Trump apology for comments on brain injuries | Pentagon says dozens of troops suffered traumatic injuries after attack | Trump unveils Space Force logo Lindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden Senators push Pentagon on Syria strategy after withdrawal uproar, Soleimani strike MORE (R-Utah). 
 
It's the latest example of the GOP leader seizing on the impeachment fight as he runs for re-election in the solidly red state of Kentucky. The campaign also ran ads on Facebook earlier this month that pitched McConnell, and a GOP Senate, as a roadblock to prevent Trump from being removed from office. 
 
Neither this video nor the previous video address the core allegations against Trump: that he asked a foreign government to investigate a potential political rival, and held up Ukraine aid to try to pressure the country into opening up a probe into former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden. 
 
McConnell has largely avoided commenting on Trump's behavior. Asked this week by a reporter about Trump's claim that McConnell had told him the Ukraine call was "perfect" and "innocent," the GOP leader said they had never discussed the call. 
 
"We have not had any conversations on this subject," McConnell said Tuesday during a weekly press conference.
 
Trump, according to a partial transcript released by the White House, urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with his personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiParnas says he has turned over tape of Trump calling for diplomat's firing Pompeo explodes at NPR reporter, asks if she could find Ukraine on a map ABC: Recording apparently captures Trump discussing Yovanovitch ouster with Parnas, Fruman MORE, to "look into" the Bidens.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Pressed last week by a reporter if the call was appropriate, McConnell demurred instead knocking House Democrats over the impeachment inquiry process. 
 
"If they're going to do it, at least they ought to provide him the kind of due process protections that we provided President Clinton in a similar situation years ago," McConnell told reporters. 
 
Republicans have seized on the process argument as they've looked for a unifying strategy in the impeachment fight. 
 
Trump and his allies are trying to push House Democrats to hold a formal vote to start the impeachment inquiry, something Pelosi has argued isn't required under the rules. 
 
But Republicans believe a vote would put vulnerable swing-district Democrats on the record and give the GOP more leeway to call its own witnesses. 
 
McConnell criticized House Democrats several times during the past two weeks. 
 
"What is clear and not in dispute ... is the process in the House to which the president has been subjected is totally unprecedented and totally unfair," he told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the GOP's willingness to defend Trump.