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

McConnell blasts impeachment inquiry as 'kangaroo court' in fundraising pitch
© Aaron Schwartz
 
"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. 
 
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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 TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' 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 GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (R-S.C.), is backed by all but three Republican senators: Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (R-Alaska) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead China draws scrutiny over case of tennis star Peng Shuai 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 GiulianiFormer NYC police commissioner to testify before Jan. 6 committee, demands apology Midterms are coming: Will we get answers on Jan. 6 before it's too late? Subpoenas show Jan. 6 panel's focus on Trump's plans MORE, to "look into" the Bidens.
 
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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.