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McConnell: House impeachment resolution 'falls way short'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday knocked a House resolution outlining the lower chamber’s impeachment inquiry of President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE, signaling Republicans are unlikely to drop the process criticism that has been a key part of their strategy.

“They have denied President Trump basic due process and are cutting his counsel out of the process in an unprecedented way. House Democrats' new resolution does not change any of that,” McConnell said.

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“The draft resolution that has been released does nothing of the sort. It falls way short, way short,” he added.

His remarks come after House Democrats unveiled their resolution on Tuesday night. 

The resolution, which could be voted on as soon as this week, sets up procedures for open hearings by the House Intelligence Committee and releasing witness testimony.

It also allows Republicans to request witness testimony and documents, similar to previous impeachment inquiries. But Democrats on the Intelligence panel still have the ability to block the requests.

The House Judiciary Committee also released a set of procedures for its impeachment hearings pursuant to the resolution. The procedures allow the president and his counsel to attend hearings, question witnesses and provide evidence.

But the resolution is unlikely to satisfy Senate Republicans, who have made criticism of the process around the House impeachment inquiry a key part of their strategy.

“It does not confer on President Trump the most basic rights of due process or seemingly alter Chairman Schiff's unfair process in the House Intelligence Committee in any way whatsoever,” McConnell said on Wednesday, referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow Biden administration open to restarting nuclear talks with Iran Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward MORE (D-Calif.).

McConnell argued that Democrats are giving “no due process now, maybe some later. But only if we feel like it is not a standard that should ever be applied to any American and it should not be applied here to the president of the United States.”

Fifty Senate Republicans have signed on to a resolution condemning the House impeachment process.

The upper chamber's resolution was sent to the Senate Rules Committee, which is overseen by Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Microsoft, FireEye push for breach reporting rules after SolarWinds hack Biden's unity effort falters MORE (R-Mo.). Neither Blunt nor McConnell has committed to taking the resolution up, instead saying earlier this week that they were waiting to see what Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster House Democrats to keep minimum wage hike in COVID-19 relief bill for Friday vote Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow MORE (D-Calif.) does in the House.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamJohn Boehner tells Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in unscripted audiobook asides: report Parliamentarian nixes minimum wage hike in coronavirus bill McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE (R-S.C.), who spearheaded the upper chamber's resolution, called the House process “substandard” on Wednesday.

“They’re trying to create something new that I think is just substandard and dangerous to the presidency,” Graham said.