Judiciary Democrat: Looks like McConnell is ‘rigging’ Senate impeachment trial
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) on Tuesday accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of “rigging” an expected impeachment trial in the Senate.
“I can’t believe what I’m seeing in the Senate,” Lofgren, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s “New Day.”
“It’s a trial and you’re supposed to hear evidence and then take an oath to do a just verdict,” she said.
“It looks like Sen. McConnell is rigging this trial,” Lofgren added. “If I were the president, I’d be concerned. He wants to be exonerated. He’s not going to be exonerated if the trial is rigged. Everyone will know that he’s guilty but got off.”
.@RepZoeLofgren: “It looks like Senator McConnell is rigging this trial. If I were the President, I’d be concerned. He wants to be exonerated. He’s not going to be exonerated if the trial is rigged. Everyone will know that he’s guilty but got off.” https://t.co/Dey8XUnyMa pic.twitter.com/YQTJEHp3LX
— New Day (@NewDay) December 17, 2019
Democrats have blasted McConnell for saying that he was coordinating his strategy with the White House ahead of the impeachment trial.
The House is set to vote on two articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday. They are likely to pass on a nearly party-line vote.
A trial in the Senate is expected to begin in January.
Senators in both parties have offered statements that suggest their minds are already completely made up on a Trump impeachment trial.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) recently said that he will work to make impeachment “die quickly” in the upper chamber.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told MSNBC in October that she would vote to convict Trump based on the evidence that had been seen at that point. She said based on “everything we know, including an admission by this president, I don’t know that it leads in any other direction except to vote ‘yes,’ which is what I believe I will do based on everything I know.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in October also told a reporter from a Fox affiliate that she would vote to convict Trump. Warren is a leading Democratic presidential candidate, while Harris dropped out of the race in December.
But McConnell’s remarks have angered Democrats, who have been seeking to negotiate with the Senate GOP leaders over the nature of the trial. Democrats want to hear from more witnesses, such as White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.