McConnell on impeachment: 'I'm not impartial about this at all'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence Democrats block two Senate abortion bills VA could lead way for nation on lower drug pricing MORE (R-Ky.) says his colleagues should not expect him to handle President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE’s impeachment trial as an impartial juror.

“I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday while fielding questions about the upcoming trial.

When asked about criticism from Democrats over his pledge to coordinate closely with Trump’s lawyers during the trial, McConnell said his colleagues shouldn’t expect him not to make the proceeding as favorable to Trump as possible.

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“I’m not impartial about this at all,” he said.

The GOP leader’s frank admission outraged counterpart, Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response Democrats block two Senate abortion bills MORE (N.Y.).

“He was asked if he was an impartial juror. He seemed to proudly say no. I would ask every one of our Republican colleagues, ‘Do you want someone who proudly says they’re not impartial to be on a jury?” he asked reporters after McConnell spoke.

“Do the American people want Mitch McConnell not to be an impartial juror in this situation? And I would ask every one of my Republican Senate colleagues, ‘Are you impartial jurors or are you like Mitch McConnell, proud not to be?’” Schumer said, appearing clearly frustrated with McConnell’s refusal to call key witnesses.

“Leader McConnell, I’m asking you, come to this microphone and give an explicit reason why Mulvaney or Bolton … shouldn’t testify,” he said, referring to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyWhite House preparing to ask Congress for funds to combat coronavirus: report Tucker Carlson calls out Mick Mulvaney on immigration remarks: 'Dishonest and stupid' Trump furious after officials allowed Americans with coronavirus to fly home with other passengers: report MORE and former National Security Adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonSchumer on Trump intel shakeup: 'Disgrace,' 'closer to a banana republic' Trump directly sought to block publication of Bolton's book: WaPo 'Parasite' studio fires back after Trump criticism: 'He can't read' MORE.

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McConnell’s remarks on Tuesday afternoon backed up an interview he gave last week to Fox News's Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityFox News prime-time lineup delivers highest ratings in 24-year history O'Reilly weighs in on Warren-Bloomberg exchange on nondisclosure agreements The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine MORE in which he said: “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel.”

“There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can,” he added.

Schumer on Monday criticized McConnell’s statement as “totally out of line.”

On Tuesday Schumer accuses McConnell of planning to make the Senate trial part of Trump’s “cover up.”