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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellIn rare move, Schumer forces vote to consider health care bill amid Supreme Court tensions COVID-19 talks hit crucial stretch Supreme Court nominee gives no clues in GOP meeting MORE (R-Ky.) says his colleagues should not expect him to handle President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate 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 SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate Warren won't meet with Barrett, calling Trump's nomination an 'illegitimate power grab' Schumer won't meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick 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 MulvaneyMick MulvaneyOn The Money: House panel pulls Powell into partisan battles | New York considers hiking taxes on the rich | Treasury: Trump's payroll tax deferral won't hurt Social Security Blockchain trade group names Mick Mulvaney to board Mick Mulvaney to start hedge fund MORE and former National Security Adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonJudge appears skeptical of Bolton's defense of publishing book without White House approval Maximum pressure is keeping US troops in Iraq and Syria Woodward book trails Bolton, Mary Trump in first-week sales 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 tops broadcast networks for first time in 3rd quarter Former White House physician echoes Trump's accusation of Biden drug use for debates Will Chis Wallace's debate topics favor Biden over Trump? 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.”