McConnell on impeachment: ‘I’m not impartial about this at all’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says his colleagues should not expect him to handle President Trump’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.
“I’m not impartial about this at all,” he said.
The GOP leader’s frank admission outraged counterpart, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (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 Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
McConnell’s remarks on Tuesday afternoon backed up an interview he gave last week to Fox News’s Sean Hannity 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.”