McConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial

House impeachment managers will have 24 hours over two days to make their opening arguments when they begin to present their case against President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE to the Senate Wednesday, according to a resolution circulated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation COVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks MORE (R-Ky.). 

President Trump’s team similarly will have two days to present their arguments and then senators will have a chance to ask questions and consider subpoenas of witnesses. 

The resolution, as expected, does not require additional witnesses to be subpoenaed and does not allow House prosecutors to admit evidence into the Senate trial record until after the opening arguments are heard.

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Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment Democrats call on FTC to investigate allegations of TikTok child privacy violations Lawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research MORE (D-N.Y.) quickly pushed back and vowed to force votes on amendments.

“Sen. McConnell’s resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace,” Schumer said in a statement Monday afternoon. 

Both sides will have 24 hours to make their first round of arguments — the same amount of time House impeachment managers and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTop Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP How Obama just endorsed Trump Trump, Biden signal how ugly the campaign will be MORE’s lawyers received in 1999, but on a more compressed time schedule than required more than 20 years ago. 

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSoured on Fox, Trump may be seeking new propaganda outlet Senators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day McConnell gives two vulnerable senators a boost with vote on outdoor recreation bill MORE (R-Tenn.), who worked with McConnell and Collins to modify the resolution, said it “guarantees a vote on whether we need additional evidence at the appropriate time.”

A Senate GOP leadership aide noted that prosecutors in the Clinton trial didn’t use all of their allotted time and finished their opening arguments within three days.

Schumer argues that forcing House managers to cram their opening arguments into a two-day window will force them to present on the Senate floor well into the evening and possibly past midnight.

The House managers will be allowed to begin their arguments 1 p.m. Wednesday.  

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“McConnell’s resolution stipulates that key facts be delivered in the wee hours of the night simply because he doesn’t want the American people to hear them,” Schumer said.

The Senate GOP leadership aide said in 1999 the House prosecutors and the president’s defense team each used fewer than 12 hours over a three-day period.

“This resolution provides the same time but more structure for the arguments,” the aide said.

The resolution also provides 16 hours for senators to ask questions.

In another departure from the 1999 organizing resolution, McConnell’s measure does not allow evidence from the House impeachment inquiry to be entered into the Senate trial record until after the question of additional witnesses and documents receives consideration.

The GOP aide explained McConnell did this in response to Trump’s lawyers not having the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses at the House hearings.

“The White House was denied due process throughout the 12 weeks of partisan House proceedings,” the source said.

If the Senate votes at the end of phase one against subpoenaing witnesses, then it will not be possible to consider additional motions on specific witnesses, according to McConnell’s resolution. 

Democrats want to subpoena former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonHave the courage to recognize Taiwan McConnell says Obama administration 'did leave behind' pandemic plan Trump company lawyer warned Michael Cohen not to write 'tell-all' book: report MORE, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney12 things to know today about coronavirus Mulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus The Memo: Trump agenda rolls on amid pandemic MORE, senior White House adviser Robert Blair and senior Office of Management Budget official Michael Duffey.

The Senate will vote on the resolution Tuesday.

Schumer called on moderate Republican colleagues to reconsider McConnell’s aggressive timeline.

“Any senator that votes for the McConnell resolution will be voting to hide information and evidence,” he said in his statement.

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“I will be offering amendments to address the many flaws in this deeply unfair proposal and to subpoena the witnesses and documents we have requested,” he added.

 Updated at 7:32 p.m.