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Schumer blasts GOP votes over witnesses, documents at trial

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats MORE (N.Y.) said unified Republican opposition to 11 amendments that Democrats proposed to subpoena witnesses and documents and change procedure show they are not interested in having a fair impeachment trial.

“If there’s one thing we learned from the series of votes on the Senate floor it’s that Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans don’t want a fair trial that considers all the evidence,” he said, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (R-Ky.).

“On four separate votes, every Senate Republican voted against requesting relevant documents for the trial. On three other votes, every Senate Republican voted against calling relevant witnesses before the Senate,” he added.

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Schumer delivered his remarks Wednesday, hours after the Senate heard debates until almost 2 a.m. over whether additional witnesses and documents should be called before the trial.

Only one Republican, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him GOP blocks effort to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks MORE (Maine), defected on a vote during the marathon debate over the rules.

Collins was the only Republican to vote with Democrats on a proposal to give the House impeachment managers more time to respond on Wednesday to motions filed in the morning. It was defeated by a vote of 52 to 48.

The organizing resolution adopted by the Senate early Wednesday gave parties only two hours to respond to motions filed at 9 a.m., but it ended up being moot, as no side took the opportunity to act by the deadline.

Separately, the Senate voted down a series of Democratic attempts to subpoena former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonDefense policy bill would create new cyber czar position Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday MORE, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney 'concerned' by Giuliani role in Trump election case On The Money: Senate releases spending bills, setting up talks for December deal | McConnell pushing for 'highly targeted' COVID deal | CFPB vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency Consumer bureau vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency MORE, senior White House adviser Robert Blair and senior Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey.

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Republicans also struck down an amendment to bar the White House from selectively leaking documents and to guarantee the consideration of additional witnesses and documents at the end of the trial, instead of merely having a guaranteed debate on the subjects.

“When we offered an amendment to actually guarantee votes on witnesses and documents, after the question period, after the presentations, instead of one vague procedural motion, every single republican said no,” Schumer said.

He also hit Republicans for defeating an amendment by Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOn The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser GOP blocks effort to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers Democratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry MORE (D-Md.) that would have left the question of calling relevant witnesses and documents in the hands of Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.

“The bottom line is this, the very first thing the American people saw when they tuned into the impeachment trial of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE was Republican senators voting against having a fair trial with relevant evidence,” Schumer said. 

GOP leaders maintained heading into Tuesday's marathon debate that they had the votes to force through the rules, with McConnell emphasizing the Democratic demands for documents and witnesses could be addressed later in the trial.

“All of these amendments under the resolution could be dealt with at the appropriate time,” he said at multiple points during the chamber’s debate.