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Democrats question fairness of Senate trial after Graham, McConnell statements

Democrats on Sunday said they were concerned that statements from several GOP senators showed they wouldn't be impartial jurors during President Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

At the heart of the controversy are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE’s (R-Ky.) remarks last week that he’ll be in “total coordination” with the White House on impeachment. 

Democrats said that goes against the oath senators will take before the start of the trial.

“It's why I'm so disappointed in my colleagues, this see-no-evil, hear-no-evil attitude,” Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE (D-Ohio) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “They don’t want to look at anything that might disagree with their world view of Republicanism and this president.”

Brown said he had “very strong feelings” about Trump's conduct and supported impeachment but added that he won’t make a decision until after he hears evidence at trial about whether Trump's actions rise to the level of removal from office. 

Similarly, Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill MORE (D-Ill.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that senators need to "consider evidence" in order to have an "actual trial" and urged McConnell to sit down with Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-N.Y.) to ensure a trial happens in a "proper" and "bipartisan" way. 

Some Republican senators have signaled they already know which way they’ll vote at the end of the expected Senate trial. 

“I am clearly made up my mind. I'm not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations in the process. So I don't need any witnesses,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks MORE (R-S.C.) said on “Face the Nation.” 

“I am ready to vote on the underlying articles. I don’t really need to hear a lot of witnesses,” he added. 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East MORE (R-Texas) said that, like his Democratic colleagues, he fully intends to follow his oath.

"But the oath of a Senate juror, it has some similarities to a criminal trial, but it has some differences as well," Cruz added on ABC's "This Week," pushing back on accusations that McConnell's and Graham’s statements have in any way violated the oath senators will take. 

“This remains a political process,” Cruz said. “The framers knew what they were doing when they put it into the political branches.”  

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Fauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' MORE (R-Ky.) on "State of the Union" predicted that no Senate Republicans will vote to remove Trump and accused Democrats of attempting to “criminalize politics” by trying to impeach trump over a “disagreement.”

He dismissed allegations that Trump did anything wrong and said the process was moving forward because “people on the Democratic side don’t like President Trump.”

Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who recently joined Trump's impeachment messaging team, also pushed back over concerns that the Senate working with the White House blocks senators from being impartial jurors. 

“These are the senators who will decide if our president is impeached, which will not happen. We should and will work hand in hand with them,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Trump is expected to be acquitted in the Republican-controlled Senate; no Republican senators have publicly signaled they would vote to remove Trump. 

House Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCyber concerns dominate Biden-Putin summit Senate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cybersecurity during summit with Putin MORE (D-Calif.) said Trump’s acquittal in the Senate would not mean impeachment was a “failure” for House Democrats. 

“At least it's not a failure in the sense of our constitutional duty in the House,” Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.” 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerSenate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Black Democrats press leaders for reparations vote this month House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists MORE (D-N.Y.) also brushed off the suggestion that Democrats failed their own “test” by not garnering Republican support. 

“This is a continuing threat to the integrity of our elections now,” Nadler said on "This Week". “This is not a one-off. Impeachment is not a punishment for past behavior.”

“He poses a continuing threat to our national security and to the integrity of our elections, to our Democratic system itself,” Nadler added. “We cannot permit that to continue.”