Senate Democrat on impeachment trial: 'If you have a rigged trial there's no exoneration in acquittal'

Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenLawmakers call for unemployment benefits for evacuated Peace Corps volunteers Democratic senators ask Pompeo to provide coronavirus aid to Palestinian territories Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' MORE (D-Md.) questioned whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Top GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid Stocks move little after record-breaking unemployment claims MORE (R-Ky.) will “try to rig” the impeachment trial by teaming up with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE.

Van Hollen told Jon Karl on ABC’s “This Week” that Senate Democrats are pushing for a “fair trial” where they are permitted to call witnesses and obtain necessary documents. 

"Is Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, going to try to rig this trial, working in lockstep with the president and his lawyers? Or is he going to allow a fair trial?" Van Hollen asked.

"We keep hearing President Trump say he's going to be exonerated," he added. "Look, if you have a rigged trial there's no exoneration in acquittal."

Van Hollen said it was “too early” to tell how many Republicans will support more witnesses and documents in the trial but added that those who vote against it will be “complicit in a cover-up.”

The senator said he believes Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNJ governor calls for assessment of coronavirus response after crisis abates Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) will send over the articles of impeachment leading to a trial. 

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Pelosi has been withholding the articles from the Senate until the leaders determine the guidelines for the trial. In the meantime, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar Trump lashes out at Schumer over call for supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.) has been pushing McConnell to allow witnesses and documents. 

The House voted to impeach Trump on two articles earlier this month, sending the matter to the Senate for trial. The GOP-majority Senate is expected to acquit the president.