On Tuesday, Democrats released an eight-page document outlining the rules that would govern an official impeachment inquiry following Republican complaints about their closed-door hearings in the House.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Wednesday, McConnell blasted the impeachment inquiry and said that the new resolution does nothing to alleviate Republicans’ concerns that Trump would not receive due process in the impeachment process:
“They have denied President Trump basic due process rights and are cutting his counsel out of the process in an unprecedented way. House Democrats’ new resolution does not change any of that.”
Watch his comments below:
The resolution, which lawmakers could vote on as early as Thursday, establishes rules for open hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee. Republicans will be allowed to request witnesses and documents, but Democrats will have the ability to block their requests.
The resolution also outlines rules for open hearings conducted by the House Judiciary Committee. Trump and his counsel would be allowed to attend those hearings and question witnesses as well as introduce evidence.
However, McConnell said the new resolution “falls way short,” and claimed it will not change the way Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) will conduct his investigation.
“It does not confer on President Trump the most basic rights of due process or seemingly alter Chairman Schiff’s unfair process in the House Intelligence Committee in any way whatsoever.”
McConnell charged that the resolution “merely seems to contemplate” due process:
“The resolution merely seems to contemplate that maybe, maybe someday in the future, at some other phase of this, due process might, might finally kick in. But only if the House Judiciary Committee feels like holding hearings and calling its own witnesses. In other words: no due process now, maybe some later, but only if we feel like it.”
Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced legislation condemning the House impeachment inquiry.