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McConnell Says Pelosi's 'Fantasy' to 'Hand-Design' Senate Impeachment Trial Is a 'Non-Starter'

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) clocked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over the looming Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

For nearly two weeks, congress members have been on break, leaving shortly after the House voted and passed two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Pelosi hasn’t sent the articles over the Senate, and it is unclear when she will do so, resulting in a stalemate. She previously said she would not choose impeachment managers until she knows there will be a fair trial in the Senate.

“We’ve heard it claimed that the same House Democrats who botched their own process should get to reach over here into the Senate and dictate our process,” McConnell said on the floor on Friday, as Congress returned from break.

He continued to stress his point that Pelosi would not “get to hand-design the trial proceedings in the Senate.”

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“Let me clarify Senate rules and Senate history for those who may be confused. First, about this fantasy that the Speaker of the House will get to hand-design the trial proceedings in the Senate, that’s obviously a non-starter.”

See McConnell’s comments below:

McConnell has said he would coordinate with the White House during the Senate trial, and defer to White House counsel on whether to call witnesses — which has drawn a rebuke from congressional Democrats. He, however, declared that he has not ruled out on hearing witnesses.

On the floor Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “There is only one precedent that matters. There has never, never in the history of our country been an impeachment trial of a president in which the Senate was denied the ability to hear from witnesses.”

“If we don’t get a commitment upfront that the House managers will be able to call witnesses as part of their case, the Senate will act as a little more than a nationally televised meeting of the mock trial club.”

Pelosi has been receiving calls from Senate Republicans to push the impeachment articles to the Senate to begin a trial.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) recently declared that it was time for Pelosi “to fish or cut bait,” as IJR previously reported.

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