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Democrats call Senate impeachment rules a 'cover-up'

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Democrats call Senate impeachment rules a 'cover-up'

Democrats call Senate impeachment rules a 'cover-up'

Democrat Rep.

Adam Schiff, leading the U.S. House of Representatives team charged with arguing that President Donald Trump must be removed from office, on Tuesday said that the process being considered for the upcoming Senate impeachment trial is not fair.

Jonah Green reports.

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Democrats call Senate impeachment rules a 'cover-up'

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) REP.

ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: “Will the president, and the American people get a fair trial?” As the Senate impeachment trial into President Donald Trump finally gets underway, Democrats Tuesday accused the top Senate Republican of rigging the process.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) REP.

ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: “If the defendant is not allowed to introduce evidence of his innocence, it’s not a fair trial.

So, too, for the prosecution.

If the House cannot call witnesses or produce documents or evidence, it’s not a fair trial.

It’s not really a trial at all.” Top Democrats said the rules proposed by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could prevent witnesses from testifying and even bar evidence gathered by investigators, saying witnesses would be ruled on later in the process and evidence would also be subject to a vote.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SEN.

CHUCK SCHUMER, SAYING: “So Leader McConnell wants a trial with no existing evidence, and no new evidence.

A trial without evidence is not evidence, it’s a cover up.” SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) REP.

JERROLD NADLER, SAYING: “Any Senator, who votes to deny a witness, who votes to deny evidence, is voting to cover up the president’s crimes and subversion of the Constitution.” McConnell’s rules would also condense the whole process.

House Democratic prosecutors and Trump lawyers have 24 hours each to make their case over four days, and because of the 1pm start time, arguments could well run into the night.

Democrat Adam Schiff said that was by design.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) REP.

ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: “We should have the opportunity to present the case as the House chooses to present its case.

Not to go late into the evening when Senator McConnell hopes the public may not be watching.” SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SEN.

MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: “This is the fair road map for our trial.” McConnell defended his rules as fair, highlighting the fact it gave the president a chance to tell his side of the story.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SEN.

MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: “The House broke with fairness by cutting President Trump’s counsel out of their inquiry by an unprecedented degree.

Here in the Senate, the president’s lawyers will finally receive a level playing field with the House Democrats and will finally be able to present the president’s case.” Schumer said Democrats would seek amendments.

But if those amendments include anything on witnesses of evidence, McConnell made clear he would table that until...later.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SEN.

MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: “I will move to table such motions because the Senate will decide such motions later in the trial just like we did back in 1999.”




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