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McConnell to Schumer: We're Not Going on an Impeachment 'Fishing Expedition'

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed his Democratic counterpart’s proposal calling for new witnesses to be subpoenaed for the anticipated impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, saying Tuesday it is not the Senate’s job to do the House’s “homework” for them.

On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to McConnell stating that the Senate should call four witnesses to testify, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

The four were subpoenaed during the House-led impeachment inquiry, but did not testify after the White House claimed executive privilege.

Democrats chose not take the matter to court, citing concerns it would delay their impeachment proceedings too long.

Speaking from the Senate floor on Tuesday, McConnell noted that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff and his fellow House Democrats “decided not go to court and pursue potentially useful witnesses because they didn’t want to wait for due process. Indeed, they threatened to impeach the president, if they had to go to court at all.”

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The result McConnell, contended, is the “thinnest, least thorough presidential impeachment in our nation’s history.”

“So now, the Senate Democratic leader would apparently like our chamber to the House Democrats’ homework for them,” the majority leader said. “He wants to volunteer the Senate’s time and energy on a fishing expedition to see whether his own ideas could make Chairman Schiff’s sloppy work more persuasive than Chairman Schiff himself bothered to make it.”

McConnell argued if the Senate were to adopt Schumer’s proposal to subpoena new witnesses and demand for documents, it would set a “nightmarish precedent.”

Do you think Democrats failed to make a case for impeaching Trump?

“We will invite future Houses to paralyze future Senates with frivolous impeachments, at will,” he said.

McConnell pointed out the Constitution vests the House with the sole power of impeachment.

“We don’t create impeachments over here. … We judge them,” he said. “The House chose this road. It’s their duty to investigate. It’s their duty to meet the very high bar for undoing a national election.”

McConnell quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as saying it’s the House of Representatives’ obligation to “build an ironclad case to act.”

“If House Democrats’ case is this deficient, this thin, the answer is not for the judge and jury to cure it over here in the Senate, the answer is the House should not impeach on this basis in the first place,” the majority leader said.

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“But if the House plows ahead,” McConnell continued. “If this ends up here in the Senate, we certainly do not need jurors to start brainstorming witness lists for the prosecution and demanding to lock them in before we’ve even heard opening arguments.”

Schumer later responded to McConnell on the Senate floor, saying, “I did not hear a single sentence, a single argument as to why the witnesses I suggested should not give testimony.”

“Senators who oppose this plan will have to explain why less evidence is better than more evidence,” he said.

The minority leader further stated that he had spoken with Republican senators who told him that they had not seen enough evidence yet to make a decision on impeachment.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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