Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters about the possibility of a partial government shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, pushing the government to the brink of a partial shutdown at midnight Friday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The House is scheduled to vote on the impeachment of President Trump on Wednesday and the measure is expected to pass.
On Sunday evening, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in which he discussed plans for the expected trial. The letter can be viewed here.
Schumer included a list of four White House witnesses he would like to see testify before the Senate. He would like to issue subpoenas to the “following witnesses with direct knowledge of Administration decisions regarding the delay in security assistance funds to the government of Ukraine and the requests for certain investigations to be announced by the the government of Ukraine: Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff; John Bolton, former national security adviser; Michael Duffey, associate director for national security, Office of Management and Budget; and Robert Blair, senior adviser to Mulvaney.”
All four of these witnesses refused to testify during the House impeachment inquiry and it is unlikely they would voluntarily choose to appear in the Senate trial.
Schumer also made suggestions for witness time limits. He wrote, “[I] propose that the total time allotted to testimony by each witness be limited to not more than four hours for the House Managers and not more than four hours for the President’s counsel.”
Although the letter is cordial in tone, Schumer appears to be trying to micromanage the agenda and he would do well to remember that he is the minority leader.
The removal of the President would require the approval of 2/3 of the Senators. This means that 20 Republicans would have to vote for conviction, the chances of which are low to nil.
Last week, McConnell said he would be coordinating with the White House on most aspects of the trial which immediately drew accusations of illegitimacy from Democrats. Now there’s a little irony.