Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks back to his office after speaking on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has now released the resolution for the rules of the impeachment trial and it’s not going to make Democrats happy.
The rules clearly show that McConnell is not messing around. He doesn’t intend to have any protracted trial and it sounds like he has an ace in the hole when it comes to witnesses in terms of stopping any nonsense.
First, any motions that are going to be made must be made by tomorrow by 11 a.m., excluding any motions for witnesses or documents.
Then following the disposition of those motions on Wednesday, the trial will begin in earnest.
From Daily Wire:
“Following the disposition of such motions, or if no motions are made, then the House of Representatives shall make its presentation in support of the articles of impeachment for a period of time not to exceed 24 hours, over up to 2 session days,” the resolution continued. “Following the House of Representatives’ presentation, the President shall make his presentation for a period not to exceed 24 hours, over up to 2 session days. Each side may determine the number of persons to make its presentation.”
“Upon the conclusion of the President’s presentation, Senators may question the parties for a period of time not to exceed 16 hours,” the resolution continued. “Upon the conclusion of questioning by the Senate, there shall be 4 hours of argument by the parties, equally divided, followed by deliberation by the Senate, if so ordered under the impeachment rules, on the question of whether it shall be in order to consider and debate under the impeachment rules any motion to subpoena witnesses or documents. The Senate, without any intervening action, motion, or amendment, shall then decide by the yeas and nays whether it shall be in order to consider and debate under the impeachment rules any motion to subpoena witnesses or documents.”
“Following the disposition of that question, other motions provided under the impeachment rules shall be in order,” the resolution concluded. “If the Senate agrees to allow either the House of Representatives or the President to subpoena witnesses, the witnesses shall first be deposed and the Senate shall decide after deposition which witnesses shall testify, pursuant to the impeachment rules. No testimony shall be admissible in the Senate unless the parties have had an opportunity to depose such witnesses.”
Then comes the vote to convict or acquit on each of the articles of impeachment after deliberation by the Senate.
What this means is that it’s not going to be a long, drawn-out process, there’s already a cap on time, this is why they previously were talking about possibly two weeks.
That’s great because theoretically it could have been dismissed out of hand, just on legal ground for failure to state a case. But that would have been viewed perhaps as trying to cover it up. This way, it can be concluded as an absolute acquittal.
Also Democrats wouldn’t get to play these games with the witnesses, because they’ll be deposed first to see if they are at all relevant to the case and then the Senate will decide whether to have them testify. That would prevent an “Amb. Maria Yovanovitch” situation where you have a person who really had nothing to do with the issue there just to smear the President.
Democrats are supposed to be making their case now, not scrambling for more witnesses to prove it, that’s already supposed to have been done. It’s not the Senate’s obligation to ameliorate their failures. If. as they claim, they have an “overwhelming case” then they shouldn’t need any more witnesses. The only reason they want them is because they know they don’t have a good case.