Sen. Patty Murray on Tuesday joined other senior Democratic senators condemning the GOP road map for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
“We all need to vote today for evidence and fairness, not a sham designed to protect an impeached president from the facts,” Murray said at a news conference Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C.
Her statements came before lawmakers voted later Tuesday on rules for the trial. When those votes did come, Republicans largely stuck with the process Murray critiqued, rebuffing Democratic efforts to subpoena more witnesses and White House documents for the trial.
Washington’s senior senator was joined by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan in criticizing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plans for the trial.
The Democrats said McConnell’s rules put up too many roadblocks to subpoena what they believe are necessary records from the White House and question new witnesses. They also said McConnell had gone back on his pledge to make the rules similar to ones that governed the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.
“It turns out, the McConnell rules are not even close to the Clinton rules, and there are many places where that happens,” Schumer said, noting McConnell’s original resolution didn’t allow for the record of the House of Representative’s impeachment inquiry to be entered into evidence or a vote on additional evidence until after opening arguments and senators are allowed to question witnesses.
McConnell later relented on allowing evidence in the House’s inquiry into the record.
Murray, who said last week she hoped there would be some deal-making with Republicans on admitting new witnesses during this phase of the impeachment process, made another plea Tuesday for the GOP to work with Democrats on the impeachment rules. A final vote laying out the ground rules of the Senate trial was expected by the end of the day, but was not complete as of late Tuesday night.
“I hope Republican senators remember they have a choice. I hope they choose to recognize we cannot do our jobs as senators, to ‘do impartial justice’ without key documents and witness testimony that has so far been hidden from the public,” she said.
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