Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a Sunday, Dec. 14, letter addressed to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for an impartial weekslong trial where four new key witnesses are set to testify, but there has been a lack of fairness given to Republicans in the past surrounding the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
“Senate Democrats believe strongly, and I trust Senate Republicans agree, that this trial must be one that is fair, that considers all of the relevant facts, and that exercises the Senate’s ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ under the Constitution with integrity and dignity,” Schumer wrote.
“The trial must be one that not only hears all of the evidence and adjudicates the case fairly; it must also pass the fairness test with the American people,” the Senate minority leader added. “That is the great challenge for the Senate in the coming weeks.”
But Republicans have often decried the lack of fairness in the impeachment process, citing the closed-door testimonies that Democrats secretly conducted before hearings were made public.
Democrats during the Dec. 4 public hearing called three leftist law professors as their witnesses, whereas Republicans only had one—Jonathan Turley, a professor from George Washington University.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone in a 5-page letter released Dec. 1 to Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), addressed the lack of clarity regarding a Dec. 4 hearing where Nadler extended an offer for President Trump or his lawyers to partake in the public proceeding.
“We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings,” Cipollone wrote.
“The president was not allowed to present evidence, to call witnesses, to cross examine witnesses, or even to see transcripts until weeks aft3r testimony had been taken, and he was allowed absolutely no participation in the public hearings that followed,” Cipollone pointed out in the letter. “Further, witness requests made by Republicans were denied. In addition, certain questioning of the witnesses who did testify was censored by Democrats.”
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) in a Dec. 3 column on USA Today voiced a similar sentiment, blasted the impeachment inquiry as an “unfair, politically biased ordeal.”
“House Democrats do not seem to grasp that they cannot legitimize such an illegitimate process halfway through,” Lesko wrote, pointing how “unfair” the process has been from the very start for President Trump, where Democrats ignored the “historical precedents” outlined in the Clinton and Nixon impeachments. “When it comes to Trump, Democrats have created a whole new set of rules. For them, the end justifies the means, no matter how devoid of due process and fairness those means are.”
President Trump has repeatedly rebuked the impeachment, dubbing it a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”
“People have figured out that the Democrats have no case, it is a total Hoax,” the president said in a Dec. 13 tweet.
“To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!” The Republican president declared on Dec. 10, just before the articles of impeachment were announced.
Democrats have insisted on carrying on with impeachment despite President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy both claiming that there was no wrongdoing in the July 25 call.
To date, Democrats have been unable to establish evidence for an impeachable offense committed by President Trump.