Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is proposing to call some GOP witnesses to testify in an expected impeachment trial in Senate this week, which he said must be fair and bipartisan, even after House Democratic leaders have rejected Republicans’ witnesses and are pursuing a partisan impeachment.
In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday, Dec. 15, Schumer wrote, “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.”
The Democratic leader also stressed that the Senate trial must be “keeping with the bipartisan spirit of the procedures” as adopted in the trial of President Clinton in 1999.
Schumer said the Senate Democrats have proposed some provisions for consideration, of which the pretrial housekeeping measures should be adopted on Jan. 6, 2020; the swearing-in of the chief justice and senators should occur on Jan. 7; the House managers should be recognized on Jan. 9 to make their presentation followed by the presentation by the president’s counsel.
Schumer also proposed at least four witnesses to testify, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton, along with Robert Blair—a Mulvaney adviser, and Michael Duffey—a budget official.
The New York senator also proposed the Senate issue subpoenas for relevant documents, which he hopes to make all the facts in the trial “can be considered fully and fairly.”
Schumer sent his proposal to the Senate Republicans, seeking a fair trial against President Donald Trump, even after his Democratic caucus in the House proceeded its impeachment inquiry without fundamental fairness.
Both House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) rejected most of witnesses requested by Republican members at their committee. In addition, Schiff refused to allow the president’s legal team to participate in the hearings and cross-examine the witnesses.
McConnell said in an interview last week that the Senate has two choices for the trial. “It could go down the path of calling witnesses and basically having another trial,” or “it could decide and again 51 members could make that decision.” However, he is advocating a short impeachment trial without calling for witnesses.
For the option of calling witnesses, a White House representative said President Trump expected the witnesses would include Adam Schiff, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, and the so-called whistleblower who helped trigger the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the president.