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President Donald Trump looks on as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during an event about judicial confirmations in the East Room of the White House on November 6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

'He Is Planning to Rig the Impeachment Trial': McConnell Vows 'Total Coordination' With Trump on Senate Process

"The jury—Senate Republicans—are going to coordinate with the defendant—Donald Trump—on how exactly the kangaroo court is going to be run."

Jake Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News Thursday night that while he has "no choice" but to hold a trial if the House votes to impeach President Donald Trump, that does not mean the process will be in any way impartial.

"Everything I do during this I'm coordinating with White House counsel," said the Kentucky Republican. "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this."

McConnell noted that with "typical" legislative issues he has the power to simply block them from coming up for a vote, as he has done with a number of House-passed bills.

"We have no choice but to take it up," McConnell said of impeachment. "But we'll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time in total coordination with the White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the president."

Watch:

Democratic lawmakers viewed McConnell's comments as unsurprising confirmation that the GOP-controlled Senate has no plans to allow an objective impeachment trial.

"The Majority Leader proudly announcing he is planning to rig the impeachment trial for Trump," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted Thursday night.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told CNN that, "in other words, the jury—Senate Republicans—are going to coordinate with the defendant—Donald Trump—on how exactly the kangaroo court is going to be run."

McConnell's comments came after CNN reported Thursday that the Senate Majority Leader met behind closed doors with White House counsel Pat Cipollone "to coordinate closely for an impeachment trial."

"While no final decisions have been made, McConnell and Cipollone agreed that when a trial begins, the House Democratic impeachment managers would have an opportunity to present, followed by the Trump's lawyers presenting the President's defense," according to CNN. "At the conclusion of the presentations, the White House may provide its own briefing to Senate Republicans about the next steps it would want to see in the trial, including possible witnesses it would like to be called."

McConnell and other Senate Republicans have reportedly expressed support in private for a rapid impeachment trial that calls no witnesses.

"If Mitch McConnell goes through with his reported plan to hold a sham impeachment trial that acquits President Trump without calling witnesses, it will provide the perfect coda for the corrupt and farcical way Trump’s defenders have handled this saga all throughout," the Washington Post's Greg Sargent wrote Thursday.

"In so doing," Sargent added, "the Senate Majority Leader and other assorted Trump propagandists will be unabashedly enshrining their position as follows: We've already decided in advance that the full facts will not persuade us to turn on Trump, no matter how damning they are, so why should we listen to them at all?"


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'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

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