Chuck Schumer learns that payback's a ...
As preparations begin for the Democrats' impeachment show to move to the Senate, the top Democrat there, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, is getting himself a lesson in payback politics.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday flatly rejected Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's call for a deal on live witnesses at President Trump's impeachment trial -- at least before the trial starts.
In a Senate floor speech responding to Schumer, McConnell made it crystal clear that he is not inclined to call in witnesses -- but he didn’t rule it out either.
“The House chose this road. It is their duty to investigate. It is their duty to meet the very high bar for undoing a national election,” McConnell said.
“If they fail, they fail,” McConnell said of the House’s efforts to make a clear case against the president. “It is not the Senate’s job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to “get to guilty.’” That would hardly be impartial justice,” he said.
Earlier this morning, Byron York at the Washington Examiner reported the situation.
With a House impeachment vote a foregone conclusion, the battle to remove President Trump from office has moved to the Senate. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer grabbed control of the debate Monday with demands for what he called "fairness" in the president's trial.Schumer wants the Senate to allow testimony from four witnesses the House did not interview: former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, key Mulvaney aide Robert Blair, and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey. House Democratic impeachers wanted the men to testify, but after the White House, claiming privilege, refused, House leaders chose not to try to force them to appear. Going to court to compel their testimony, Democrats said, would take too much time.
Now, Schumer wants the witnesses simply to forget about privilege questions and testify in the Senate trial.
"How, on such a weighty matter, could we avoid hearing this, could we go forward without hearing it?" Schumer asked at a news conference Monday. "I haven't seen a single good argument about why these witnesses shouldn't testify — unless the president has something to hide and his supporters want that information hidden."
Schumer had apparently been dispatched to be the backup player in the Democrats' impeachment show which thus far is going very, very badly. Schumer's plan was to call witness after witness until the Democrats could get the words they wanted, and then peel off enough Republicans to convict. If nothing turned up, then the witness calls could go on through the remainder of President Trump's second term to weaken Trump. That was the Plan B, of course.
Mitch McConnell told him to go to Halifax and said he wasn't there to let Schumer take over and turn the whole clown show into a Senate-led fishing expedition. Not in his Senate. The wily old Kentuckian knows how power is used.
He (and York) pointed out that Democrats in the House had failed to call those four witnesses they wanted but were met with court challenges. Because they wanted to get the matter done before Christmas on the grounds that their many Senate candidates for president would need time to run in the primaries, they didn't pursue the matter. If they did, and ended up tying up people like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker and others in impeachment hearings, probably only Mayor Pete Buttigieg would be left to clean up on that front. Why do that when they were going to vote to convict whether they heard from those witnesses or not? Now Schumer is bringing up that old dead cat issue again, and not only can McConnell tell him 'no' on the grounds that he doesn't want Chuck Schumer calling the shots in the Senate he leads, he also would probably remember that Democrats refused to allow Republicans to call their witnesses in the House earlier -- the whistleblower, Hunter Biden, other partisan and seedy characters.
Mitch McConnell was onto Schumer's game like a duck on a June bug, something that for a wily old Democrat like Schumer, has got to sting. It's something he ought to understand well, given that he comes from a solid blue city with entrenched machine politics.
But oops, he's never been on the receiving end of this sort of thing from Republicans. Surprise, surprise.
Good thing we have McConnell in the Senate. On the important things, there's no messing with Cocaine Mitch, who just handed Schumer the only political thing he understands: Payback that's a ...