Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday ripped apart Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's outline and demands for certain witnesses in President Donald Trump's impending impeachment trial warning that the New York Democrat's plans are "dead wrong" and could mean a "nightmarish precedent for our institution."
Schumer responded, also on the Senate floor, that House Democrats have presented a strong case against Trump.
He also claimed the witnesses Democrats want, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, will corroborate testimony that has already been heard, and that the president is afraid of that happening.
"The Senate Democratic leader would apparently like our chamber to do House Democrats' homework for them," McConnell said of Schumer's demands. "He wants to volunteer the Senate's time and energy on a fishing expedition."
Schumer, in a letter to Senate leaders on Sunday, outlined his party's opening proposal on how to handle the trial, including which witnesses he would want to include. McConnell Tuesday said Schumer should have spoken with him in person, but instead he "decided to short-circuit the customary and collegial process."
Schumer's offer, sent on Sunday night, which outlined Democrats' opening proposal on how to handle the Senate's looming impeachment trial and saying that in addition to calling Bolton and Mulvaney, Democrats want to hear testimony from top national security aide Robert Blair and Office of Management and Budget staffer Michael Duffey.
Schumer also called for a resolution to cover both procedures and calling witnesses to be passed while starting the trial, a plan McConnell rejected Tuesday, saying the resolutions should be separated, as they were during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton.
"The Democratic leader wants to write a completely new set of rules for President Trump," McConnell said. "The same process that Senator Schumer though was good enough for President Clinton he doesn't want to afford President Trump, go figure."
McConnell also accused Schumer of misquoting the Constitution in his demands, and he "completely omits any motions to dismiss the case, like the one he was happy to vote for himself as a new senator back in 1999."
Schumer, is "simply trying to lock in live witnesses," said McConnell, questioning how he could have "prejudged" the matter before the Senate officially has the articles of impeachment against Trump in hand.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff didn't want to go to court and pursue witnesses because they didn't want to wait for due process, he added.
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