- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday his chamber will remain in session all night until the Senate agrees to the proposed rules being offered in the afternoon.

The statement pushes back against attempts by Senate Democrats to introduce amendments to alter the proposed rules the GOP-majority is planning to put into place.

Republicans, however, say the rules are the same as what the chamber agreed to unanimously in 1999 during President Clinton’s trial.

“I will move to table such amendments and protect our bipartisan precedent,” Mr. McConnell said.

“Can the Senate still serve our founding purpose? Can we still put fairness, even-handedness and historical precedent ahead of the partisan passions of the day?” the Kentucky Republican added.

Mr. McConnell said the only reason Democrats are now rejecting the rules many agreed to for Mr. Clinton is due to partisanship.

His comments come after Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said earlier Tuesday he will move to introduce amendments to the Senate Republicans’ resolution, demanding White House documents be subpoenaed.

The New York Democrat says the lawmakers need to see call logs and records between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president, and communications between White House personnel regarding the hold and eventual release of the Ukrainian military assistance.

“It’s very possible — even likely — that some of these communications may have been with President Trump,” Mr. Schumer told reporters. “That is why they are so important.”

He blasted Mr. McConnell’s proposed rules, which were released Monday night, which set arguments from both sides for a 24-hour period over two days, suggesting there will be presentations from 1 p.m. to the early hours of the morning for the duration of the trial.

“Why not when the sun is shining?” Mr. Schumer said. “It’s pretty obvious why not. On something as important as impeachment, McConnell’s resolution is nothing more than a national disgrace.”

He said Mr. McConnell allows for a motion to dismiss at any time, putting “many obstacles” in the path ahead of a vote for more witness testimony, which has been a central demand from Democrats ahead of the trial.

House impeachment managers and Mr. Trump will each have 24 hours to make their case for and against his impeachment during the trial, which kicks off later this week, according to the proposed rules from a senior Republican leadership aide.

The 24-hour time window is the same that President Clinton was afforded in his 1999 trial, but both sides during that time made their arguments over a three-day period.

This time, however, the proposed rules give House impeachment managers two-session days — the same as the president’s legal team, suggesting the arguments could make for long, 12-hour days.

After the arguments from both sides, senators will have 16 hours to submit written questions through Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who will pose the questions to each side.

A vote on whether to call witnesses will come after the senators submit the questions. It would take 51 votes to do so. Republicans hold 53 seats, while the Democratic caucus holds 47.

Senators are expected to vote on the proposed rules during Tuesday’s session, setting arguments to begin from impeachment managers on Wednesday.

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