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McConnell rejects Schumer's call for witnesses at impeachment trial

CNN's Erin Burnett highlights Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (D-NY) shift in opinion now that a Republican is at the center of an impeachment inquiry instead of former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Posted: Dec 17, 2019 10:10 AM
Updated: Dec 17, 2019 10:10 AM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday rejected calls from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to allow witnesses at an expected Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

"We don't create impeachments," he said in remarks prepared for delivery on the Senate floor. "We judge them."

"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. 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."

In a letter to McConnell on Sunday, Schumer said he wanted to have former national security advisor John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney testify, two people close to the Trump's actions on Ukraine who refused to testify in the House.

McConnell also said the fact that Senate Democrats want fact witnesses is a sign House Democrats did "sloppy work" in their impeachment inquiry.

"If House Democrats' case is this deficient, this thin, the answer is not for the judge and jury to cure it here in the Senate. The answer is that the House should not impeach on this basis in the first place," McConnell said.

McConnell said he hoped to discuss a path forward with Schumer soon.

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