Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is bragging that he's handing over control of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to President Donald Trump.
"Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel," the Kentucky Republican Leader told Fox News' Sean Hannity Thursday night. "There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this."
"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 representing the President in the well of the Senate," he said, presumably referring to Republican Senators.
Mitch McConnell: Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no differenc… https://t.co/WuHFaBjtHQ— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1576203701.0
To be clear, this is effectively the jury foreman taking orders from the defendant's attorneys to determine how the trial will play out, how long it will go on for, who – if any – the witnesses will be, and how it will end.
In short, McConnell just admitted there will not be a real trial.
NCRM was the first outlet to report earlier Thursday that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland had walked in to McConnell's office this afternoon.
Later, NBC News reported they in fact did meet with McConnell for an hour to plan how the impeachment trial will go forward.
Legal, political, and ethics experts seeing McConnell admit to relinquishing control of a co-equal branch of government to the person who will be on trial in the Senate are expressing shock.
My god. https://t.co/im3PiFNntL— Chris Geidner (@Chris Geidner)1576205402.0
Mitch McConnell rejects the founding fathers’ creation of a system of checks & balances to keep any one branch of g… https://t.co/qVxioGH2zB— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene)1576205084.0
This is so inappropriate. Impeachment isn't about team sports, it's about correcting malfeasance. This is turning… https://t.co/IO6xKnv6Zl— Tiffany Bond 🦞🇺🇸 (@Tiffany Bond 🦞🇺🇸)1576205516.0
How is that not a violation of the basic premise of separation of powers under the Constitution?? Such a stance is… https://t.co/BFFNWQoLa5— Mel (@Mel)1576204032.0
Someone should remind McConnell that the Constitution requires that the Senate act as a jury on impeachment. Imagin… https://t.co/Jxr4O0BXKa— Robert Reich (@Robert Reich)1576206582.0
Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party have been acting in bad faith and violating democratic norms for a long ti… https://t.co/ik0eZA0YXM— Jared Yates Sexton (@Jared Yates Sexton)1576205545.0
Chief judge notes on national television that he is carefully coordinating planning for the trial with the defendan… https://t.co/4wDcAwqBCj— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf)1576204566.0
We all assumed this, but McConnell feeling the need to go on Hannity and make it this explicit that the Senate majo… https://t.co/eSncaoZd9s— Brian Fallon (@Brian Fallon)1576204316.0
So much for an impartial fair trial in the Senate. This is not how it went down in 1999. https://t.co/lLh9hWZCDY— Joe Lockhart (@Joe Lockhart)1576205231.0
Shorter Mitch McConnell: I’m totally in the bag for full authoritarianism now. Forget checks and balances, I’m at t… https://t.co/ooC5aYLyXg— Jason Karsh (@Jason Karsh)1576205552.0