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Experts stunned as Mitch McConnell brags he’s handing control of impeachment trial to Trump

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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.”

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“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.

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.

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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.

Related: Trump White House Already Scripting How Impeachment Trial Will Play Out? WH Counsel Just Walked Into McConnell’s Office

Later, NBC News reported they in fact did meet with McConnell for an hour to plan how the impeachment trial will go forward.

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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.

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2020 Election

Democrats have a powerful case against Trump — but they keep making a key mistake

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On the floor of the Senate, House impeachment managers have delivered a thorough, factual and compelling case for removing President Donald Trump from office. He abused his power by using his office to induce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching investigations of his political enemies, and then he obstructed Congress in its efforts to uncover the details of this scheme.

The managers’ ability to present the evidence for these charges for hours on end has been impressive, and they’re earning plaudits for their furtive efforts, even though removal of the president remains supremely unlikely.

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Internet cheers as Val Demings lays out President Donald Trump’s wrongdoing in powerful speech

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On the third night of the impeachment trial, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) stood up and forcefully laid out President Donald Trump's misconduct in Ukraine on the floor of the Senate.

Demings, a former police chief and a longtime voice for the president's removal, was roundly cheered on by commenters on Twitter:

I had never heard of Rep. Val Demings of Florida, until now on @NPR, but man, #valdemings for President. She was fantastic. Excellent speech. @RepValDemings #impeachment

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Even Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan agrees the Senate must call witnesses

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In a Thursday evening column, far-right commentator Peggy Noonan agreed that there should be witnesses called in the impeachment trial.

CNN capitol correspondent Manu Raju reported late in the evening that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was leaning against calling witnesses because it would be opposed by the White House and they will fight it at all costs.

The comments drew anger from CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin and former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who explained this is exactly what President Donald Trump wants.

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