Ethics, political, and legal experts were stunned Thursday night when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he was effectively handing over control of the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to the president and the White House. One legal expert is now speaking out, explaining why this is problematic.
In short, as Lawfare founder Benjamin Wittes alludes to, all Senators become jurors in the trial of the president — impartial jurors. And Wittes reminds the Republican Majority Leader there is an actual special oath they are required to take when fulfilling this solemn constitutional duty.
It will read: “I solemnly swear … that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.” https://t.co/jnH7It51SM
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 13, 2019
McConnell Thursday night told Fox News’ Sean Hannity, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House Counsel,” emphasizing he was working “in total coordination with the White House Counsel’s Office.”
‘This ends badly for Trump’s lackeys’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe warns GOP senators they’re doomed for opposing impeachment
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough ripped Senate Republicans for selling their souls to President Donald Trump -- and risking their political careers.
The "Morning Joe" host praised Rep. Adam Schiff's impassioned plea to GOP senators in the impeachment trial, but lamented that his appeal likely fell on deaf ears.
"It's a fear of those who follow Donald Trump, who follow Donald Trump in the Republican Party," Scarborough said. "It's a fear of losing a primary election, and, then, yes it is a fear for many of these people, and I consider it to be extraordinarily weak of them, of Donald Trump criticizing them, or tweeting attacks at them."
Trump impeachment defense team may be forced to change tactics to hold off GOP defections: report
According to a report from Axios, Donald Trump's defense team is considering an attempt to shorten the president's Senate trial in order to get it over quickly as Democrats try to pry away Republican defectors.
The report states that "A truncated defense would likely reflect a decision not to contest facts or defend Trump point by point, but rather to try to diminish the legitimacy of Democrats' overall case and end the trial as quickly as possible."
Speaking with reporters, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow stated, "We’re not going to try to run the clock out," before adding that he hopes to warp up “Saturday or Monday or Tuesday."
Fox News legal analyst bucks his network and lays out why Trump’s attack on impeachment is bogus
Judge Andrew Napolitano has been one of the political wild cards at Fox News: like his colleague Chris Wallace — but unlike so many others at the right-wing cable news outlet — Napolitano doesn’t see it as his job to reflexively defend everything President Donald Trump says and does. And Napolitano, in an op-ed published on Fox News’ website this week, takes issue with Trump’s assertions that his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate is a “hoax.”