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McConnell’s impeachment collusion admission handed the Democrats a powerful new weapon to damage the president

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Mitch McConnell’s admission on Fox News that he is working behind the scenes with the White House to stack the Senate impeachment trial gives Democrats a potent weapon against the GOP, wrote Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman in the Washington Post.

“If Democrats play their procedural cards right, they can pressure Republicans to allow for a much fairer and more open trial that could actually produce new revelations — and if they refuse, extract a political price for it,” they wrote.

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“By telling Sean Hannity that the process of Trump’s trial will be set up ‘in coordination with Trump’s legal team,’ McConnell told the world he wants to rig the process to produce maximal benefit for Trump,” they explained. “But McConnell might not actually be able to do this, if he doesn’t have 51 GOP votes for it — which could be the case, if vulnerable GOP senators don’t want to go along with it. And that allows Democrats to make a public case for a much fairer and more open process — and to try to force those vulnerable GOP senators to take a stand on whether they, too, want a fair and open process.”

For example, they can demand the administration produce documents and witnesses that the Trump administration has refused to allow in the House, and lean on vulnerable Republicans like Susan Collins (R-ME) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) to take their side by holding McConnell’s words over their head. And if they refuse, it will be a potent weapon in campaign ads.

“Democrats can seize on McConnell’s sneering proclamation that he’ll turn the trial into a massive coverup (which he may not even be able to do) to press for a process that could do the opposite — allow for a full airing out of aspects of this scandal that the White House has tried to keep buried,” they concluded. “And that might not be so easy for vulnerable GOP senators to resist.”

You can read more here.

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Legal analyst rips senators for ‘getting the vapers’ and using Schiff ‘being mean’ as an excuse to vote against witnesses

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Senators are already trying to come up with an excuse not to support calling witnesses for the impeachment trial and CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin thinks they found it.

According to CNN's Manu Raju, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Jim Risch (R-ID) freaked out about a CBS News report cited by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) that a Trump confidant said if the Republicans vote against Trump their "head will be in a pike."

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CNN

Susan Collins denies CBS report that a Trump friend threatened Republicans’ heads ‘will be on a pike’

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CBS News reported this week that a friend of the president's threatened U.S. senators if they were thinking of voting in support of witnesses.

“Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike," the Trump confidant said.

https://twitter.com/CBSEveningNews/status/1220491412854185984

According to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), however, it was a lie and no one ever said it.

CNN's Manu Raju revealed after the Senate adjourned that Collins audibly disputed Schiff's quote of the story during the trial.

"She shook her head and said, 'No they didn't. No, that's not true,'" Raju reported.

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Here’s why Trump and McConnell can’t hold up impeachment witnesses during the Senate trial: Ex-special counsel

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been threatening senators that if they voted for witnesses to appear and be questioned, then it would turn the impeachment into an overwhelmingly long and drawn-out process. It's an argument that President Donald Trump's legal team has also argued. The problem is that it is legally incorrect, according to a former special counsel to the Defense Department.

In a panel discussion with CNN, Ryan Goodman said that there's no legal basis for this claim.

"In fact, the Senate can decide the matter and it wouldn't be litigated," Goodman explained. "If the Senate decided to issue the subpoenas and the Chief Justice, in fact, sent those subpoenas, it would be the final word. There's a Supreme Court case about this, Nixon v. United States, Judge Nixon, which said the Senate sets the rules and the courts review it. So, it's not like it will be litigated in a way. They are the final word."

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