Senate debates rules for impeachment trial of President Trump

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – “When the founders wrote the impeachment clause, they had precisely this type of misconduct in mind,” Representative Adam Schiff, D-California, said.

“A partisan impeachment is like stealing an election,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said. 

The impeachment trial of President Trump began with a debate about rules and whether to call witnesses before the Senate.

“If this body seeks impartial justice, it should ensure that subpoenas are issued and that they’re issued now,” Schiff said.

California Congressman Adam Schiff argued if witnesses aren’t allowed the process itself will appear illegitimate.

“The truth will come out. The question is will it come out in time,” Schiff said.

California Senator Kamala Harris says the American public should hear from former National Security Advisor John Bolton and should see relevant documents that haven’t been made public.

“There are people who have direct evidence of what this president said and what he was thinking,” Harris said.

Senator Harris says setting the rules for a fair process is important, not just for the current impeachment, but for the precedent it sets for the future.

“History’s gonna look back at this moment and say there was an opportunity to do the work of impartial justice,” Harris said.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Senator Mitch McConnell argued if the House impeaches a president, their case should already be complete.

“They come here and they say, we need more evidence,” Cipollone said.

“It could dramatically change the separation of powers if the senate agrees, we will conduct both the investigation and the trial,” Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said. 

The trial will not proceed until the senate finalizes the rules.

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