Donald Trump’s first day of the attorneys’ amendments began at 1:00 p.m. est and ended at nearly 2:00 a.m. in the dark of the night. The greatest tension was over whether witnesses and documents that supported the evidence could be introduced before the attorney’s opening statements or after.
This was an important ask by the Democrats, because it takes time to prepare documents to redact them for national security and make copies. It takes time to get depositions from the witnesses, and any number of acts of preparation.
The Republican majority voted against the 11 amendments requesting different subpoenaed witnesses and documents. Each party-line vote resulted in 53 to 47 time and time again. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) claimed that the GOP’s lock-step votes indicated they had no interest in “a fair impeachment trial,” according to C-SPAN.
The House mangers’ (attorneys’) strategy was masterful. With each amendment, the Democrats actually entered evidence into the record. These included many instances of clips of Trump’s own words and clips of the other witnesses. The Democrats’ speeches were finely prepared with bullet points shown upon the overhead screen.
Of course, there were no full documents in the Democrats’ strategy. They walked the narrow line between supporting their claims and showing so much that the Republicans would have a valid excuse to rebuke them. The Dems were successful in their efforts.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who has been leading his party in marching-band steps through 13 hours of Trump’s impeachment trial. The problem has always been that people recognized the sour notes. People are not stupid.
Schumer told reporters that the Republicans did not “want a fair trial” during his press conference prior to Wednesday’s impeachment trial. He said:
‘If there’s one thing we learned from the series of votes on the Senate floor it’s that Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans don’t want a fair trial that considers all the evidenc. On four separate votes, every Senate Republican voted against requesting relevant documents for the trial. On three other votes, every Senate Republican voted against calling relevant witnesses before the Senate.’
Republicans voted against the Democrats’ amendment to keep the White House from cherry-picking documents to leak to the public. Schumer contended:
‘When we offered an amendment to actually guarantee votes on witnesses and documents, after the question period, after the presentations, instead of one vague procedural motion, every single republican said no.’
The Senate Democrats’ leader criticized the GOP when it cast out the amendment by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD.). It was a reasonable request that would have let Chief Justice John Roberts decided whether a witness or a document was relevant:
‘The bottom line is this, the very first thing the American people saw when they tuned into the impeachment trial of President Trump was Republican senators voting against having a fair trial with relevant evidence.’
Schumer said repeatedly throughout the day:
‘All of these amendments under the resolution could be dealt with at the appropriate time.’
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) dipped her toes into the forbidden Democratic pool and voted against her party — one time. That may not be enough for her state to re-elect her. After all, her vote glanced off of the amendment, which indicated that the parties had three days instead of two to respond to motions filed in the morning. That was defeated 52 to 48.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.