Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke at a press conference about the need for a fair Senate impeachment trial including key witnesses and documents, which can also be viewed here:
The question looms: will senators stand up for a fair trial – a fair trial with witnesses and documents? Right now, the Republican Leader and I have very different visions about what it means to conduct a fair trial. Democrats believe that a fair trial means that all the relevant facts come out, and witnesses and documents are part of that trial. Who ever heard of a trial without witnesses and documents? It’s unprecedented. But if you’re afraid of the facts; if you’re afraid of what would come out; if you want to cover it up, even in something as weighty and serious as impeachment, you say no witnesses and no documents. We say: witnesses and documents: fair trial; no witnesses and no documents: cover up. That simple sentence describes it all.
We always knew that Leader McConnell would not be for a fair trial. He said that from the beginning. He went on right-wing talk radio to brag about no fair trial and just listening to the White House. But many of his colleagues are very, very worried about going home and saying they’re not for witnesses and documents. Large numbers of Republicans have refused to say whether they’re for witnesses and documents. And that is why Leader McConnell came up with this kick-the-can-down-the-road theory to try to avoid that question. We are telling our Republican colleagues: you can run but you can’t hide. There will be votes on the four witnesses that we have asked for. There will be votes on the three sets of documents that we have requested. And there may be votes on other witnesses and documents as well. As we have seen over the last two weeks, the evidence for witnesses and documents keeps building.
For somebody, 90 minutes after the president’s phone call, to say “let’s hush up what he did,” says something. To say “orders came directly from the president,” from one of the witnesses we’ve requested, in a document that’s been made public, says a lot. So we Democrats have the ability, at an impeachment trial, to get votes on whether there should be witnesses and documents. We’ve known for a while, I’ve said in the last few weeks, McConnell will never go for it – but will four of his Republican colleagues? The eyes of America, the eyes of the Founding Fathers looking down upon us, are on our Republican colleagues. Will they stand for a fair trial? Will they stand for bringing evidence forward? Or will they be engaging in a cover up, in one of the most sacred and profound powers that the Founding Fathers gave the Senate? We will see. The next few weeks will be very, very telling.