‘If they don’t take this seriously, I think it will not be to their benefit…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Democrats might try to use Republicans’ rhetoric against them if impeachment moves to the Senate and GOP leadership refuses to agree to House Democrats’ fair rules package.
Several Senate Republicans have made it clear that they want to expedite the impeachment process as soon as it reaches the Senate and immediately hold a vote to acquit the president.
Democrats, however, are demanding that they accept a fair rules package that would outline how many witnesses each party can call, how long they can speak, and when the trial vote would take place.
If Republicans refuse, Democrats might accuse the GOP of putting on a “sham” trial — an accusation that House Republicans leveled against their Democratic opponents as the two parties debated impeachment.
Democrats want to hear from witnesses the House wasn’t able to subpoena, such as acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.
“Those are obvious witnesses,” Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin said, according to The Hill. “Whether it’s testifying in person or by deposition, that’s what we went through in the Clinton impeachment. It’s reasonable if this is truly going to be a trial.”
Conducting a speedy impeachment trial would have its own set of political risks, Durbin said.
“If they don’t take this seriously, I think it will not be to their benefit. Even if they are going to vote with the president, regardless, they have to show some respect to the Constitution and due process,” Durbin said.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, however, has said that because Republicans have the advantage in the Senate, they shouldn’t waste any more time.
“Here’s what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to. I want to end this,” he said.