IMPEACHMENT; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 2
(Senate - January 06, 2020)

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[Page S12]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, in the meantime, at this dangerous 
time, House Democrats continue to play political games with their 
partisan impeachment of the Commander in Chief. Last year, House 
Democrats conducted the least thorough, most rushed, most unfair 
impeachment inquiry in history. For weeks, Democrats said they could 
not wait for due process, could not conduct a normal or fair inquiry 
because removing the President from office was so incredibly urgent--
incredibly urgent.
  Well, the unseriousness was obvious then and should be even more 
obvious now because Speaker Pelosi is now sitting on the articles she 
claimed were so very urgent. She has delayed this indefinitely so the 
architects of the failed House process can look for ways to reach over 
here into the Senate and dictate our process as well.
  Democrats have tried to insist that the Senate deviate from the 
unanimous bipartisan precedent set in the 1999 trial of President 
Clinton and write new rules for President Trump. They have tried to 
precommit the Senate to redoing House Democrats' slapdash work for them 
and pursuing avenues Chairman Schiff himself didn't bother to pursue.
  The Senate has a unanimous bipartisan precedent for when to handle 
midtrial questions such as witnesses: in the middle of the trial. That 
is when that was done the last time, and that is the way it should be 
done this time.
  In 1999, every single U.S. Senator agreed to establish basic 
parameters for the start of the trial upfront and reserve midtrial 
questions, such as witnesses, until later. The vote was 100 to 0. That 
was good enough for President Clinton, so it ought to be good enough 
for President Trump. Fair is fair.
  House Democrats' hunger to break our Senate precedents, just like 
they broke their own House precedents, could not be more telling, but 
the Senate does not just bob along on the currents of every news cycle. 
The House may have been content to scrap their own norms to hurt 
President Trump, but that is not the Senate. Even with a process this 
constitutionally serious, even with tensions rising in the Middle East, 
House Democrats are treating impeachment like a political toy--like a 
political toy--treating their own effort to remove our Commander in 
Chief like some frivolous game.
  These bizarre stunts do not serve our Constitution or our national 
security. They erode both. My Democratic colleagues should not plow 
away American unity in some bizarre intramural competition to see who 
dislikes the President more.
  They should not disdain our Constitution by rushing through a purely 
partisan impeachment process and then toying around with it. Governing 
is serious business. The American people deserve better, a lot better 
than this.