Chuck Schumer calls for a 'fair and honest' weekslong Senate impeachment trial featuring new testimony from four key witnesses

chuck schumer

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday penned a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging a "fair and honest" weekslong trial featuring testimony from four new key witnesses.
  • Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House is expected to pass the articles in a vote this week, and the process will then move to the Senate for trial.
  • In his letter, the New York Democrat proposed a trial date of January 7 and called for subpoenaing several senior Trump officials, including Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton, who refused to participate in the House impeachment inquiry.
  • Republicans have touted the idea of holding a quick trial early next year that would include no witnesses, while Trump has favored a more aggressive defense of his actions.
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday penned a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging a "fair and honest" weekslong trial featuring testimony from four new key witnesses.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House is expected to pass the articles in a vote this week, and the process will then move to the Senate for a trial beginning early next year.

In his letter, the New York Democrat proposed a trial date of January 7, with "pretrial housekeeping measures" to take place on January 6. Schumer also called for subpoenaing several senior Trump officials to testify, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser to Mulvaney, Robert Blair, former national security adviser John Bolton, and Michael Duffey of the Office of Management and Budget.

The four men have knowledge of the administration's dealings with Ukraine, and efforts to withhold military aid to the country in order to pressure an investigation into Trump's political rival Joe Biden. The officials were asked to testify in the House impeachment inquiry but refused.

Schumer in his letter also called for Senate subpoenas "for a limited set of documents that we believe will shed additional light on the administration's decision making," and proposed time-saving measures in order to ensure the trial will be completed "within a reasonable period of time."

"The trial must be one that not only hears all of the evidence and adjudicates the case fairly; it must also pass the fairness test with the American people," Schumer wrote.

"We believe this proposal ... will allow for a trial in which all of the facts can be considered fully and fairly, and in which final votes can be taken within a reasonable period of time without any unnecessary delay," he added.

"Conducting the trial according to this plane will also allow the public to have confidence in the process and will demonstrate that the Senate can put aside partisan concerns and fulfill its constitutional duty."

Republicans have touted the idea of holding a quick trial early next year that would include no witnesses, while Trump has favored a more aggressive defense of his actions.

Speaking with Fox News last week, McConnell pledged to work in "total coordination" with the White House counsel as the GOP plotted out its political strategy.

"The president's counsel may or may not decide they want to have witnesses," McConnell said.

"I'm going to take my cues from the president's lawyers," he added.

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