WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after reviewing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump:
“Senator McConnell’s rules for the Senate impeachment trial are a travesty. They make a mockery of our constitutional responsibility to hold a fair and full trial.
“McConnell said he would follow the same rules as the Clinton trial. Today, those words have been exposed as a lie. Unlike the 1999 resolution, McConnell’s resolution blocks the House record from being taken into evidence. Unlike the 1999 resolution, there will be a vote to block the Senate from even considering motions to call witnesses and subpoena documents. Unlike the 1999 resolution, this resolution sets arbitrary deadlines to prevent the House managers from fully presenting their case to the American people, and ensuring that the case is made in the dark of night.
“In what free and fair nation can a jury foreman conspire with the defendant to block evidence and curtail a full trial? This resolution would be appropriate in Russia or China, not in a nation built on the rule of law.
“I can understand why President Trump wouldn’t want the Senate to consider evidence about whether he tried to bribe a foreign country into interfering in our election. But Senators have a constitutional responsibility – we have all sworn an oath – to do impartial justice, to stand up for the rule of law, and put our country before party. This resolution does the opposite.
“McConnell’s resolution is an exercise in injustice, not justice. These are procedures for a cover-up, not a trial.”