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22 January 2020 - 09:47
News ID: 448561
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Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of the US Congress have slammed the rules of impeachment against President Donald Trump announced by Senate Republicans, saying the process is "rigged" and different from the impeachment of former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

RNA - US Representative Adam Schiff, the lead manager in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, again criticized Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s resolution outlining rules for Trump’s impeachment trial.

McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, outlined the rules for Trump’s impeachment process in the upper chamber of Congress on Monday.

“We can see why this resolution was kept from us and the American people,” Schiff, a Democrat from California, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

“This is not the process for a fair trial,” Schiff said. “This is the process for a rigged trial.”

McConnell will allot each side a total of 24 hours to present their arguments in Trump's impeachment trial, but the time must be confined to two working days, according to the text of his organizing resolution.

The four-page organizing resolution, which the Senate is expected to adopt Tuesday, lays out the initial parameters of the trial.

Arguments will begin Wednesday at 1 pm, according to the rules McConnell laid out, setting up several long days for Senate jurors. Democrats protested that the rules would push arguments to late hours and make it harder to introduce evidence.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, echoed Schiff’s criticism, saying McConnell's rules "depart dramatically" from the precedent set during Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.

"The McConnell rules don't even allow the simple, basic step of admitting the House record into evidence at the trial," he said, adding that he would be offering amendments "to address the many flaws in this deeply unfair proposal."

Under the Senate rules, House impeachment managers prosecuting the case against Trump would deliver their arguments first, with the challenge of compressing weeks of testimony and hundreds of pages of evidence into 24 hours over the course of two Senate days.

Once the prosecution's time is up, Trump's defense team will take over. In a brief prepared for submission to the Senate on Monday, the president's legal team made the case that he did "absolutely nothing wrong," is the victim of a partisan plot to take him down and should be swiftly acquitted.

During Clinton's trial, the House's Republican managers had three days to deliver their opening arguments, using about four to six hours each day. Clinton's White House defense team also used three days to deliver its arguments, taking two to four hours each day.

Trump slammed Schumer and other Democrats on Tuesday for asking for a fair trial.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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