McConnell Reveals Impeachment Trial Rules With Firm Warning To Democrats
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has revealed that the impeachment trial in the upper chamber will begin next week, likely on Tuesday (Jan. 21) if everything goes according to plan.
After three months of delaying, stalling, and seeking leverage, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally transmitted the House-passed articles of impeachment to the Senate on Wednesday.
Now, the Republican-controlled Senate will lead the trial and actually give Trump a fair chance to defend himself and share the truth with the American people.
With the Senate trial days away, McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have released a draft of the trial rules — and they are quite strict.
The conduct on the floor will be much different — and much quieter — than normal proceedings.
According to the draft, phones are prohibited from being on any persons, whether it’s a senator or hearing attendee: “No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber.”
Additionally, Senators will be severely limited in terms of access to their staff, who normally help with creating questions and compiling information.
Not only is staff access curtailed, but physical movement around the floor isn’t allowed either.
McConnell and Schumer instructed their colleagues “to remain in their seats at all times they are on the Senate floor during the impeachment proceedings.”
This would be “strictly enforced,” per the rules.
But, when it comes to voting, Senators must stand: “Should votes be required during the proceedings, Senators will stand and vote from their seats.”
Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts will be overseeing the entirety of the Senate impeachment trial — and the rules require that he is called by his official title, “Mr. Chief Justice,” by all in attendance. Enforcement of the rules will be conducted by the Senate Sergeant of Arms.
In other words, the impeachment hearings in the Democratic-controlled House were nothing short of a total circus.
The Senate, run by Republicans, will be handled in a much quieter and professional manner.
Republicans control a 53-47 majority in the upper chamber, so the GOP can pretty much do whatever they want -- just like Democrats did in the House, where they control a majority.
McConnell also said he expects the Senate to conclude the Senate trial in about a month, with the president being fully acquitted.