The House voted to impeach President Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Wednesday, so let's revisit Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell detailing his Senate trial requests.
In his Sunday letter, Schumer suggested 24 hours for the amount of time senators from either party will have to give their opening presentations and rebuttals and 16 hours for each side to ask questions. He also wants four more witnesses to testify: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, senior adviser to Mulvaney, Robert Blair, and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey. Finally, he wants to subpoena the White House for additional documents related to Trump's phone call with Ukraine and the withholding of military aid.
McConnell reacted to Schumer's letter on the Senate floor, noting how his Democratic counterpart misremembered the 1999 impeachment trial against President Clinton and how he misquoted the Constitution.
In a recent discussion on impeachment at the Heritage Foundation, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) explained why Schumer's letter was "ridiculous on its face." For starters, how about that "threat" Schumer held over McConnell.
Cruz mused that Schumer was basically telling McConnell, "If you don't agree to this, I'll get Nancy Pelosi to not send over the articles of impeachment."
That got a whole lot of laughs from the audience.
.@SenSchumer's letter was ridiculous on its face on many levels. If the Democrats want witnesses: postpone the vote, subpoena the witnesses, and let them come before the House. pic.twitter.com/vfuYaQBzYt— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) December 18, 2019
"I've got a suggestion," Cruz said with a smirk. "Carry out your threat. Come on Chuck, show us it's not a bluff."
Cruz joked that perhaps Schumer can even hold those articles of impeachment until November 2020, when a different major event can resolve these issues...
Cruz then wondered why the Democrats had not tried to call every one of those witnesses on Schumer's list in the House. You know, since there's a proceeding going on right now in that chamber.
"There's no reason they have to vote tomorrow," Cruz said at the Heritage event on Tuesday. "If they don't believe they've developed their factual record, they have every tool at their disposal to say, 'Gosh Chuck Schumer's given me a list of four witnesses we want, we're going to go get those witnesses' testimony.'"
Sen. McConnell also made note of how Schumer is trying to make the Senate "a fishing expedition" for witnesses.
"The Senate Democratic leader would apparently like our chamber to do House Democrats’ homework for them," McConnell said.
But we all know that's not how this is playing out. What we have instead, as noted by Sen. Cruz, is an unfair, "partisan show trial."
"It was entirely a one-sided evidentiary case," the senator noted. "You only call the prosecution's witnesses, you don't call the defense witnesses. In any other trial, that'd be thrown out immediately on the face of it."
Why not postpone the vote and subpoena the witnesses to come before the House?
Because, Cruz concluded, "facts don't matter."