They wanted senators to pre-commit ourselves to not only judge the case that House Democrats are actually going to send over, but also to re-open the investigatory stage… In other words, the president’s opponents are afraid of having the Senate judge the case they are actually going to send us. They are afraid of having the Senate judge the case they themselves voted on.’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding impeachment:
‘On Friday, Speaker Pelosi signaled she may finally wind down her one-woman blockade of a fair and timely impeachment trial.
‘It’s certainly been revealing to see House Democrats first claim that impeachment was so urgent that they could not even wait to fill out the factual record… and then subsequently delay it for weeks.
‘I’m glad the Speaker finally realized she never had any “leverage” to dictate Senate procedure to Senators and is giving in to bipartisan pressure to move forward.
‘In terms of influencing Senate proceedings, this strange gambit has achieved absolutely nothing. But it has produced one unintended side effect.
‘The Speaker’s efforts to pre-commit the Senate to carry on an investigation with which her own House lost patience concedes that the House case is rushed, weak, and incomplete.
‘Let me say that again: By trying and failing to get the Senate to pre-commit to redoing the House’s investigation, House Democrats admitted that even they do not believe their own case is persuasive.
‘Think about the message it sends when the “prosecutors” are this desperate to get the “judge and jury” to re-do their own homework for them.
‘And think about the separation of powers. The House knowingly declined to spend time on legal battles and due process that it would have needed to pursue certain avenues.
‘But now, after declining to fight their own fight, they want the Senate to pre-commit ourselves to wage these potentially protracted legal battles on their behalf.
‘They wanted senators to pre-commit ourselves to not only judge the case that House Democrats are actually going to send over, but also to re-open the investigatory stage and maybe supplement Chairman Schiff’s slapdash work.
‘In other words, the president’s opponents are afraid of having the Senate judge the case they are actually going to send us. They are afraid of having the Senate judge the case they themselves voted on.
‘That alone speaks volumes.
‘A few weeks ago, in real time, many senators and legal experts tried to warn House Democrats that they were nowhere near a finished product. That the articles of impeachment they had drafted were more like a censure resolution, based on partisan anger, than an actual impeachment based on a careful investigation.
‘The House ignored us at the time. They rushed ahead to meet a political timetable.
‘But now, they’ve spent almost a month conceding that their own case does not stand on its own and searching for ways to supplement it from the outside.
‘This is exactly the kind of toxic new precedent that many of us warned about in December. That Speaker Pelosi’s House was not sending the Senate a thorough investigation; they were just tossing up a ‘jump ball’ and hoping that political winds might blow things their way.
‘And here we are.
‘Well, the Senate was never going to pre-commit ourselves to redoing the prosecutors’ homework for them. And we were never going to allow the Speaker of the House to dictate Senate proceedings to senators.
‘House Democrats have already done enough damage to precedent, to national unity, and to our institutions of government.
‘The Senate will not be sucked into this precedent-breaking path.
‘We will fulfill our constitutional duty. We will honor the reason for which the founders created this body: To ensure our institutions and our Republic can rise above short-term factional fever.
‘The House has done enough damage. The Senate is ready to fulfill our duty.’