McConnell‘s rules for the impeachment trial are a cover-up wrapped in obstruction
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delivered his resolution proposing the rules by which Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will be conducted. And it’s not as bad as many expected—it’s far worse. McConnell has not only set up Trump to receive a hasty, perfunctory process that offers no opportunity to interview witnesses, introduce documents, or seriously discuss the issues— the man who denied a single Senate hearing to Merrick Garland has also drawn up rules intentionally designed to hide the evidence of Trump’s crimes by squeezing the case into the wee hours of the morning.
Under the proposal put forward by McConnell, each side has 24 hours to argue the case for and against Trump. On the surface, that matches the rules of Bill Clinton’s impeachment. However, while in Clinton’s case those hours unfolded in prime time over the course of a week, McConnell is requiring that the case in the Trump trial be made in just two days. And if that sounds bad, it’s actually much worse. Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial in the Senate, has already informed McConnell that he needs to be at the Supreme Court in the mornings. So each session in the Senate will begin no earlier than 1 in the afternoon.
This means that, even if there was not a single break or a moment of process, each day of hearings will carry on until at least 1 a.m. More likely, House managers would be delivering the case against Trump in the hours more commonly associated with heart attacks and robberies. Forget bills that are passed at midnight; midnight will come in the middle of these hearings.