Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the the first full day of the Senate impeachment trial into President Donald Trump represented “a dark day and a dark night for the Senate.”
After nearly 13 hours of rancorous debate over Democratic amendments, the rules for the trial were adopted unchanged in a party-line vote early Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Schumer said the trial into Trump’s actions began with a “cloud of unfairness” hanging over it.
Over and over during a 13-hour day Tuesday, Republicans turned back Democratic amendments to subpoena documents from the White House, State Department, Defense Department and budget office.
By the same 53-47 party-line, they turned away witnesses with front-row seats to Trump’s actions including acting White House chief of staff Mulvaney and Bolton, the former national security adviser critical of the Ukraine policy.
Though Republicans are resistant to the idea of additional witnesses, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there could be votes on the subject late in the trial.
Schumer urged his Republican collegues to “make this trial more fair.” “It’s not a quesion of ability, they can, if they want. It’s a question of conscience,” he said.
At issue is whether Trump should be removed from office for abuse of power stemming from his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter as Trump was withholding aid to the country, and for obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe.