tv U.S. Senate Sen. Schumer on Impeachment CSPAN December 19, 2019 8:19pm-8:33pm EST
preserving fever breaking role for which the united states senate was created. and which outcome would betray it. the senate's duty is clear -- the senate's duty is clear -- when the time comes we must fulfill it. >> mr. president, last nightth e house of representatives voted to impeach president donald trump. it is only the third time in our nations history that the president of the united states has been impeached. the articles of impeachment charge president trump who abuse the powers of his office by soliciting the interference of a foreign power in our elections,
not for the good of the country but to benefit himselfy. personally. the articles also charge that the president obstructed congress in the investigation of those matters. together, these articles suggest the president committed a grave injury to our grand democracy. the conduct they describe is very much what the founders feared when they forged the impeachment powers of the congress. the founders in their wisdom gave the house the power to accuse and the senate the power to judge. we are now asked to fulfill our constitutional role at the court of impeachment. now, the house of representatives has impeached president trump the nation turns as i to the senate. what will the nation see?
will the nation see what alexander hamilton saw, a body of government with confidence enough to preserve a nod and uninfluenced the necessary impartiality or will the nation see the senate dragged into the depths of partisan fervor. the nation just witnessed how the republican leader sees his role in the chapter of our history, demonstrating both an unfortunate dissent into partisanship and demonstrating fundamental weakness of the president's defense. leader mcconnell claimed that the impeachment of president trump is illegitimate because the house voted along party lines. forgive me but house democrats cannot be held responsible for the craven this of the house
republican caucus in their blind fealty to the president. leader mcconnell claimed the impeachment was motivated i partisan rage. this from the man who said proudly -- i am not impartial and i have no intention to be impartial at all in the trial of president trump. what hypocrisy. leader mcconnell accused the house democrats of an obsession to get rid of president trump and this from the man who proudly declared his number one goal was to make president obama a one term president. leader mcconnell claimed the democrats impeach i the presidet for asserting executive privilege and president trump never formally claimed executive privilege in claimed quote, absolute immunity. the white house counsel wrote a
letter since stating simply that the administration would not comply with any subpoenas. leader mcconnell claims the democrats quote, obsession with impeachment has presented or prevented the house from pursuing legislation to help the american people. leader mcconnell knows very, very well that the house democratic majority has passed hundreds, literally hundreds of bills, they gather dust here in the senate condemned to a legislative graveyard by none other than leader mcconnell himself who proudly calls himself the grim leaper. members of the senate, members of the 100 16th senate have been denied the opportunity to legislate by leader mcconnell. we aren't even allowed to debate the issues that would impact the american people. healthcare, and for structure,
prescription drugs and we could've spent the year debating these issues and we were doing impeachment. leader mcconnell has chosen not to focus on these issues and to put none of these bills on the floor and as he reminds us often he alone decides what goes on the floor. leader mcconnell claims that the house did not afford the president due process. the leader knows well the president trump refused to participate in the process despite invitation and blocked witnesses and documents from congress in unprecedented fashion. leader mcconnell claimed the house ran quotes, the most rushed and thorough and unfair impeachment inquiry and modern history. i know that that is the erpublican talking points but here is the reality. leader mcconnell is plotting the most rushed thorough and most unfair impeachment trial in
modern history. his plan to prevent managers from calling witnesses to prove their case is a dramatic break from presidents. we heard a lot about presidents from the leader but never has there been a presidential impeachment trial which the majority prevented the house managers from fairly presenting their case to have witnesses explain their knowledge of the alleged malfeasance. leader mcconnell, breaking president, strong-armed his caucus into making this the first senate impeachment trial of the president in history that heard no, no witnesses. we ask is the president's case was so weak that none of the presidents men can defend him under oath? is the presidents case so weak that none of the presidents men can defend him under oath?
if the house case is so weak why is leader mcconnell so afraid of witnesses and documents? we believe the house case is strong, very strong. if the republican leader believes it is so weak why is he so afraid, relevant witnesses and documents which will not prolong things very long in our proposal, four hours for each witness. it is true, as the leader has said, the framers built the senate to provide stability and to keep partisan passions from boiling over however, their vision of the senate is a far cry from the partisan body senator mcconnell has created. i hope america was watching the republican leader deliver his speech. i truly do. because most glaring of all was
the fact that leader mcconnell's 30 minute partisan stem winder contained hardly a single defense of the president of the united states of america. almost none defended president trump because they can't. in the wake of an enormous amount of evidence uncovered by house investigators much of it in the form of testimony i top trump officials whom the administration tries to silence the republican leader could not rebut the accusations against the president with facts. the republican leader complained about the process anthropology and leader made many partisan and inflammatory accusations about democrats but. he did not advance an argument in defense of the president's conduct on the merits. that, in and of itself, is the
damning reflection of the state of the president defense. our goal in the senate above all should be to conduct a fair and speedy trial. i have proposed a very reasonable structure that would do just that. for witnesses, only those with direct knowledge of the charges made by the house, only those who provide new relevant and potentially illuminating testimony, strict time limits on each stage of the process to prevent the trial from dragging out too long. it is eminently reasonable, ne and group who had no partisan bias would come up with this type of proposal. i have yet to hear one good argument why less evidence is better than more evidence.
particularly in such a serious dement as impeachment of the president of the united states. leader mcconnell's 30 minute greed he did not make one argument or the witness and documents should not be part of the trial.t president trump protects that he did not receive due process in the house impeachment inquiry. due process is the ability to respond to charges made against you and present your side of the case. the president was invited to provide witnesses and provide documents at every stage of the process. he chose not to. still, democrats are offering the president due process again here in the senate and the witnesses we suggest our from top appointed officials and they aren't democrats and we don't know if there testimony would
exculpate the president or incriminate the president but there testimony should be heard. if the presidents council wants to call other witnesses this direct knowledge of why the aid to ukraine was delayed we say they should be able to do so. president trump claims he wants due process. i suspect he would rather hide or name call because if he really wanted due process he could get it easily. one phone call to leader mcconnell telling him to testify in one phone call to his chief of staff telling them to release the documents to congress in both of these actions would let the truth come out. i asked again, cannot of the presidents men, defend him under oath? to my republican colleagues our
message is a simple one. democrats want to have a fair trial that examines the relevant facts and we want a fair trial. the message from leader mcconnell at the moment is that he has no intention of conducting a fair trial, no intention of acting impartially and no intention of getting the facts. t despite our disagreements i will meet with leader mcconnell soon to discuss the rules but each senator will influence whether the senate lives up to its constitutional duty to serve as an impartial court of impeachment. in the coming weeks republican senators will face a choice, each of republican senator will face a choice, do they want a fair trial or do they want to allow the president free reign? each senator must ask him or
herself do you want a fair tri trial? or do you want the president to do whatever he wants regardless regardless of the consequences to this great nation. the nation turns its eyes to the senate and what will it see? the president of the united states has spent the past several months telling congress it had no right to oversight and no right to investigate any of his activities that he has absolute immunity in that article two of the -- >> the senate back from recess. turn your eyes to the floor. blc consideration of the following nominations. executive calendar 518, 519, 520, 521, 522, 523, 524