WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday rejected a proposal from Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer to call witnesses during the expected Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump next month, hardening the partisan split over the historic process.
For his part, Trump fired off an angry six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has spearheaded the impeachment, denying any wrongdoing a day before the full House is expected to approve two articles of impeachment against him.
“More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials,” he wrote in language that often appeared to echo his daily tweets.
“You are making a mockery of impeachment and you are scarcely concealing your hatred of me, of the Republican Party, and tens of millions of patriotic Americans,” he wrote.
McConnell, R-Ky., said there was no reason for further investigation given the House inquiry since September.
“It’s not the Senate’s job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to get to guilty,” he said. “That would hardly be impartial justice.”
Democrats are pushing to impeach Trump over his request for Ukraine to launch investigations that would benefit him politically. The articles of impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week accuse him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
However, the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to remove him from office, and it’s unlikely that a lengthy trial will be held.
Schumer, D-N.Y., wanted Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting White House chief of staff, and John Bolton, his former national security adviser, to testify during the Senate trial. Neither of them spoke to the House during its investigation, but Democrats believe they have relevant information about the president’s behavior based on other witnesses’ testimony.
Trump blocked Mulvaney from testifying and Bolton declined to provide information unless forced to do so by a court.