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    Recusalpalooza: Democrats Demand McConnell Recuse Himself from Impeachment, Republicans Respond

    Recusalpalooza: Democrats Demand McConnell Recuse Himself from Impeachment, Republicans Respond

    “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.” – McConnell

    Democrats added another ring to the impeachment circus Wednesday night when Rep. Val Demings, a Congresswoman serving as one of Pelosi’s impeachment managers, called for Senate Majority Leader McConnell to recuse himself from the upcoming impeachment hearings.

    From the Miami Herald:

    Rep Val Demings’ position, shared publicly by a just a few other Democrats, could undercut House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to frame impeachment as an exercise of constitutional duty. Republicans have argued for months that Democrats are on a partisan mission to remove Trump from office.

    Yet in selecting Demings on Wednesday as one of the seven impeachment managers, Pelosi is giving a national spotlight to a Democrat who has often gone against House leaders on impeachment issues — she first called for Trump’s removal from office a year before party leadership and is now agitating for McConnell’s recusal.

    Her opposition to McConnell’s participation in the Senate trial that is set to start next week stems from the Kentucky Republican boasting that he won’t be impartial in deciding whether Trump should be acquitted or convicted.

    “I’m not an impartial juror,” McConnell said at a press conference in December. “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.”

    Demings released a statement on Dec. 13 declaring McConnell unfit to vote in Trump’s impeachment trial after Senate leader went on Fox News to further detail his coordination with the White House on impeachment strategy.

    “The moment Senator McConnell takes the oath of impartiality required by the Constitution, he will be in violation of that oath,” she said at the time. “He has effectively promised to let President Trump manage his own impeachment trial. The Senator must withdraw.”

    Following the press conference announcing impeachment managers on Wednesday, when asked if she still holds that position, Demings told McClatchy, “I certainly do.”

    “I’m disappointed,” she continued. “As I said before, the senators and we have been given a tremendous responsibility, as well as the president. For the Senate Majority Leader to publicly announce that he has no intentions on being impartial and, as a matter of fact, he’s coordinating every step with the White House and there will be no difference between the White House and his views, is absolutely shameful. It’s hard to take that one back and put that toothpaste back in the tube.”

    In response, Sen. Marsha Blackburn called for Democrat presidential candidates to recuse themselves from the impeachment process. Her office released the following statement:

    “Tomorrow, one hundred United States Senators will be sworn in to serve in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Four of those Senators must recuse themselves for their unparalleled political interest in seeing this President removed from office. These four Democrats, Senators Bennet, Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren, cannot sit in judgment of the very President they seek to replace. To participate in this trial would be a failure of the oath they took to be an ‘impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws’. Their presidential ambitions prohibit their ability to view this trial through an objective lens.” – Senator Marsha Blackburn


    In Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial, an objection was lodged against an Ohio senator who was next in line to become President, if Johnson were removed.



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    Some people bring up Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Gigantic difference, Clinton DID some of what he was accused of. He was later disbarred for 5 years for making false statements on a deposition. Yet, the Senate acquitted him.

      BobM in reply to Romey. | January 16, 2020 at 11:46 pm

      “Acquitted” as a judicial term that doesn’t really reflect what the senate does when it doesn’t vote to remove someone who is impeached from office. McConnell is correct in that impeachment is not a purely judicial process, so that judicial terminology doesn’t really mean the same thing in this circumstance. You can actually break dozens of laws and not be removed from office – or break no laws at all and still be removed from office.

      In the case of Clinton, he did break specific laws, specifically perjuring himself, but the senate didn’t get a 2/3rds of members to agree that that justified removal.

      Notice the Pelosi articles of impeachment never specify a specific criminal act. Even if you assume quid pro quo (which they arguably never proved) , if quid pro quo horse trading was illegal, diplomacy itself is illegal, and the past few decades of presidents and secretary’s of state have some ‘splainin’ to do. If refusal to voluntarily breach executive privilege without a court ruling on it first is illegal, executive privilege itself is illegal, and ditto on the ‘splainin’ again.

        artichoke in reply to BobM. | January 17, 2020 at 12:07 am

        No problem. President Trump should work out his deals, his foreign policy, then run everything by Adam Schiff for approval, and he’s good.


    artichoke | January 17, 2020 at 12:06 am

    It really is a very bad look for four senators, almost 10% of the Dem senators trying this “case”, to be running for president this year. The margin on a lot of critical votes could be less than 10%. Only 34 senators are needed to acquit. Imagine if the Republicans could count all 4 of those votes for themselves, the trial would be over on Tuesday.

    4 senators with an obvious vested interest is a huge number.

    aka Hoss | January 17, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Why are the Republicans making this so hard; just say “We are giving our democrat colleagues in the Senate all the same due consideration our Republican colleagues were given in the House.”

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