A Dem Senator suggested Sunday how a “rigged trial” might blow up in President Donald Trump‘s face.
“We keep hearing President Trump say he’s going to be exonerated,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) said on the new episode of This Week. “Look, if you have a rigged trial there is no exoneration in acquittal.”
Trump was impeached Dec. 18 for allegedly abusing power, and obstructing Congress. It was along pretty much a partyline vote, with none of the House GOP voting for the move. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Michigan, 3rd District), a conservative who left the Republican Party amid the impeachment controversy, voted for it.
Now the U.S. Senate is set to decide next year whether to remove Trump. Here’s Van Hollen’s take on the matter.
All the evidence points to Trump abusing power by withholding aid from Ukraine to get them to help him by interfering in our 2020 election. I believe he also broke the law by violating the Impoundment Control Act. I’ve asked the GAO for an independent opinion. pic.twitter.com/bJr3owAPbw
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) December 26, 2019
As things publicly stand, it’s highly unlikely there’s enough votes for the requisite supermajority. The GOP commands a 53 majority in the Senate, and Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell has signaled that he’s going to sandbag the process.
Van Hollen took issue with the majority leader’s attitude toward impeachment.
“Is Sen. McConnell, the Republican leader, going to try to rig this trial right from the start, working in lockstep with the president and his lawyers?” he said. “Or is he going to allow a fair trial? Which your own ABC poll showed 70 percent of Americans say that requires witnesses and documents.”
To be sure, there’s some GOP grumbling regarding McConnell’s approach. As Van Hollen mentioned, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she was “disturbed” to hear the majority leader promise to coordinate with the White House.
Trump and his political allies construe impeachment efforts as strictly politically motivated and intended to undermine his administration.
[Screengrab via ABC News]