tv Bloomberg Markets Balance of Power Bloomberg January 21, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
i'm david westin. welcome to a special edition of "balance of power" where the world of politics meets the world of business. in just under an hour the united states senate will begin the impeachment trial president trump when john roberts gavels the procedure into order. on the table today are mitch mcconnell's proposed rules for procedures. the senate will be in session six days a week. we have reports from emily wilkinson on capitol hill and congress edgerson, our editor. what we know today we do not know yesterday? statementsve gotten from the house managers that will be prosecuting the case in the senate. they said not only are the rules mitch mcconnell put out unfair, but they have also challenged the white house counsel who will be part of president trump's impeachment team. they asked him whether he should be part of that team because they said he should be a witness
in the trial because he was involved in some of the allegations president trump is dealing with. we also have complaints from chuck schumer about the rules set out in macconnell's resolution. we expect to see amendments from the senate trial today. david: one of the issues is bipartisanship versus partisanship. adam schiff had this to say without this is different from the clean impeachment. , senatee clinton trial leadership worked out a bipartisan proposal for how the t.r.y. would be conducted. that has not happened. -- how the trial would be conducted. that has not happened. mitch mcconnell has not consulted with senator schumer at all. i expect senator schumer got to see it at the same time we did good david: where there any efforts made together to try to all? bipartisanship at anna: no.
we were looking for a meeting between schumer and mcconnell to try to reach an agreement on what the rules would look like as they did in the clinton case. they were both in the capital building at the same time and did not meet. now we have this partisan resolution put forth by mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell said he would cordon eight closely with the white house and work hand in glove with the white house. up to capitol hill and emily wilkinson. it was a sense what the atmosphere is like. what you expect between now and 1:00 eastern time when they gaveled in the senate? emily: this morning there has been an air of formality. we have seen senators begin to comment. we have already seen statements made by adam schiff, who is a house impeachment manager, as well as head of the intelligence committee, and chuck schumer, both saying the process going to
be voted on today is not fair and should not be compared to what was done for the clinton impeachment. at this point, we are all in a waiting pattern. everyone knows this starts at 1:00. i think there is a sense we are all very eager to get this underway. david: we are eager to see what you referred to as a formality. is there any suspense? is it pretty clear majority leader macconnell will get his way on these rules? emily: i think the votes today -- macconnell has been saying he has the 51 votes needed for this to pass. there remains other questions as to what else we will see as the trial continues. are we going to wind up seeing witnesses? are the house documents going to be put in the records. these are things that are going to be voted on. -- lisaseen senators murkowski of alaska -- say they
would be open to having witnesses. we will be watching every vote to see where some republicans and some democrats might break with their party. david: we may have to wait if mitch mcconnell gets his weight to decide whether we will hear witnesses or get documents. in the meantime, some people are saying are there serious about going 24 hours over two days? to 2:00 in morning the morning -- 1:00 in the afternoon to 2:00 in the morning? anna: they have isolated the timeframe they can use their 24 hours. at this point we are looking for moderate republicans to see if they will join with chuck schumer on the amendment. so far, we do not have any indication that will be republicans that would make that case, although it is not a good look for senate republicans, especially those running for reelection, to conduct the trial in the dark of night.
as we get into the morning, there will be an argument that senate republicans want to hide this from the american people. there could be interest in drawing this out over a few more days to more respectable hours. david: many thanks to anna and emily wilkins. now we want to bring in our panel of experts. rick davis, former campaign manager for john mccain's presidential campaign and david goodfriend, former staff secretary to bill clinton. rick, mitch mcconnell seems to have the votes. are there any risks for the majority leader? rick: sure. along the way there'll be these amendments that chuck schumer will offer. at any time he could have republican senators switch sides and vote for those amendments, which would change some of the course of the conduct of the
trial. he knows he has that risk. in fact, some members of the leadership have told me they do not know how long the trial will last. they would love to get it done quickly and that is the proposal macconnell has presented. david: what is quickly? rick: at most a couple of weeks. if you look at the time they are allocating, just 24 hours for rebuttal and cross-examine and the trial itself for the democratic side, they have stacked this in two day increments. first of all, the senate is used to working at midnight. everything that gets done in the senate gets done between midnight and 6:00 in the morning. that is not unusual. what is unusual is that even mitch mcconnell's early statements last month we will let this thing play out, it will take a couple of weeks -- he has presented a proposal timewise that at most will be a couple of weeks. i would not be surprised if some
of those amendments have close votes to lengthen the time they could hear evidence and have the trial. the reality is when you look at even what is in the republican interest, if the trial goes the course they think it is going to be, it is not that bad. david: are there risks or opportunity for nancy pelosi and for the democrats? rick: we are about -- david g.: absolutely. we are about to enter a realm of the unknown. in contrast to the clinton impeachment, where the facts were not in dispute, here we are entering a realm where the facts are fluid. we get new facts or the implication there are new facts every day. one of the agendas for the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, is to try to contain damage. that is why we are seeing this rush to get this over with quickly. if you look at the trendlines, both in polling and if we had a metric for new allegations, that
seems to be exacerbated with each passing day for the republicans. it is in their interest to try to contain the damage. i will note there was a time when a lot of us thought speaker pelosi would want this over quickly. polling was not showing a lot of support for impeachment. it did not look like a good gambit for the democrats, let's just get this over with and get the candidates for president back on the trail. look at how the positions have switched. now it seems below see is buying for a delay. there is this notion that more facts should come in, we need a longer trial. some people could accuse the speaker of lying to throw the presidential nomination to joe biden because she is taking all of the senators off the field. time is going to introduce more uncertainty. david: always true in any trial. rick davis and david goodfriend
will be sticking with us. now it is time to get a check on the markets. abigail doolittle is checking the markets. normally we say what is going on that might affected. impeachment is not but maybe the coronovirus? abigial: you are right. not much from the impeachment but from that fire is in china we have a bit of a risk off tone. less so than earlier. if you take a look at the s&p 500, just a fractional decline. that is what we are seeing for the small-cap russell 2000. that is a growth your index. we also have the transport down significantly. all of this is a macro uncertainty. if the virus were to progress to a worst-case scenario, it could certainly affect the profit outlook for u.s. stocks that is why we are seeing a decline for anything related to travel and tourism. that was certainly true in the asian session. the shanghai composite had its
worst day in two months. anything related to china is lower on the day. wynn resorts received 75% of the revenue from a cow. united airlines -- from macau. investors are getting rid of risks related to china, at least today. it will be interesting to see if cooler heads prevail. one bright spot, tesla. take a look at tesla. shares up 5.3%. one bull is defending the shares, and all of this -- the year is young -- tesla is already up 30%. the tesla bulls are in charge. david: it is a little bit difficult to believe. thanks to abigail doolittle in new york. now we will turn to mark crumpton for first word news. ,ark: as we have been reporting president trump sounding confident on the day his impeachment trial begins. the president's appearance at the world economic forum in
davos, switzerland began with him calling the trial a hoax and disgraceful. his economic achievements and said he is sure the whole thing will work out fine. china is trying to ease concerns the country's trade deal with the united states will not hurt exporting nations. the vice premier told the economic forum that china's pledge to buy more from the u.s. will not squeeze out other imports. he also pledged to lower barriers for foreign investors, saying "china will open its door wider." justin trudeau's first order of business next week will be ratifying the new north american free trade agreement. the prime minister says his government will start the formal parliamentary process on monday. the deal has been passed in the u.s. senate and is awaiting the president's signature. it has also been approved in mexico. the u.s. supreme court says it will not rush to consider
appeals defending obamacare this year. that means the fate of the law will remain uncertain till after the 2020 presidential election. justices declined requests by the house and democratically led states to speed up consideration of their petitions. global news 24 hours a day, on air and on quicktake by bloomberg, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in over 120 countries. i am mark crumpton. this is bloomberg. david? david: coming up, we will bring you more on the coverage of the formal opening of president trump impeachment trial in the senate. this is "balance of power" on bloomberg television and radio. ♪
david: this is "balance of power" on bluebird television and radio. i am david westin. we are back with rick davis, former campaign manager for john mccain's presidential campaign, -- david goodfriend, former and we are joined by our lawyer, a professor -- an expert on the supreme court and constitutional law. is factsof this trial and how much is the law? if you read the president's filings, it goes both ways. >> both are important. what is interesting with this case is the facts are in compute -- are in dispute and we need to hear more about facts. as i think about the conversation this past weekend, the law is in dispute as well. david: in reading some of the presidents filings, i'm wondering if they made a mistake and saying a lot about the
facts. if the facts are in dispute, you need witnesses and documents, and they are trying to keep those out. susan: i totally agree. if there is factual dispute, you need witnesses. i do not understand why the president tsai is making that argument. president's side is making that argument. david: we saw alan dershowitz say we take all the facts and there is no crime and therefore we get off scott free. is that a reasonable argument to say you have not allegedly broke the law and there is no case? susan: and a regular trial it would be a good argument. the problem is dershowitz made the opposite argument in the clinton trial and it is not a good argument on the law. in theory it would be a reasonable thing to say, but in this case, there is a crime, and it is impeachable. i think dershowitz is wrong.
in there obviously presence of a great legal mind, but i think there is not a single republican senator that will be persuaded by a legal argument. they are looking at this as a political exercise, and arguably the constitution encourages this to be applicable exercise. the difference between the clinton years, because i was sitting at my desk in the west wing pretended to be distracted by real work when the television was covering the impeachment. there it seemed as though the political theory among the republican majority in the senate we need democrats to vote with us in order to secure a conviction. of theas a lot of wooing democrats by the republican leadership. look at how dashiell and lott voted together, sending shockwaves through the clinton white house. today the republicans do not need a single democratic vote to get what they want. there is no effort to even try
to look like they are appeasing or winning over democrats. they figure they will not get any of those votes, anyway. reason is out the window. right now it is completely a numbers exercise. if there is no incentive for the republican leadership to get bipartisanship, they will be out try. -- they will not try. rick: it is not even a numbers exercise. you are right about a change in the culture that existed when the clinton impeachment started. it is a political exercise. this is a foregone conclusion the day the process began in the house. why didn't nancy pelosi in the house prosecutors call witnesses they are now demanding the senate call? because they had their own agenda. they had a rush to judgment and they wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as they could to make this a part of the beginning of this year narrative politically, and there was never a single republican senator who did anything other than say i do not see a crime. there was never an outreach by the democrats to woo republicans
over to their side. there has never been an effort in the house to include republicans in the process. they were ostensibly excluded from the process. we do not need your votes, so we will do it. i think that even though there was a lot of polarization in the clinton era, there is a significant more amount of polarization today. you are seeing a dramatic display of that by basically having an impeachment hearing in the house and a trial in the senate that by anybody's judgment is a foregone conclusion. just go weeks from now we will be checking the box and moving to new hampshire. on that note i have to ask my republican friend a question. it seems like we have canaries in the coal mine to see if there will be a shift in this pattern you've laid out. cory gardner from colorado, tough reelection fight, up against a popular former governor, john hickenlooper.
yes to make a calculation it is more import for him to stay with republican leadership than to follow the polls in colorado. if he looks like he is going -- theike he will questions that will be asked by the chief justice, if we hear cory gardner questions that sound incisive, then we can assume there will be a shift, may be of few republicans involved. susan collins may follow that category. everything else holds. david: that is a great cliffhanger. we will hold on and come back to rick davis. we have more coverage of the formal opening of president trump's impeachment trial in the senate. this is "balance of power" on bloomberg television and radio. ♪
we are still here with our panel. rick davis, david goodfriend, h, professor atoc georgetown law center. given the way the white house is responding to charges, did the democrats make a tactical error in not charging a crime? the constitution says is treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. if you are talking about an impeachable offense, abusive office is a presidential prime. it is not in the federal statute because only the president can do it, but it is a constitutional crime. david: it seems like the trump white house is arguing the reverse. no it is not. susan: they are wrong. in 20 trial starts minutes and regardless of whether it is a crime, they have to have a trial. david: is it dangerous for the
republicans to come across condoning what the president did? to call a foreign head of state and sake help me in my election. rick: it is impossible to know the political ramifications of impeachment. republicans thought they had a winner with bill clinton and it turned out to be a disaster for the republican party and they paid a price politically for almost a decade. it would be something i would be worried about if i was a democrat. here we are in exactly the same position the republicans were with clinton, and it was a disaster for them. why do i think this will work out well for me, especially considering the odds are president trump walks away virtually a winner. his strategy in theory of i am a winner and you will be able to mark up another i am a winner task. guys like cory gardner and susan collins, people up for election, it is hard to poll, will people vote for me more if i but for
this amendment that lengthens the trial? there are a lot of political gut check on how will my conduct during the trial affect my reelection? susan: i think it is wrong russ to look at this in terms of how does it play out politically for any individual good if you can agree the behavior -- using the office of the presidency for personal gain to help him in if theion is wrong, and house -- i think the house thought if they did not impeach and have a trial, than future presidents, including trump would continue to do this. i do not think they did a political calculus. i think it was on the merits of the law. david g.: i tend to agree with that. there was the notion impeachment would be harmful to democrats. speaker pelosi was trying to avoid the vote but felt enough pressure we have to do something or else we look like we are flipping a switch. i do think there was a decision that was a political or
anti-political at that moment. however, we cannot argue with the fact that bill clinton come at the time of impeachment, was politically popular, however you want to measure that. donald trump, outside of his base, is less popular. i would not go sort of say unpopular. even if you take the approach this is applicable exercise, is apples and oranges. taking on a popular president is different than taking on an unpopular president. rick: i would say trump would look at this as a way to reinforce his base. he does not see this as an unpopular thing. guy: many thanks to susan lo bloch, and rick davis and david goodfriend, who will be sticking with us. this is "balanced however -- ons is "balance of power" bloomberg television and radio. ♪
john roberts will gamble in the trial. the senate will then consider the rules for the trial and propose amendments to the trial. we will have much more coming up with our panel in just a moment. in the meantime, let's get first word news with mark crumpton. mark: president trump says he is planning a middle-class tax cut in the next legit. he also told dow jones he would threaten a 100% tariff on french wines if they did not back up their internet tax. he also says he is serious about imposing tariffs on european cars if necessary. senator elizabeth warren is outlining steps she would take as president to investigate trump administration officials. she is accusing the president of leading "the most corrupt administration in history." she says she would direct the justice department to investigate whether any official pilot of federal law. she has down to tackle corruption in washington if she
is elected. the united states and taliban leaders are close to reaching a peace deal. bloomberg has learned an agreement would see the eventual withdrawal of foreign troops to theghanistan and end 18-your conflict. doha.are underway in it is the second time in recent months the two sides have appeared close to announcing an agreement. in september, president trump called up talks after a suicide
american soldier. russia's chief opec negotiator is keeping his job. the kremlin says vladimir putin has decided that alexander novak will remain the energy minister in a new government. he has held the post since 2012. novak helped forge an historic cooperation ever meet between opec and non-opec states to cut production and lift prices. global news 24 hours a day, on-air, and on quicktake by bloomberg, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in over 120 countries. i'm mark crumpton. this is bloomberg. back to you in washington. david: as the senate prepares its impeachment trial against president trump, the issue of ukraine and a former associate of rudy giuliani looms over the proceedings. here to discuss is our bloomberg isicy reporter, rick davis here, as well as david goodfriend. atan low block, professor georgetown law center all with us. ck, bring us up-to-date on the left parnell's and what is going on with ukraine. it all has to do with ukraine and they're resisting russian attempts to move into their country. >> there are a couple of big question that are still hanging over the impeachment process as we move to the senate. the big one is, is there a smoking gun that would
definitively prove the president himself ordered rudy giuliani to work this back channel with ukraine and to try to essentially extract a promise to investigate a theory about in a 2016eligible election, and also investigate joe biden's son. to what degree the president was directing that, and to what degree rudy giuliani was freelancing, representing himself as an agent of the president, but doing it without the president's knowledge. a bunch of other questions surrounding the role of mike pompeo and john bolton and others, all of which we would have a much better idea , if thensight into white house was not blocking the release of crucial documents around the impeachment case, and also testimony from key officials like mick mulvaney and john bolton. david: one thing we know for
sure is, certainly, rudy giuliani was representing himself as the president's representative. do we believe him? >> it's a great question. some evidence that has come to light since the impeachment hearings took place in the house of representatives was a letter that rudy giuliani sent to the government of ukraine expressively telling them that he was acting on president trump's behalf. we know from testimony as part of the house and peter hearings and also in the transcript of the call that president trump had with ukraine's president, he said talk to rudy. something that officials at the low level within the administration also ran up against, repeatedly told to talk to rudy. so you have the president directing both american officials and ukrainian officials to talk to giuliani. there is a great deal of
circumstantial evidence to suggest the president himself knew about this quid quo pro and was demanding it. but you don't have that singular piece of evidence that connects all the dots to a point that would apparently really convince any republican that this is something he should be impeached over. david: we are going to listen into the majority leader mitch mcconnell, speaking in the senate. >> need to happen next. first, the senate will hear an opening presentation from the house managers. second, we will hear from the president's councesel. will be able to seek further information by posing written questions to your site through the chief justice. ourth, with all that information in hand, the senate will consider whether we feel any additional evidence or
witnesses are necessary to evaluate whether the house case has cleared or failed to clear the high bar of overcoming the presumption of innocence and undoing a democratic election. fair process will draw a sharp contrast with the unfair and precedent-breaking inquiry that was carried on by the house of representatives. house broke with president by denying members of the republican minority the same rights that democrats had received when they were in the 1998.ty back in in the senate, every single senator will have exactly the same rights and exactly the same questions.ask the house broke with fairness by cutting president trump's counsel out of their inquiry, to an unprecedented degree. here in the senate, the
president's lawyers will finally receive a level playing field with the house democrats, and will finally be able to present the president's case. finally, some fairness. point, our straightforward resolution will bring the clarity and fairness that everyone deserves. the president of the united states, the house of representatives, and the american people. roadmap for our trial. we need it in place before we can move forward. so the senate should prepared to remain in session until we complete this resolution and adopt it. this basic structure aligns with the first steps of the clinton impeachment trial in 1999. 21 years ago, 100 senators agreed unanimously that this
roadmap was the right way to begin the trial. the100 senators agreed proper time to consider the question of potential witnesses arguments anding questions. some outside voices have been urging the senate to break with resident on this question. loud voices. including the leadership of the house majority, colluded with senate democrats and tried to force the senate to pre-commit ourselves to seek witnesses and documents before senators have even heard opening arguments, or even asked questions. these are potential witnesses, mr. president, whom the house managers themselves to client to itselfom, whom the house declined to pursue through the legal system, during its own
inquiry. the house was not facing any deadlines, they were free to run any investigation they wanted to run. if they wanted witnesses who would trigger legal battles over presidential privilege, they could have had those fights. but the chairman of the house intelligence committee and the chairman of the house judiciary committee decided not to. they decided their inquiry was finished and moved right ahead. the house chose not to pursue the same witnesses they therently would now like senate to precommit to pursuing the senate to precommit to pursuing ourselves. as i've been saying for weeks, nobody, nobody will dictate senate procedure two united states senators. a majority of us are committed to upholding the unanimous bipartisan clinton precedent against outside influences with
respect to the proper timing of these mid-trial questions. and so, if any amends are brought forward to force premature decisions on mid-trial questions, i will move to table such amendments and protect our .ipartisan precedent if a senator moves to amend the resolution or order subpoenas to specific witnesses or documents, i will move to table such motions because the senate will decide those questions later in the trial, just like we did back in 1999. mr. president, today may present a curious situation. we may hear house managers themselves agitate through such amendments. we may hear a team of managers led by the house intelligence and judiciary chairman argue that the senate must precommit ourselves to reopen the very
investigation they themselves oversaw and voluntarily shut down. curious to hear these two house chairman argue that the senate must precommit ourselves to supplementing their to evidentiary record enforcing subpoenas they refuse to enforce, to supplementing a case that they themselves had recently described as beyond anyg and reasonable doubt. president, these mid-trial questions could take us even deeper and even into more complex constitutional waters. many senators have serious concerns about blurring the traditional role between the house and the senate within the impeachment process. divides thetion power to impeach from the power
to try. the first belong solely to the house. the power to impeach comes the responsibility to investigate. the senate agreed to pick up and carry on the house's investigation which set a new precedent that could incentivize frequent impeachments from future house majorities. it could change the separation of powers between the house and the senate, if the senate agrees we will conduct both the investigation and the trial of an impeachment. some of the, proposed witnesses include executive branch officials whose communications with the president and other executive branch officials lie at the very core of the president's constitutional privilege. pursuing those witnesses could
inevitably delay the senate trial and draw our body into a protracted and complex legal fight over presidential privilege. such litigation could potentially have permanent repercussions for the separation of powers and the institution of the presidency that senators would need to consider very, very carefully. mr. president, the senate is not about to rush into these weighty questions without discussion and without deliberation, without even hearing open arguments first. there are good reasons why 100 senators agreed to decades ago to cross these bridges when we came to them. that is what we will do this time as well. fair is fair. the process was good enough for president clinton, and basic fairness it ought to be good enough for this president as
well. eyes are on the senate, the country is watching to see if we can rise to the occasion. 21 years ago, 100 senators, including a number of us sitting in the chamber today did just that. the body proved a fair, common to guide the beginning of an impeachment trial. today, two decades later, the senate will retake that entrance exam, the basic structure we are proposing is just as eminently fair and evenhanded as it was back then. the question is whether senators themselves are ready to be as fair and as evenhanded.
the senate made a statement 21 years ago. we sent presidents of either party deserve basic justice and . fair process a challenging political moment like today does not make such statements last the sincerity, but all the more necessary, in fact. i would say to my colleagues across file, there is no reason why the vote on this resolution partisan.e remotely there is no reason other than base partisan djitte to say this particular president deserves a radically different rulebook than what was good enough for a past president of your own party. so i would urge every single senator to support our fair resolution. i urge everyone to vote to uphold the senate's unanimous bipartisan precedent of a fair process.
>> before i begin, there has been well-founded concern that the additional security measures required for access to the galleries during the trial could cause reporters to miss some of the events on the senate floor. i want to assure everyone in the press, i will vociferously oppose any attempt to begin the trial unless the reporters trying to enter the gallery are seated. here to inform the american public about these pivotal events in our nations history. we must make sure they are able to. some may not want what happens you to be public. we do. now, mr. president, after the conclusion of my remarks, the
senate will proceed to the impeachment trial of president donald john trump for committing high crimes and misdemeanors. is accused ofp coursing a foreign leader into interfering in our elections to benefit himself, and then doing everything in his power to cover it up. it proved the president's actions are crimes against the mock receipt itself -- democracy itself. greaterrd to imagine a some version of our borders to determine elections from within. for a foreign country to attend such a thing on its own is bad enough. for an american president to deliberately solicit such a thing, to blackmail a foreign country with military assistance to help him win an election is unimaginably worse. i cannot imagine any other president doing this.
that, for then the president to deny the right of ,ongress to conduct oversight deny the right to investigate any of his activities, to say article two of the constitution gives him the right to "do ," we arehe wants staring down and erosion of the sacred democratic principles to which our founders thought a bloody war of independence. such is the gravity of this historic moment. one senator -- once senators are sworn in at 1:00, the functions of a presidential trial will be complete. the senate then must determine the rules of the trial. the republican leader will offer an organizing resolution that outlines his plan for the rules of the trial. it is completely partisan.
it was kept secret until the of the trial. and now that it's public, it's very easy to see why. the mcconnell rules seem to be designed by president trump, for president trump. it asks the senate to rush through as fast as possible and makes getting evidence as hard as possible. he could force presentation to take place at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, so the american people will not see them. in short, the mcconnell resolution will result in a rushed trial with little evidence in the dark of night. literally the dark of night. if the president is so confident in his case, if leader mcconnell is so confident the president did nothing wrong, why don't they want the case to be presented in broad daylight?
on something as important as impeachment, the mcconnell resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace. this will go down -- this resolution -- will go down as one of the darker moment in the senate's history, perhaps one of even the darkest. leader mcconnell just said he wants to go by the clinton rules. then why did he change them in four important ways at minimum to all make the trial less transparent, less clear, and with less evidence? he said he wanted to get started in exactly the same way. it turns out, contrary to what the leader said -- amazed he could say it with a straight face -- that the rules are the same as the clinton rules. the rules are not even close to the clinton rules. unlike the clinton rules, the mcconnell resolution does not
admit the records of the house impeachment proceedings into record. leader mcconnell wants a trial with no existing evidence and no new evidence. a trial without evidence is not a trial. it's a cover up. the clintonke rules, the mcconnell resolution limits presentation by the parties to 24 hours per side over only two days. we start with 1, 12 hours a day, 1:00 a.m., and that is without breaks. it will be later. force mcconnell wants to the managers to make important parts of their case in the dark of night. three, unlike the clinton rules, the mcconnell resolution places an additional hurdle to get witnesses and documents, by requiring a vote on whether such motions or even in order. motion tote fails, no subpoena witnesses and documents
will be in order. i don't want anyone on the other side to say i'm going to vote no first on witnesses, but then later i will determine, if they vote for mcconnell's resolution, they are making it far more difficult to vote in the future, later on in the trial. finally, unlike the clinton -- mcconnellndo resolution allows a motion to dismiss at any time in the trial. so in short, contrary to what the leader said, the mcconnell rules are not at all the clinton rules. the republican leaders resolution is based neither in precedent, nor in principle. it is driven by partisanship and the politics of the moment. today, i'll be offering amendments to fix the many flaws in leader mcconnell's deeply unfair resolution, and seatbelt witnesses and documents we have requested, beginning with an amendment to have the senate subpoena white house documents.
let me be clear, these amendments are not dilatory. they only seek one thing, the truth. that means relevant documents, that means relevant witnesses. that is the only way to get a fair trial. everyone in this body knows it. each a senate impeachment trial in our history, all 15 brought to completion, featured witnesses. every single one. the witnesses we request are not democrats, they are the president's own men. the documents are not democratic documents. they are documents, period. ofdon't know if the evidence the witnesses or the documents will be exculpatory to the president or incriminating, but we have a solemn obligation, particularly now during this most deep and solemn part of our constitution, to seek the truth. and then let the chips fall where they may.
my republican colleagues have offered several explanations for opposing witnesses and documents at the start of the trial. none of them has much merit. republicans have said we should deal with the question of witnesses later in the trial. of course, it makes no sense to hear both sides present their case first and then afterward decide if the senate should hear evidence. the evidence is supposed to inform arguments, not come after they are completed. some republicans have said the senate should not go beyond the house record by calling any witnesses. but the constitution gives the senate the sole power to try impeachments, not the sole power to review, not the sole power to rehash, but to try. republicans have called our request for witnesses and documents political. seeking the truth is political? in the republican party, there is some serious trouble. the white house has said the articles of impeachment are .razen and wrong
well, if the president believes his impeachment is so brazen and wrong, why won't she show us why? why is the president so insistent that no one come forward, that no documents be released? if the president's case is so weak that none of the president's men can defend him him andth, shame on those who allow it to happen. what is the president hiding? what are our republican colleagues hiding? if they were not afraid of the truth, they would say go right ahead, get to the truth, get witnesses, get documents. at no point over the last few months have i heard a single solitary argument on the merits of why witnesses and documents should not be a part of the trial. no republican has explained why less evidence is better than more evidence. mcconnellss, leader
is poised to begin the first impeachment trial of a senate -- in history without witnesses, that rushes through the arguments as quickly as possible, that in ways both shameless and subtle, will conceal the truth from the american people. leader mcconnell claimed the house ran the motion -- most rushed and thoroughly unfair impeachment in in modern history. the truth is leader mcconnell is plotting the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeach and trial in modern history, and it begins today. has before it very straightforward question. the president is accused of coercing a foreign power to interfere in our elections to help himself. it is the job of the senate to determine if these various charges are true, the very least we can do is examine the facts,
review the documents, here the witnesses, try the case. not run from it, not hide from it. try it. if the president commits high crimes and misdemeanors and congress refuses to act, refuses even to conduct a fair trial of its conduct, then this president and future presidents can commit impeachable crimes with impunity , and the order and rigor of our democracy will dramatically decline. the final failsafe of our democracy will be rendered moot. decline. the most powerful check on the executive, the one designed to protect the people from tyranny, will be erased. colleagues,e, my each of us will face the choice about whether to begin this , orl in search of the truth in service of the president's
desire to cover it up. whether the senate will conduct a fair trial and the full airing or a rush to facts a predetermined political outcome. eyes of thes, the nation, the eyes of history, the eyes of the founding fathers are upon us. history will be our final judge. will senators rise to the occasion? i yield the floor. >> under the previous order, and leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. the senate stands in recess subject to the call of the chair. we have been witnessing the opening salvo which promises to be an ongoing skirmish between republicans and democrats in the senate. this is not strictly speaking the senate trial of donald j.
trump, but an opening procedural set of issues where we had mitch mcconnell proposing his rules for how the trial should be conducted, and beyond doing that, went into the merits, chastising the democrats on the house side, saying it was terribly unfair what they had done. whichsented that case, at point, the minority leader, notk schumer, said it was unfair at all. in fact, when you are doing with your rules is terribly unfair. it is different from what was done with president clinton, keeping the american people from finding out what was going on, talking about how they would do it in the cloak of night. we had a very partisan exchange. it is clear senator schumer will be proposing several amendments to try to clean up what he regards as unfairness in the rules. it should be noted, although it's true in the clinton impeachment trial they didn't vote on the witnesses until after the proceedings, they did
end up calling witnesses. i'm not sure that mitch mcconnell wants that part respected. he kept saying, this is just what we did with president clinton. that is the opening procedural skirmish. in a few moments time, we will have the chief justice john roberts take his position on the dais. at which point, we expect we will have a skirmish, formal amendments proposed, and a fair amount of debate. that will take us through most of the day. we want to go to emily welcomes on capitol hill. what did we just see? mcconnell,itch democratic leader chuck schumer make their opening statements not necessarily for impeachment, but for the rules and the process that will dictate this impeachment trial. you saw mcconnell come out immediately, saying the house had done and unfair job. you also saw him make s