GOP Senators Ditch Dozen of Dems’ Impeachment Trial Amendments

At least a dozen Democratic amendments to modify the rules of the impeachment trial were rejected by Senate Republicans on Tuesday, outstanding rebukes that could have potentially been the final nails in the coffin of Democrats’ hopes for obtaining new evidence and testimony.

Democrats have acknowledged their ability to subpoena documents and witnesses that the White House denied to House impeachment investigators may have officially come and gone, Newsweek reported.

“Let’s be real. There will be no ‘when’. There will be no ‘when’,” House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff of California, who’s one of the seven impeachment managers, said during Tuesday’s debate. “You think they’re going to have an epiphany a few days from now and say, ‘We’re ready for witnesses?'”

Under the rules resolution by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)—which, for the most part, mirrors the trial rules of former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment—there is no guarantee for a final vote on witnesses or documents. There is only the assurance there will be a procedural vote that would allow them to debate the topic, something Democrats have labeled as an “unnecessary obstacle”.

Republicans, including the President’s defense team, support first proceeding with opening arguments and the lawmakers’ question-and-answer period, at which point the trial “will proceed to the question of witnesses,” as White House counsel Pat Cipollone said.

“A vote to delay is a vote to deny,” Schiff said. “When they say ‘when,’ they mean ‘never’.”

Eleven amendments posed by Democrats—10 of which were by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)—preceded debate and ultimate passage of the final rules resolution to stretch late into the night until nearly 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Republicans successfully rebuffed every amendment. One of the amendments, proposed by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), would have guaranteed a final vote for documents and witnesses later in the trial.

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