WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — During the first official action of 2020, Democrats and Republicans wasted little time resuming their battle over impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Trump was impeached by the House back in December through a historic vote split along party lines.
The proceedings are over a charge that he abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election — then obstructed Congress from investigating the matter.
On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, dismissed the Democrat’s demands for how he plans to run Trump’s trial in the Senate.
McConnell said he plans to follow the patterns set by the impeachment of President Bill Clinton back in 1999.
“Democrats have let Trump derangement syndrome develop into a dangerous partisan fever,” McConnell said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said McConnell isn’t abiding by the Constitution.
“Rather than acting like a judge and a juror, he intends to act as an executioner of a fair trial,” Schumer explained.
Schumer said the process won’t be complete without hearing from witnesses.
“McConnell’s comparisons to 1999 are hopelessly flawed and inaccurate,” Schumer said. “There were witnesses in 1999, leader McConnell.”
The two articles of impeachment are remaining in the House and will not be sent to the Senate until the Republicans promise to conduct a real, but fair, trial, according to Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland.
“We want witnesses, we need witnesses,” Raskin said. “We’re not going to send the articles of impeachment over until there the most minimal precautions are set for a fair trial.”
Regardless of the progression of the proceedings, Trump maintains that his impeachment holds no merit.
“It’s a big, fat hoax,” Trump said.
For now, it’s unclear when, or even if, the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans will be broken.