January 19, 2020

House Intelligence Chair Rep. Adam Schiff laid out very plainly to ABC's George Stephanopoulos why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will make a complete mockery of the impeachment trial if he does Trump's bidding and doesn't even allow for witnesses.

Stephanopoulos asked Schiff whether they may ask for Lev Parnas to testify, and whether or not they're concerned about Parnas being seen as credible or not given the fact that he's under indictment.

"Well, look, you know, it is the fact with many of the people surrounding the president that they end up indicted. These are the people that the president has chosen to work with, people like, you know, Michael Cohen, like Lev Parnas, like so many others, Paul Manafort," Schiff explained. "And these are people that do have information about the president's misconduct. But right now, George, we don't know what witnesses will be allowed and even if we'll be allowed witnesses."

Exactly. Trump's the one who chose to surround himself with criminals. Schiff went onto explain what public reaction would be if there was a courtroom trial that was allowed to be conducted in the manner these Republicans and McConnell are proposing.

SCHIFF: The threshold issue here, George, is will there be a fair trial? Will the senators allow the House to call witnesses to introduce documents? That is the foundational issue on which everything else rests. And one thing that the public is overwhelmingly in support of, and that is a fair trial.

Imagine that you're a juror, people watching your show from around the country. Imagine that they're a juror and the judge comes into the courtroom and says, look, I've been in consultation with the defendant. I'm working hand in hand with the defendant and we've agreed that I'm not going to allow the prosecution to call any witnesses and I'm not going to allow the prosecution to show you any documents. I will only allow the prosecution to read the cold transcripts from the grand jury.

No juror has ever heard that kind of a thing from a judge because it would be absurd. It would be a mockery of a trial, not a trial. But that is what Senator McConnell to date is proposing, but that's not what the American people want and I don't think it's true to the oath senators have taken to be impartial administers of justice.

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