Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org
Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy at Friday’s press conference. Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org
Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy at Friday’s press conference. Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Washington — The holidays came and went, but the impeachment standoff between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate continues as Connecticut’s senators join fellow Democrats insisting there be witnesses at President Donald Trump’s trial.

On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Senate floor speech that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to pressure him by holding back two articles of impeachment approved by the House last month is a “fantasy.”

“Their turn is over. They’ve done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now to render sober judgment,” said McConnell, R-Ky.

According to the U.S. Constitution, the Senate must begin an impeachment trial once it receives articles of impeachment from the House.

But Pelosi said she is holding back the articles until she’s convinced McConnell will hold a fair trial, including witnesses and other evidence she says Trump has withheld.

On Friday, Connecticut’s Democratic senators agreed with Pelosi.

“We need witnesses and documents that we have requested,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal in a joint press conference with Sen. Chris Murphy in Hartford on Friday.

The witnesses Democratic senators are insisting appear at the trial include former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

“I do not see how we can have a fair trial without an attempt to determine the truth,” Murphy said.

He also said “If Senator McConnell commits to a process to bring a handful of witnesses before the Senate, we could be done with the trial in a matter of weeks, not months.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said there has been no progress on Democratic demands that any trial include documents and witnesses that Trump blocked from appearing during the House inquiry.

McConnell “hasn’t given one good reason why there shouldn’t be relevant witnesses or relevant documents,” Schumer said minutes after the GOP leader spoke. “Instead of trying to find the truth, he is still using the same feeble talking points.”

The House voted to impeach Trump for abusing his power by holding back military aid to Ukraine, while asking Kiev to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. The President is also accused of obstructing the congressional probe into the Ukraine scandal.

Democratic arguments for the impeachment of Trump were bolstered recently by documents released under court order to the Center of Public Security and viewed in unredacted form by Just Security, a national security website affiliated with the New York University School of Law.

Just Security says the documents reveal that on Aug. 30, after meeting with Trump, Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, told Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller, in an email that there was “clear direction from (Trump) to hold” nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

Blumenthal said the documents “showed the Pentagon actively criticizing” the hold on the money “at a time when Ukraine desperately needed it.”

Blumenthal said he believes some of his GOP colleagues may “crack” and join Democrats in demanding witnesses and documents at the Senate impeachment trial, in which all senators will act as jurors.

But Murphy is more skeptical of GOP help.

He said Democrats will have to press for votes on motions to procure witnesses and documents.

Two-thirds of the GOP-controlled Senate would have to vote to remove Trump from office —  unlikely since there are 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats and independents who vote with Democrats in that chamber.

But only simple a majority is needed to pass rules and motions that would shape the Senate trial. That translates into four Republican votes. Sens. Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Susan Collins, R-Maine, each signaled some willingness to break from the GOP.

Whiles the scheduling of the trial is not known, there’s little doubt how Connecticut’s senators will vote on Trump’s fate.

“We have a pretty clear picture already on the crimes and abuses the president committed,” Murphy said. “But I want to see the full record because I want to doublecheck that the conclusion I’ve come to is the right one.”

Blumenthal said he’s seen and heard enough to form an opinion. “I think there is overwhelming evidence for removal and conviction.”

Meanwhile, McConnell on Friday said his chamber would continue with “ordinary business” while it waits for the articles of impeachment.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

Join the Conversation

56 Comments

  1. There is no “impeachment standoff”. You’re just trying to give these two hacks cover. The Democrats impeached Trump without Trump having committed any High Crimes or Misdemeanors as the Constitution requires.

    Now the Democrats have no evidence to prove their false and frivolous impeachment charges and they do not know what to do next to make it all just go away. They are stuck with the reality of causing the first impeachment of a President in the history of the United States that has absolutely no basis in fact or reality.

    Trump is coming out of this a hero, smelling like a rose while this will only get worse for the clowns that advocated and created this debacle.

    1. As interesting, albeit partisan, take…we don’t agree with it so it’s fake, (sound familiar?). Obviously there was sufficient evidence to impeach, and a majority of Americans are in favor of removal. My suggestion is this: let Mulvaney, Bolton et al put forward the exculpatory evidence to clear his name, although he will still forever be known as the 3rd impeached prez, and I highly doubt he smells like a rose! 😉

      1. A few years ago what you wrote would be considered satire but now you lot are out of your heads and willing to destroy American values to be rid of one man. Partisan take you claim but perhaps the impeachment evidence is fake, it doesn’t exist, and thus ignored or ridiculed.

        You want an Impeachment Trial of a US President to be like a Soviet trial wherein the accused must prove their own innocence rather than the prosecuting authority prove guilt as a bedrock of American jurisprudence requires.

        There is no evidence sufficient to impeach the president, it is not obvious nor has it been made public or even shown to those privy otherwise there would be at least one bi-partisan vote to Impeach in the House rather than the several bi-partisan votes to Not Impeach.

        If there was sufficient evidence an Impeachment Trial in the Senate would be underway.

        A majority of Americans do not want the President removed from his Office. That will be proven next November when Trump is re-elected.

      2. First, I’m not going to sink to your level with derogatory statements. Second, the impeachment is not fake, he has been impeached. Third, I want a FAIR trial, with witnesses called to present evidence, inculpatory or exculpatory. Forth, the trial will commence once the Senate presents its’ rules and the House presents the Articles. Fifth, yes, a majority, 57%, want him removed from office (this probably isn’t shown on fox). Sixth, the election is this November and it’s highly unlikely he will be re-elected, no matter how hard he tries to start a war.

      3. You must have been watching different impeachment hearings, with different witnesses. Wow. Just… wow.

      4. Except for this…if any of those people actually had any exculpatory evidence, they WOULD have testified, and Trump would have been happy to let them. Because he’s “got nothing to hide”, right?

      5. Ella,
        I don’t know why he she is even in this discussion . They are viciously partisan. No evidence? No witnesses (allowed). I am almost 60 years old and I have never, ever, ever remotely seen such craziness. I never knew how non.objective people are. I never knew how viscous people were underneath. I never knew you could say the sky is blue yo some folks & they could just look at you and say no it is not. I never knew a guy (trump) could simply lie like crazy and folks would believe everything he says.

  2. Bottom line is there is plenty of evidence to convict Trump of abusing power and extremely clearly obstructing justice. This despite the missing witnesses.
    In the flipside, there is no evidence to acquit Trump.
    Senate Republicans will violate their constitutional oath if they choose not to call the witnesses needed to acquit. Obviously we all know why they don’t/won’t.
    10 years from now, they will wish they did. Their name, their personal reputation will be forever stained. Their kids, their relatives, their neighbors, their parents in heaven…..many many will look at them with disdain. I truly believe that.

    1. What really makes me shake my head: all the Republicans whose position is “yeah, what Trump did was wrong, but….” Mind-boggling.

      1. I know. The facts are clear. I guess the only questions for all trump defenders are “are you okay with it”?. And “are you going to be okay with it when the Democrat president does it”?

      2. Oh, Lord, no. There was such Obama Delusion Syndrome that if he had done even a fraction of what Trump has done, he would have been impeached much, much sooner.

      3. So if Trump was a Democrat you would still be against impeachment. Okay.
        Not sure what Obama has to do with anything? And that sentence doesn’t make sense anyways.

      4. I think you misread my comment. If Trump were still a Democrat (he has, after all, gone back and forth between parties) or if we had some other Democrat as president who did what Trump has done, I would still be IN FAVOR of impeachment. My comment was directed at all those who believed that Obama was the devil incarnate, and could do no right, where Trump apparently can do no wrong in his supporters’ eyes. Even today, people keep trying to blame Obama for stuff. In fact, Trump himself said the missiles launched at our bases in Iraq (in retaliation for Trump’s assassination of Iran’s military leader) were paid for by money the Obama administration gave to Iran.

      5. NoNonsense,
        I’m sorry.
        I misread.
        I mixed you up with a Trump defender.
        I agree. Can you even half imagine if Obama did this with Ukraine!! My God.

      6. Isn’t it mind-boggling when others may disagree with your opinion which is obviously etched in stone?

      7. Having a different opinion, I am fine with. But simple question for you Meg, if you care to answer. If Trump was a Democrat, would you be FOR or Against impeachment?
        I personally can say Yes.

      8. Meg,
        I don’t mind when others opinions are based on facts. But when not…..It appears you are an ardent Trump supporter. So I will make the assumption that you believe substantially all that he says. Forget this impeachment for a minute, may I throw out about 10 random things that he has said in the last month alone and get you to simply say “True” or “False”, indicating whether you believe the statement is true or false??
        I’ve done this with a relative at times and she always ends up running out of the room crying in frustration. Of course, she only gets her news from Facebook.

  3. Connecticut’s Senators Murphy and Blumenthal can be disregarded as a matter of policy. The are both DNC drones who put party and foreigners above nation.

    1. True, Neither seem to have ever had an original thought in their entire political careers. They each define political hack.

  4. Tit for tat or quid pro quo is ALWAYS part of aid provided to other countries. With the exception of natural disasters, the U.S. always has a string or two attached to an aid package.
    Perhaps there are valid reasons for suggesting that Ukraine investigate the Biden connection to Barisma that are NOT related to affecting the 2020 election and are based more on corruption of a former vice president.
    Guess we’ll never know because any effort to dig deeper will be squashed by the Dems.
    Like the U.S. ‘NEVER’ attempts to influence elections in other countries (sarcasm intended).
    The leaders of all countries have conversations with each other that are not meant for public ears. Get over it.

    1. But there was a legitimate reason to impeach Bill Clinton,he committed an actual crime.

      Trump has done nothing wrong but put America and Americans first.

      1. Two if,
        I can very honestly say if it was a Democratic president who did exactly what Trump did, I would be for impeachment. Simple question for you, can you say the same? If Trump was a Democrat, would you say he did nothing wrong and should not be impeached? This is a simple Yes or No question.?? Please respond.

      2. When it came to “we’d like you to do us a favor, though” — that was not about America and Americans first. Trump never said, in that infamous call, “before we release the aid we promised you, you have to show that you’re making reforms in pursuing corruption so that we know that the aid will be used properly.” It was about “get us some dirt on a guy who might be my opponent in the next election, and his son”. It was about Trump’s interests first and only. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to dig up dirt on a political opponent. What’s wrong is asking a another country’s leader to do it, and holding up military aid as incentive for him to do it. Why can you not see that?

      3. Hunter Biden is completely separate issue. He has nothing to do with impeachment. He just happens to be Trump tool in issue.

      4. Your comment makes no sense, and doesn’t respond in any meaningful way to my point. And that speaks for itself.

  5. What exactly is the crime that the president committed? And speaking of witnesses, should Murphy be called as a fact witness, as he met with the Ukraine president during this period? Also why not Adam Shiff? I agree witnesses should be called and offered proof not conjecture or opinions.

    1. Yes. They should make a deal. Schiff and Murphy will testify and in exchange Mulvaney and Pompeo and Bolton will also.

      1. It’s a silly question stated in an even sillier manner.

        The better question would be, Why should President Trump testify in front of a co-equal branch of government that cannot compel him to do so?

        You sound like a grade schooler on the playground by using the word “scared”. The President will do what he thinks is in the best interest of his defense based on the advice of his counsel, the same as anyone would.

  6. Could the witnesses that our Senators want to call have been called to testified in the House hearings? If so, then why were they not called? Both the House and the Senate can issue subpoenas to appear. The Democrats told us that they have indisputable evidence that proves the charges in the articles of impeachment. So why does the Senator need to call additional witnesses; witnesses that could have and should have been called to testify in the House hearings.

    1. That is false. Schiff and Nadler as committee chairs can subpoena or not anything they want regardless of what committee members request or House leadership orders or demands.

      1. No, that’s not false. The House, if I recall, did subpoena a number of individuals who refused to testify unless a court ordered them to comply, since the White House prohibited them from honoring the subpoenas. If the House had pursued court proceedings in order to get compliance with their subpoenas, the impeachment hearings would be ongoing for weeks or months, at least.

      2. Your arguement is built on quicksand (obviously). You guys ignored all subpoenas that were issued. The courts are bizarrely, glacially slow, even in this case of urgent country need for all transparency and truth. Trump wont testify, surprise surprise. Nor will all his folks. Hey, here you go. Come to the Senate y’all. What a joke! What a mockery of the American people. What a mockery of justice. The largest obstruction of justice in U.S. history, hands down. “Where they are” is plenty enough clear evidence. A “rush”…..why, so you guys could drag it out until the cows come home, hiding behind legalities? Why we are even debating this is beyond me! It’s an open and shut case. Trump, get on the stand under oath. All his cronies, the same. Defend yourself. Nope. Why? We all know why.

      3. You guys, who is that. I for one am an independent not registered, associated, or loyal to any political parties.

      4. Yes it is false. You are poorly informed, glaringly so, or knowingly fabricating. Committee Chairs decide who gets subpoenaed for what, period. No one other than Committee Charimpersons have subpoena power of any kind. The Committee Chair is the Democrat Adam Schiff.

        There is no such thing as “acting jointly”; it’s made up of whole cloth. Proof in point Devin Nunes the senior minority representative on the committee, a Republican, could not get any of the witnesses subpoenaed that he desired as Schiff would not issue suboeaonas for any of the witnesses Nunes wished to call.

        The Democrats were in a rush to impeach the President but not to remove the President. Suddenly Nancy Pelosi refuses to perform and fulfill her responsibilities; she has stopped the impeachment of Presidrnt Trump.

  7. If the House causes an unreasonable delay in transmitting the Article of Impeachment to the Senate, then the Senate should issue a subpoena to Speaker Pelosi to deliver the document for the Senate.

      1. Then let the judiciary decide as proper procedures would dictate, unlike the process Pelosi’s HOR impeachment followed.

      2. The Democrats in the house should have gone to the courts to enforce their subpoenas as is the correct process. They claimed (falsely) it would take too long and they were in a rush. No rush in getting the impeachment articles over to the Senate though!

      3. I agree only that they should have subpoenaed more people. But as we all see what a mockery Trump and his folks made of that. It is obviously totally ingenious your claim that it would have made a difference. I never knew our legal system was so toothless . You could ignore a subpoena and then it goes to court for months and months and months for a decision?? Bottom line is there is overwhelming evidence already.the transcript alone says it all.plus the witnesses already. Repubs criticize Democrats for not obtaining evidence that trump kept from them and then say no more evidence is needed to acquit him .

  8. The good thing is number one, Trump was impeached. Forever a stain on the most corrupt, inept president in our history. The Senate won’t call witnesses at trial because he’s guity and such a trial would expose this further, or worse. That’s because Trump is even more corrupt than we currently know. And that’s okay. We will get rid of him in next election, I am very confident in that. What most people don’t realize is that, yes Clinton beat Trump by 2 million, 800 hundred thousand votes (65,853,514 vs. 62,984,828) BUT there were 7 million 830 thousand votes cast for other folks (i.e. not Clinton or Trump). This, plus fact that Trump, I firmly believe, has NOT expanded his Base, and not only that I have to believe a solid 10 million have peeled off of the 62,984,828 due to ….well….too voluminous of reasons to get into obviously….due to Trump.

  9. Nancy is delaying removing Trump yet the Dems told Americans that that they had to get rid of Trump as quickly as possible because he was a threat to our national security.

    How they lie.

      1. The American People will deliver the answer to your question next November but you already know the truth.

  10. Patriotism is defined as “the love one feels for his/her country”.
    “Independent” voters are more patriotic to America then “Partisan” voters (both sides of the aisle)
    And I find them much more well informed on issues. And hugely more objective.

Leave a comment