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Breaking: McConnell Reveals Rules to Keep the Trial a Sham

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McConnell lays out ground rules for Trump’s impeachment trial and compressed schedule to consider the charges

In a four-page resolution, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the opening arguments would begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, with each side given 24 hours to present their case over a two-day period. The Senate will vote on the resolution Tuesday.

The question of witnesses would be decided after senators have 16 hours to question the two parties.

This story will be updated.

This is kind of what I figured — make the House present its case in two 12-hour sessions. Like the trial isn’t being rushed enough already.

I’ll be tracking this story for a while yet, then we have dinner guests.

Update: I found a copy of the proposed rules. No specific provision is made for a motion to dismiss, and  the final rule says the Senate shall vote on each article “at the conclusion of the deliberations.”

It also says that after the presentations, 16 hours of questioning of the managers, and 4 hours of deliberation, equally divided, they’ll vote on whether to subpoena witnesses. If witnesses are subpoenaed, the witnesses must first be deposed by both sides, and “the Senate shall decide after deposition which witnesses shall testify.” Now that sounds to me like Moscow Mitch has figured out a way to force Hunter Biden to testify to the Senate while blocking Bolton et. al.

Can we find 4 Republicans who will refuse to go along with that? Not to mention refusing to sit silently for 12 hours a day? From CNN:

The resolution raises the prospect that the trial will have 12-hour days and go late into the night, according to a copy of the resolution obtained by CNN.

The timing is a break from the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton when the 24 hours were split over a four-day period.

Not surprisingly, Democrats are expected to object to the long hours and cramped schedule (h/t to LokiMom for the NPR link):

Democrats are expected to object to the plan for each side's arguments to be delivered in days stretching as long as 12 hours, into the early morning hours. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also plans to call for subpoenas of witnesses and documents when the Senate convenes Tuesday. The McConnell resolution would have the Senate calling witnesses and evidence near the end of the trial.

Update: Here’s a bit more about Bolton: Trump’s lawyers, Senate GOP allies work privately to ensure Bolton does not testify publicly

President Trump’s legal defense team and Senate GOP allies are quietly gaming out contingency plans should Democrats win enough votes to force witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial, including an effort to keep former national security adviser John Bolton from the spotlight, according to multiple officials familiar with the discussions.

One option being discussed, according to a senior administration official, would be to move Bolton’s testimony into a classified setting because of national security concerns, ensuring that it is not public.

Seems Moscow Mitch found a more clever way to keep Bolton from the public. Schumer and the Democrats have been saying they don’t know what Bolton has to say, and it could even be exculpatory. Obviously Trump and the GOP don’t think so, and I really don’t think Schumer is too worried about it either.

Bolton does have that book coming out, and soon, and when it does, it is not going to be pretty for Trump. Nor will it be pretty for Moscow Mitch when he starts to get questions about why he blocked the Senate from hearing all this during the “trial.” Two answers to that: One, the book is not testimony under oath (never mind that the president’s lawyers would have been able to cross-examine), and two, MM’s Kentucky voters don’t care.