Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently took aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying he will not be an “impartial juror” during the impeachment trial of President Trump.
“Let the American people hear it loud and clear, the Republican leader said, proudly, ‘I’m not an impartial juror. I’m not impartial about this at all.’ That is an astonishing admission of partisanship,” Schumer said in a floor speech before the Senate left on a two-week vacation.
Schumer’s comments imply that the Senate should serve as an impartial jury, exactly like a criminal trial. But it simply isn’t that — and the Founders never meant otherwise.
The Constitution says this: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” And the Senate is, by design, political — and thus, not impartial.
Schumer knows that, and he said exactly the same thing as McConnell in the 1990s when the Senate mulled the removal of President Clinton, a Democrat.
In several TV appearances in 1998 and 1999 reviewed by CNN’s KFile, “Schumer noted that senators had previously formed opinions heading into the trial and that the Senate was ‘not like a jury box,’” CNN reported.
After Schumer’s old comments emerged, a spokesman for the New York Democrat told CNN in an email on Friday that “his statements came after the conclusion of the Starr investigation.”
Lawmakers have been elected by voters to serve their interests, and they did just that when Clinton was impeached — every single Democrat in the Senate voted to acquit, despite definitive proof Clinton had committed perjury.