NBC Analyst on Senate Impeachment Rules: ‘It’s Very Hard to Call This a Trial’
The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins in the Senate today but there is already mounting criticism of the rules introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican has proposed procedures that could see no witnesses called and important hearings taking place late at night.
NBC Security Analyst Jeremy Bash was unimpressed by the rules, even claiming that the proceeding won’t be a trial at all. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked Bash what these rules will mean.
“Well what it means, Joe, that when we flash a chyron on the bottom of the screen that says McConnell unveils ground rules for impeachment trial, there are two words in there that really are incorrect,” Bash said.
“First of all, it wasn’t McConnell that unveiled it, it was the White House. Let’s not kid ourselves. The White House drafted these rules. Second is, it’s very hard to call this a trial. What this appears to be right now under the rules that the Senate Majority Leader revealed for the White House last night is basically a set of opening statements, a set that’s designed to occur mostly during the nighttime.”
“Opening statements crammed into two days, and the question of whether there will be a trial, because a trial is the formal consideration of evidence, that question is postponed for a later date.”
“And I think as Willie [Geist] pointed out earlier, there might be a couple of votes that are easy votes for some Republicans to take, like should we take the impeachment record from the House and bring it over to the Senate. To me that’s a no-brainer. No Republican should get credit for voting for that, no senator should get credit for voting for that. The question is, will there be a trial? And I don’t think we know that yet.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.