Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee raised concerns about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments that he will coordinate closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial.
Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat, said the Kentucky Republican should recuse himself entirely.
“He’s working hand in hand with the White House, with the president’s attorney, and yet we’re supposed to expect him to manage a fair and impartial trial?” Demings said when asked about McConnell’s remarks. “I think he should recuse himself.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal called the coordination “ridiculous.”
“I think it is outrageous for the chief juror who is organizing the trial to be coordinating with the defendant,” Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, told reporters.
Some context: If a simple majority of the House votes to impeach the President — which is expected to happen next week — the Senate will hold a trial overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
McConnell held a closed-door meeting with the President’s top lawyer, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, on Thursday to coordinate plans for the trial.