House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) during a press conference Tuesday said the Senate would be proven “guilty” if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) does not allow their “witnesses or documents” in the impeachment trial.
“If the Senate and the Senate leadership will not allow the … calling of witnesses or the presentation of documents, Sen. McConnell makes this the first impeachment trial in history without witnesses or documents,” he claimed.
“It will not prove the president is innocent, it will merely prove the Senate guilty of working with the president to obstruct the truth from coming out,” he added.
Some online noted the irony of accusing the Senate of being guilty of obstructing itself, since Senate Republicans control the Senate and setting the rules of the impeachment trial:
BREAKING: Adam Schiff accuses the Senate of Obstructing the Senate.
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) January 21, 2020
House Republicans noted the irony of Schiff — who they argue set the rules of the House impeachment hearings to disadvantage House Republicans — accusing the Senate of not being impartial.
The Republicans’ House Oversight Committee’s twitter account tweeted: “Remember when @RepAdamSchiff conducted depositions in a secret bunker? We do. Chairman Schiff is just playing politics. Don’t buy his fake outrage.”
Remember when @RepAdamSchiff conducted depositions in a secret bunker?
Chairman Schiff is just playing politics. Don't buy his fake outrage. https://t.co/0vOVPpYrDl
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) January 21, 2020
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, tweeted: “Adam Schiff has the audacity to talk about the American people’s desire for a fair trial for @realDonaldTrump. The public’s desire for fairness is largely what caused support for impeachment to plummet during House proceedings. Schiff is the LAST person to talk about fairness”:
Adam Schiff has the audacity to talk about the American people's desire for a fair trial for @realDonaldTrump.
The public's desire for fairness is largely what caused support for impeachment to plummet during House proceedings.
Schiff is the LAST person to talk about fairness.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) January 21, 2020
Schiff is claiming that new evidence House Democrats have received and witnesses that the House did not interview should be part of the Senate impeachment trial.
Republicans argue that Schiff could have called those witnesses to testify, which could have entailed a court fight, but chose to press ahead with impeachment hearings. They also argue that they are only required to look at the articles of impeachment the House sent them, as well as the evidence that accompanied those, instead of taking on new witnesses or evidence.
In recent days, House Democrats have said they would continue their impeachment hearings, and some have threatened to impeach the president again.