Democrats unexpectedly offered a series of hopeless amendments to the resolution that would formally commence the U.S. Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday, keeping U.S. Senators and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in the Congress’s upper chamber to endlessly debate and vote on them all night.
Nearing midnight, Democrats were in the middle of their seventh such proposed amendment to the resolution from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that they knew was destined to fail when they offered it to begin with.
At the center of the strategy is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the lead impeachment managers House Democrats sent to the Senate, who has been on and off the floor of the Senate all day.
Each amendment has seen House impeachment managers arguing for up to an hour on behalf of Democrats, and President Donald Trump’s legal team responding for up to an hour—then roll call votes. Each amendment has been shot down along purely partisan lines, 53-47, with all Republicans voting to get rid of them and all Democrats voting against getting rid of them.
Top allies of the president panned the Democrats for betting it all on day one with partisan extremist antics and blowing up any shot at having credibility with the other side as the process continues.
“Democrats are up Schiff creek without a paddle,” Kimberly Guilfoyle, the newly named national finance chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee, told Breitbart News. “They don’t have the law on their side and they don’t have the facts on their side. All they have is circus performers who moonlight as members of Congress. They aren’t going to be able to hide behind bogus amendments or feigned outrage over the process. When all is said and done, this impeachment will be exposed as the sham it is.”
“Democrats hate Trump more than they love America,” Turning Point USA president Charlie Kirk told Breitbart News. “They hide behind fake love of the Constitution to thwart the will of the electorate with endless fake amendments and votes.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), in an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s program on Fox News on Tuesday evening, said senators were expecting to be there until perhaps 1:00 a.m. Other senate GOP offices speculated to Breitbart News that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s games may keep senators and Roberts—who is overseeing the trial that has yet to actually commence, and will not begin until the Senate adopts McConnell’s resolution—in the chamber until as late as 3:00 a.m.
“They decided to sprint out of the gate for a marathon,” one Senate GOP aide said of the Democrats. “You don’t win someone over by making sure they stay until 3:00 a.m.”
That point—about losing people who may have been agreeable to some of the Democrats’ demands later in the trial—is one that several GOP senate aides keep reiterating. In that eventually, when they may actually need some of the less conservative GOP senators to push for witnesses, Democrats may have burned any good will and lost the moral high ground before the trial even started.
Assuming the McConnell resolution is eventually adopted, it would create a structure whereby, beginning this week, there will be three days of eight hours length each—24 hours total—for opening statements for the trial where the House Democrats’ “impeachment managers” and the president’s legal team will make their opening statements. After that, senators will have an opportunity to ask both sides questions. Then after the question period of approximately a couple days, the Senate would consider witnesses and extra evidence.
But the antics Democrats are engaging in on the floor of the Senate before the trial even begins are turning GOP senators forcefully away from the possibility of working with Democrats later in the trial—a positive sign for the president.
“GOP senators are livid that the halfwit House impeachment managers are using them as props to boost Rachel Maddow’s ratings,” another senior Senate GOP aide told Breitbart News. “Being forced to listen to Zoe Lofgren read her script is going to turn Susan Collins into Ted Cruz.”