Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) explained that senators were not impartial jurors during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
Clinton was impeached by the House but was acquitted in the Senate.
“We have a pre-opinion,” Schumer said during an interview on CNN in 1999, speaking about his position as a new senator who voted against Clinton’s impeachment as a House member. “This is not a criminal trial, but this is something that the Founding Fathers decided to put in a body that was susceptible to the whims of politics.”
Schumer has called for a fair trial in the Senate for President Trump’s impeachment and criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for saying he’s not an impartial juror in the trial of Trump.
“In fact, it’s also not like a jury box in the sense that people will call us and lobby us. You don’t have jurors called and lobbied and things like that. I mean, it’s quite different than a jury. And we’re also the judge,” Schumer said about the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999.
McConnell has pushed back against Schumer’s criticism. “Do you think Chuck Schumer is impartial? Do you think Elizabeth Warren is impartial? Bernie Sanders is impartial? So let’s quit the charade. This is a political exercise,” he said.