Schumer on Proceeding With Impeachment: 'The House Is Running a Fair Process'

Reacting to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi directing House committee chairs to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called impeachment "a very solemn duty and solemn undertaking."

Schumer referred to the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, concluding that Trump had used his power to "solicit foreign interference" in the 2020 elections.

"The gravity of those charges demands that senators, if articles of impeachment are served to us, to put country over party and examine the evidence without prejudice or partisanship," Schumer said Thursday during a speech on the Senate floor.

Schumer disagreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who argued that the House impeachment process has been too short and hasn't included enough GOP witnesses.

"The Republican leader is simply wrong to suggest that the House process has been anything but deliberate, even-handed, and serious. Speaker Pelosi, the House Intelligence Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, are proceeding exactly how the Constitution prescribes," Schumer said. "But second, it is the height of hypocrisy to criticize the House process for being too short and not including enough witnesses when the Trump administration is the one blocking witnesses from testifying."

Republicans had wanted to include witnesses such as the whistleblower and Hunter Biden as part of the impeachment inquiry while Democrats wanted former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing with lawyers on Wednesday.

"It is the height of hypocrisy to criticize the House for not including enough opportunities for the president to make his defense when the president is refusing to participate. It is the height of hypocrisy to say that there are not enough witnesses when we don't hear a peep out of the Republicans urging the president to allow the witnesses that the House wanted to come forward," he said.

"I'd remind my colleagues if the articles of impeachment are indeed passed by the House, Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans must work with Democrats to set the parameters of a fair and impartial trial. Every member of the Senate should support a fair process. The House is running a fair process now. We must do the same in the Senate if it comes to that. All week, I have been urging my Senate Republican colleagues not to spread or even speculate about the dangerous myth that Ukraine, not just Putin, interfered in the 2016 elections," he added.