McConnell Blocks Effort to Subpoena Bolton and Mulvaney Ahead of Impeachment Trial

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday rejected Democrats’ request to subpoena several key witnesses as part an eventual impeachment trial, calling it a “strange request at this juncture” in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday.

McConnell was responding to a letter sent by his Democratic counterpart, Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), on Sunday that demanded the Senate seek testimony from four White House officials who did not participate in the House impeachment inquiry, including Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton, and proposed a format for the impeachment trial that closely follows the rules that governed Bill Clinton’s Senate trial in 1999. “In the trial of President Clinton, the House Managers were permitted to call witnesses, and it is clear that the Senate should hear testimony of witnesses in this trial as well,” Schumer wrote. At President Trump’s direction, Mulvaney refused to comply with a House subpoena. Bolton said he would only testify if a judge ordered him to do so.

That proposal made exactly zero headway with McConnell, who has said previously that he favors a speedier impeachment trial, as opposed to Clinton’s five-week trial. Instead of approving witnesses before the trial formally kicks off, McConnell said it would “presumably” fall to House prosecutors to make that request once a trial is underway—though Republicans, who hold a majority in the Senate, could vote to block any such efforts.

Even after leaving open the possibility that some witnesses could be called later on, McConnell took a few more digs at the House’s case for impeachment. “The fact that my colleague is already desperate to sign up the Senate for new fact-finding…suggests something to me,” McConnell said of Schumer. “It suggests that even Democrats who do not like this president are beginning to realize how dramatically insufficient the House’s rushed process has been.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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