Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) is known for his colorful commentary — and he didn’t hold back when asked to weigh in on President Donald Trump’s impeachment earlier this week.
“It was as fixed as a carnival ring toss,” Sen. Kennedy said of the Democrats’ impeachment process, which he later called “rigged,” according to Breitbart.
“The president was not afforded due process in the House,” Kennedy told Fox Business on Monday. “I mean, you can’t beat a rigged game. And the president was not allowed to call his own witnesses, he was not allowed to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, he wasn’t allowed to offer evidence until the very end. His attorney was not even allowed to participate.”
The Republican senator went on to say that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) decision to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate, which she will apparently continue into 2020, is “very odd.”
Where’s the due process?
As lawmakers go on Christmas break, impeachment is in limbo; Republicans and Democrats have both refused to back down from the partisan impasse set off by Pelosi’s “odd” move. For their part, Democrats have said that they will not proceed until Republicans let them call additional witnesses and establish a fair trial, but Republicans have been clear that they don’t feel any obligation to give Democrats a full and “impartial” hearing after the rushed and unfair process that unfolded in the House.
Kennedy echoed those arguments on Monday’s episode of Varney & Co., saying he finds it “odd” that Pelosi is “prohibiting” the Senate from doing something it doesn’t want to do in the first place.
“I find it odd,” he said. “Speaker Pelosi is now telling the Senate, ‘I’m prohibiting you from doing something you really don’t want to do, unless you do it in a way that I approve of.'”
Republicans have begun to claim that Democrats are usurping the Senate’s sole power over the Senate trial, as uncertainty looms about whether Trump has even been impeached. But Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been clear that Pelosi’s delay will not win her any leverage, and Republicans are confident that Democrats will cave sooner or later, Fox News reports.
A political exercise
Republicans repeatedly complained that Democrats impeached Trump in a process lacking transparency and basic fairness to Trump, with closed-door depositions led by Adam Schiff (D-CA) being a particular point of contention. In a strange yet predictable twist of fate, it is now the Democrats crying foul over “fairness” — but according to The Hill, Republicans aren’t buying it.
“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,” McConnell said on Fox this week.
Sensing their advantage, Republicans have confidently dismissed demands for “fairness” and additional evidence from Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who capitalized on an “explosive” newly released email that Democrats claim shows a freeze on military aid to Ukraine setting in 90 minutes after Trump’s phone call with the nation. Their decision to pounce on this has caused confusion over the absurd spectacle of Democrats both investigating Trump and declaring him already impeached at the same time.
“Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue,” Kennedy said, summarizing the garish display.