After a month of delay, the Senate will finally begin the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Tuesday. However, thanks to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), it may not last long — particularly if Democrats attempt to engage in the sort of underhanded antics that characterized the House phase of the process.
According to Breitbart, McConnell’s trial rules are set to include a so-called “kill switch” provision that would allow Trump’s attorneys to move for an immediate verdict or dismissal at various points during the proceedings.
“I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) explained on Saturday to Axios writer Jonathan Swan. “My understanding is that the resolution will give the president’s team the option to either move to judgment or to move to dismiss at a meaningful time.”
The need for this type of provision is evident, given who will be prosecuting the case against President Trump. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed impeachment managers last week, she made Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) their leader, according to The Hill.
History of dishonesty
Schiff, for his part, has exhibited a range of blatantly dishonest behavior throughout the entire impeachment saga — something that makes the McConnell trial “kill switch” all the more necessary.
During a September appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Schiff denied having prior contact with or knowledge of the CIA employee who filed a whistleblower report against the president.
However, a subsequent New York Times report explicitly contradicted Schiff’s claim.
“The whistleblower gave an early account of allegations against President Trump to a House aide who outlined it to Rep. Adam Schiff, who is now leading the impeachment inquiry,” the paper tweeted.
In another example of his propensity for deception, during a televised House hearing, Schiff read aloud a fabricated version of the July 2019 telephone call between Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, something the congressman later defended as an act of “parody,” according to Fox News.
Preserving Trump’s rights
That track record led Sen. Hawley to state in a tweet that the president “deserves the right during Senate trial to ask for a verdict or move to dismiss — otherwise trial will become endless circus run by Adam Schiff.”
And he isn’t the only one who feels that way.
“It’s incumbent upon the Senate to preserve the right of the President’s legal team to ask for a verdict or move to dismiss this sham impeachment anytime they see fit during the Senate trial,” a House GOP source told Breitbart. “Otherwise, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans risk allowing Adam Schiff and his conspiracy caucus to hijack and take control of the trial.”