Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., discussed the inevitable Senate impeachment trial on CNN Monday, where he explained why his vote to acquit President Clinton in 1999 is different than his views on the current impeachment circumstances surrounding President Trump.
During the 1999 impeachment of Bill Clinton, Schumer said there was no need for new evidence in a Senate trial and voted against allowing new evidence to be revealed. Now, when Schumer is in the minority and wants new evidence against Trump, it appears his standards have flipped. For Schumer, there was no need for new evidence for a Democrat, but for a Republican there’s always room for more evidence in an impeachment trial.
“Historically speaking, you also voted against admitting new evidence into the Senate trial in 1999,” said John Berman, co-anchor of News Day on CNN.
“Well that’s because they jammed it,” Schumer said.
“What’s different saying in 1999 I don’t want any evidence? You said no new witnesses in ’99,” Berman said.
“The Republicans could not negotiate a fair bunch of witnesses with the Democrats. Just, there was a 55-45 vote. That was because it wasn’t a bipartisan negotiation. It should be now,” Schumer said.
🚨📺 The Schumer standard: One set of rules for Democratic Presidents and another for Republican Presidents. ↓ pic.twitter.com/8knHGyyEE7
— Senate Republican Communications Center (@SRCC) December 16, 2019
According to Schumer, the Clinton impeachment trial was partisan, but the Trump impeachment trial is not. That’s comical, considering that not one House Republican voted to open an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Democrats are saying Republicans are hypocritical and should not help Trump during these impeachment proceedings. But, if Republicans have to own their “hypocrisy” on Trump, then Democrats have to own that they now have seven members, including their own leader, who thought Clinton’s perjury was not worth holding a trail over.
In 1999, the following seven Senate Democrats voted to acquit Clinton on both articles of impeachment for lying under oath and obstruction of justice.
- Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
- Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
- Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
- Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
- Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
- Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
- Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Clearly, Democrats voted among partisan lines. If Democrats expect for one second that Republicans would own up to their alleged hypocrisy, they have to take a hard look in the mirror first. Even today, Senate is riddled with partisans Democrats who would never vote out someone from their own party.