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Democrat Schumer during Clinton impeachment trial: Senators are not impartial jurors


Schumer said senators were 'susceptible to the whims of politics'

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Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) has blasted his Republican colleagues in recent weeks after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said he was not "an impartial juror" in President Trump's upcoming trial, but the New York Democrat's own past comments during the Clinton impeachment are coming back to haunt him.

In 1999, Schumer told CNN that Clinton's Senate trial would be "susceptible to the whims of politics" and that senators were very different than impartial jurors.

"This is not a criminal trial, but this is something that the Founding Fathers decided to put in a body that's susceptible to the whims of politics," Schumer said at the time on CNN's K-File.

The then-newly elected senator added, "Also, it's not like a jury box in the sense that people will call us and lobby us. You don't have jurors called and lobbied. It's quite different than a jury."

Schumer is singing a different tune now

Twenty years later, Schummer is singing a different tune. The senior senator from New York is slamming McConnell for his comments in advance of Trump's upcoming trial, saying he was "utterly amazed" by his Republican colleague's assertion that senators were not impartial.

"Let the American people hear it loud and clear, the Republican leader said proudly, 'I'm not an impartial juror. I'm not impartial about this at all.' That is an astonishing admission of partisanship," Schumer said in a Dec. 18 floor speech.

More double standards

Schumer also attacked McConnell after the Republican Majority Leader told Sean Hannity earlier this month that "there will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this."

"Everything I do during this, I will be coordinating with White House counsel," he added.

The New York Democrat said McConnell's comments were "out of line."

"Saying you're going to do just what the president wants is totally out of line and Mitch McConnell has received a lot of justified criticism for that,' he said.

However, according to a book by a former Washington Post reporter, "The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton," Senate Democrats privately coordinated with the White House and Clinton's lawyers on a number of impeachment issues in 1999.

In the book, author Peter Baker detailed how White House counsel Charles Ruff arranged a "secret signal" with Democratic leaders.

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