Every now and then the facts so glaringly clash with the Democratic narrative that even CNN is compelled to produce a report that actually exposes the side the network so clearly tries to promote.
On Friday, President Trump’s least favorite news network took an honest look at the impeachment rhetoric from the Democratic Party, particularly Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), and had to admit that what he’s saying about the impending Senate impeachment trial against Trump sounds a lot different than what he was saying ahead of Bill Clinton’s trial back in 1999.
McConnell’s description of himself as “not an impartial juror” when it comes to conducting the impeachment trial has Schumer and his fellow Democrats calling the trial illegitimate before it has even begun. But, as CNN highlights, “Schumer himself repeatedly expressed similar sentiments in the late 1990s when senators weighed the removal of President Bill Clinton.”
“I’m not an impartial juror,” McConnell said two weeks ago. “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.”
The assertion prompted denunciations from Democrats, including a righteous rebuke from Schumer, who claimed he was “utterly amazed” that McConnell would declare such a thing.
“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 declared in response on the Senate floor, as CNN reported.
“The American people want Mitch McConnell to be an impartial juror in this situation,” said Schumer, insisting later, “I’m withholding any final decision until we hear all the evidence.”
The problem with Schumer’s supposed “amazement” at McConnell’s “astonishing” embrace of partiality is that Schumer himself proudly declared his own partiality back in 1998 and 1999 ahead of Clinton’s impeachment trial, which began in January of 1999. CNN reports:
But in several appearances on television in 1998 and 1999 reviewed by CNN’s KFile, Schumer noted that senators had previously formed opinions heading into the trial and that the Senate was “not like a jury box.” Schumer was elected to the Senate in 1998 after saying during his campaign that a vote for him would be a vote to not impeach Clinton.
CNN provides several quotes from Schumer at the time, including these comments he made on CNN’s “Larry King Live” in January 1999:
“We have a pre-opinion,” Schumer said, citing himself and two newly-elected Republican senators who had voted on impeachment in 1998 as members of the House of Representatives who said they would vote in the Senate. “This is not a criminal trial, but this is something that the Founding Fathers decided to put in a body that was susceptible to the whims of politics.”
“So therefore, anybody taking an oath tomorrow can have a pre-opinion; it’s not a jury box,” King asked Schumer.
“Many do,” Schumer responded. “And then they change. In fact, it’s also not like a jury box in the sense that people will call us and lobby us. You don’t have jurors called and lobbied and things like that. I mean, it’s quite different than a jury. And we’re also the judge.”
Schumer told the world in an op-ed in February 1999 announcing his official decision to acquit Clinton that he had made up his mind back in September. “I will be voting to acquit the President on both counts,” he said. “I had to make my decision in September as a member of the Judiciary Committee in the House, and while I was in the middle of the campaign.”
Asked for comment about the clashing statements, a spokesman for Schumer told CNN that this situation is different somehow because of the investigation into Clinton by independent counsel Kennith Starr.
“These quotes all came after the Starr investigation, which included testimony from key witnesses including President Clinton, had concluded and been made public for months and as Sen. Schumer was in the anomalous position of having already voted on impeachment in both the House Judiciary Committee and on the House floor,” said the spokesman. “As is reflected in these quotes, Schumer believed then and still believes now that all of the facts must be allowed to come out and then a decision can be made — in stark contrast to the Republicans today in both the House and Senate who have worked to prevent all the facts and evidence from coming out.”