Sen. Chuck Schumer told CNN today that he believes witnesses are crucial to the Senate trial.
"Witnesses are the most important part of the trial—and documents, don’t forget that. Witnesses and documents are the most important part. So we should negotiate those first, ‘cause that’s the biggest—that’s the biggest issue. It’ll be easy to negotiate the other stuff. But if we just do that, as McConnell wants, he could then cut the whole thing off and say, ‘No witnesses. No documents,'" Schumer told CNN.
More on Schumer, McConnell and the impeachment: Schumer on Monday blasted his Republican counterpart, McConnell, for taking cues from the White House on impeachment ahead of the looming Senate trial, saying the Kentucky Republican is "totally out of line."
As the House prepares to vote this week on two articles of impeachment, Schumer has been leading Democratic efforts to shape how the expected Senate trial will play out. But already, several leading Senate Republicans, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, have publicly declared their intention to acquit Trump, regardless of whatever evidence is presented.
In an interview with CNN's John Berman on "New Day," Schumer blasted McConnell for coordinating with the White House ahead of the trial.
"For him to talk to the President is one thing. For him to say, 'I'm going to do just what the President wants,' is totally out of line," said Schumer, a New York Democrat.
CNN previously reported McConnell and White House counsel Pat Cipollone discussed plans to coordinate a strategy for an impeachment trial in the Senate during closed-door meetings last week. While no final decisions have been made, McConnell and Cipollone agreed that when a trial begins, the House Democratic impeachment managers would have an opportunity to present, followed by Trump's lawyers presenting the President's defense, sources have told CNN