Schumer says McConnell is "hiding the truth" by rejecting request for witnesses at Trump impeachment trial

Schumer: “McConnell is hiding the truth”
Schumer: “McConnell is hiding the truth” 04:55

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is "hiding the truth" by rejecting his request for witnesses at the upcoming impeachment trial for President Donald Trump. The New York senator said on "CBS This Morning" Thursday the Republican has given "no good answer" for why there shouldn't be witnesses.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, in relation to his dealings with Ukraine.

Schumer has requested that four officials — former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser to Mulvaney Robert Blair and Office of Management and Budget associate director Michael Duffey — be brought in to testify at the trial. McConnell, who has openly said he is not an impartial juror, rejected the request.

The witnesses "actually saw what happened and can speak directly to the charges brought against the president," Schumer said. "There is no good answer as to why we shouldn't have witnesses."

The Democrat added the testimony they give "could be exculpatory," but said, "the truth should come out, and we are pushing to get the truth, not a sham trial where nothing new is learned." 

"We must get the truth, and Leader McConnell is hiding the truth. You know what the American people are asking … What is the president hiding? What is Leader McConnell hiding? If they don't want these witnesses who are directly dispositive on the case to come before us," Schumer said.

Schumer said he thinks the Senate will get the witnesses.

"Justice and history weigh on shoulders in different ways, and our Republican colleagues — Leader McConnell may be totally partisan. He may wish to make this impeachment trial into a sham, but there are many Republican colleagues, and many of them are wondering about this, thinking about this. And this kind of serious consequence weighs on shoulders in different ways," he said.

McConnell has accused Schumer of not meeting with him and negotiating through the press, but Schumer said he "has twisted the truth."

"Two weeks ago, I went to him and I said, I'm ready to meet whenever you are. He hasn't asked," he said.