The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign group dedicated to boosting GOP numbers in the Senate, released a slickly produced video Tuesday to mark the start of President Trump’s impeachment trial.
The video, which the NRSC promoted on Twitter with the hashtag “#HoldTheLine,” skewers Democrats for what it claims was their desire to impeach Trump since before he even took office, as well as their lack of seriousness about the process.
“This is not some neutral judgment that Democrats came to reluctantly,” the video says. “It’s not some somber moment or serious exercise for the left. It is the predetermined end of a partisan crusade.”
After showing clips of angry protesters following Trump’s swearing-in, the video displays a Washington Post headline from Jan. 20, 2017 — the day Trump was sworn in — that says, “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
The NRSC video also accuses Democrats of trying to impeach Trump because they do not believe they can beat him in 2020 — citing multiple quotes from Democrats — and then goes after their seriousness by displaying clips of Democrats smiling, laughing and handing out souvenir impeachment pens.
“An angry mob is at the gate, but the United States Senate has the watch,” the narrator says, in closing. “The Senate exists for moments like this. So it’s time for the adults in the room to have their seat at the table. Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have had their turn. The sham is over. A fair trial starts now.”
But Democrats have accused Republicans of running an unfair Senate impeachment trial process, specifically because the rules of the trial don’t provide a process to subpoena witnesses or additional documents until after House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team have presented their respective cases.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., proposed a number of amendments to the rules Tuesday night into the wee hours of Wednesday morning which would have subpoenaed documents and witnesses from the Trump administration, but none succeeded as the Republicans hold a 53-member majority in the Senate.
Sparked by a whistleblower complaint, the impeachment saga has centered on whether Trump improperly used his office to pressure Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelensky into ordering investigations — including into 2020 contender and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The obstruction of Congress count largely stems from Trump blocking several witnesses from testifying in the House impeachment inquiry and not complying with subpoenas the body sent on the matter.