President Trump is taking issue with the Senate impeachment trial timeline, complaining that because Democratic House managers have decided to take up their entire allotted time to deliver opening statements, his legal team won’t have the chance to rebut and defend him until Saturday — a day the former reality TV mogul described as “Death Valley in T.V.”
“After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
The president’s complaints come as Democratic impeachment managers – including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. – have taken full advantage of the time set aside to present opening arguments, as laid out in a resolution adopted by the Senate this week.
Under the resolution, impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers were given three session days – totaling 24 hours – to present their case.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s original resolution had allowed for 24 hours of arguments over only two days, but Democrats complained that would push the trial into the “dead of night” and moderate Republicans voiced similar worries, nudging him to extend the timeline.
On the first day of opening arguments, Schiff, the lead manager, and his team used more than seven hours to make their case. That left 16 hours and 42 minutes on the opening statement clock between Thursday and Friday for House Democrats.
Nadler, during the second day of opening arguments, set the scene by accusing the president of putting his own personal interests above national security and American democracy, and charged that Trump is the only president in history to violate his oath of office so flagrantly.
Nadler even charged that Trump’s conduct “puts even President Nixon to shame.”
On Saturday, the president’s team will be given the chance to take the floor to present their case. Trump’s defense is led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Gregg Re contributed to this report.