President Trump’s lead attorney took a shot Tuesday at the Democratic senators who have been forced to take time off the campaign trail, as they vie for their party’s presidential nomination, in order to attend the Senate impeachment trial.
In a rebuke to Democrats' comments about how Trump’s action would be viewed by the Constitution’s framers, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone derided what he called a “partisan impeachment” and mocked the 2020 presidential hopefuls in the Senate for wanting to be campaigning rather than in Washington, D.C.
"Talk about the framers' worst nightmare; it's a partisan impeachment that they've delivered to your doorstep in an election year,” Cipollone said. “Some of you are upset because you should be in Iowa right now."
Four senators are still in the race for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination: Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Michael Bennet of Colorado. Sanders is an Independent but caucuses with the Democrats.
With the Iowa caucus quickly approaching, the sidelining of the senators could benefit the two top-tier candidates who aren’t in the Senate: former Vice President Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
While Bennet is not being seriously considered as a contender for the Democratic nomination, Klobuchar, Warren and Sanders are still very much in the running -- with Klobuchar and Warren picking up a controversial dual endorsement from The New York Times editorial board over the weekend.
All three candidates have bemoaned being forced to stay in D.C. with the first-in-the-nation primary rapidly coming up.
“I’m here in D.C. and between you and me, I prefer to be in Iowa and New Hampshire,” Sanders told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Asked in New Hampshire earlier this month about the disadvantages of being stuck in the nation’s capital, Warren lamented the loss of face-to-face time she’ll have with voters.
“The real advantage to being able to have a primary here in New Hampshire is to be able to talk to people,” she told Fox News. “That’s what democracy should be about, having that back and forth, that give and take, and I want to be able to do that in person. Because that’s truly the heart of it.”
Klobuchar, in an interview with Fox News following last Tuesday’s debate in Iowa, said: “I’m coming up with innovative ideas which include Skyping in, sending my husband, he’s a good campaigner. My daughter.”
“I’ve just got to get back here and New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. I’m a mom. I can do two things at once," she added.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.