By Clare Foran and Ali Zaslav, CNN
Updated 5:17 PM ET, Fri December 13, 2019
Washington (CNN) Some Democrats are raising concerns about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement that he will coordinate closely with the White House on the looming Senate impeachment trial, with one House Democrat saying the Kentucky Republican should recuse himself entirely.
“He’s working hand in hand with the White House, with the President’s attorney, and yet we’re supposed to expect him to manage a fair and impartial trial?” said Florida Democratic Rep. Val Demings when asked about McConnell’s remarks. “I think he should recuse himself.”
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington called the coordination “ridiculous.”
“I think it is outrageous for the chief juror who is organizing the trial to be coordinating with the defendant,” Jayapal told reporters.
Under the Constitution, it’s up to the House to charge the President with impeachment, and the Senate to convict or acquit — making senators, including McConnell, the de facto jury.