Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has called for several current and former Trump administration officials to be subpoenaed to testify in the chamber’s likely impeachment trial for President Trump.
Yet, during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999, Schumer, D-N.Y., roundly dismissed the importance of, and voted against, such witness testimony — suggesting it amounted to “political theater.”
“It seems to me that no good case has been made for witnesses,” Schumer said during a press conference on Jan. 27, 1999.
Days later, he argued that there was no reason to call witnesses, saying: “I wonder if the House managers aren’t a little more interested in political theater than in actually getting to the bottom of the facts.”
As with virtually everybody involved in the Clinton-era impeachment on both sides of the aisle, the roles and talking points have reversed now that Trump is facing impeachment for his dealings with Ukraine. Republicans who cheered Clinton’s impeachment have condemned Trump’s. And Democrats like Schumer are sudden champions of the process.
On Sunday, the powerful New York Democrat penned a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., outlining the parameters for a weeks-long impeachment trial in the Senate, including proposed witnesses.