WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who worked as an attorney for 17 years, is serving as a juror for the first time in his life as he sits in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Kaine says he’s “offended” that his colleagues in the U.S. Senate won’t hear from witnesses or review documents until after they’ve submitted their written questions, if they get to hear from witnesses at all.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s schedule compresses the impeachment proceedings into 24 hours of presentation, 24 hours of response, and 16 hours of questions submitted by senators. McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will select their party’s questions and submit them to the Chief Justice John Roberts, who will read them aloud.
The questions will be directed at either the White House council or the House managers, and Senator Kaine says senators’ questions would be more effective if they were influenced by what witnesses or documents said. There’s a chance witnesses and documents will be reviewed after the question period, but it isn’t guaranteed.
“As somebody who’s been in a lot of courtrooms, I’m deeply offended at the notion that the only opportunity that I have in this trial to submit written questions is being thwarted and limited by disallowing me from basing those questions on a review of evidence that should be available to me,” Kaine said.
If witnesses or documents are presented later in the trial, the senators won’t be allowed to ask any clarification questions.
Senator Kaine says he believes Republicans are refusing to hear from witnesses or review documents during the proceedings because they’re “afraid” of what’s in the documents or what the witnesses will say.