Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer admitted in a 1999 CNN interview that presidential impeachments are “susceptible to the whims of politics.” Moreover, Schumer confessed that many senators often “have a pre-opinion” of their desired outcome BEFORE the impeachment trial even begins — and that’s OK.
In the 1999 video clip, Schumer told Larry King: “We have a pre-opinion [before the trial starts]. This is not a criminal trial, but this is something that the Founding Fathers decided to put in a body that was susceptible to the whims of politics.”
King replied: “So, therefore, anybody…can have a pre-opinion; it’s not a jury box.”
Schumer replied that the Senate impeachment trial is “not like a jury box [because] people will call us and lobby us. It’s quite different than a jury. We’re also the judge.”
In other words, Schumer admits that Senators like him can be lobbied and nagged to vote a certain way on impeachment — regardless of whether the burden of proof is met. Why? Because impeachment is a political (not a legal) process.
Surprisingly, the damning Schumer video clip was spotlighted by CNN’s anti-Trump blogger Andrew Kaczynski. In 2017, Kaczynski bragged that he had tracked down and threatened a Reddit user who created a comical WWE meme that showed President Trump body-slamming a CNN logo.
Kaczynski suggested that Schumer is being hypocritical for slamming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell because McConnell said that he’s “not an impartial juror” on impeachment.
Like millions of other Americans, Senator McConnell said the Democrats have failed to make their case that President Trump committed any impeachable offenses.
“What we’re seeing with Schumer is it’s very similar to what McConnell was saying just last week, where he was saying, ‘I’m not an impartial juror,’” Kaczynski said. “[McConnell] got attacked basically by the RNC, by his opponents, by a lot of people saying he had pre-judged the case. As we saw in the clip from Larry King in 1999, Schumer said, ‘This is not like a jury, we come to this with our pre-opinions.'”
In his Dec. 27 CNN column, Kaczynski noted:
“Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has blasted his Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell in recent days after he described himself as “not an impartial juror” ahead of President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, but Schumer himself repeatedly expressed similar sentiments in the late 1990s when senators weighed the removal of President Bill Clinton.
In recent days, Schumer has slammed McConnell ahead of Trump’s trial, saying he was “utterly amazed” by McConnell describing himself as not impartial.
But in several appearances on television in 1998 and 1999…Schumer noted that senators had previously formed opinions heading into the trial and that the Senate was “not like a jury box.”
Schumer was elected to the Senate in 1998 after saying during his campaign that a vote for him would be a vote to not impeach Clinton.”
During Bill Clinton’s 1999 Senate impeachment trial, Chuck Schumer wrote an op-ed in the New York Times explaining why he will acquit Clinton.
Specifically, Schumer admitted that he had made up his mind to acquit months earlier — in September 1998.
“My decision will not come as a surprise,” Schumer wrote in February 1999. “I will be voting to acquit the President [Clinton] on both counts. I had to make my decision in September  as a member of the Judiciary Committee in the House, and while I was in the middle of the campaign.”
Schumer then urged his fellow lawmakers in Washington to not use impeachment as a partisan tool to destroy their political enemies. “Let us shake hands and say we are now going to forgo bringing down people for political gain,” he advised.
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