They’re calling him “Midnight Mitch.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell, that is —Republican majority leader of the jury of Senators who will determine the fate of the Trump presidency, at least in the short term.
The new nickname comes from one of the ground rules for the impeachment trial as proposed by McConnell late Monday, which will be subject to a fiery, party-line debate Tuesday afternoon and probably well into the night.
McConnell is “apparently worried that Americans will watch every moment of the historic proceedings,” writes Jennifer Rubin for the Washington Post, so he wants to give each side in the trial a total of 24 hours of argument in just two days, starting not in the morning, but in early afternoon.
McConnell appears to be banking on TV viewers fading away as the debate drags into the night — and probably into the next morning.
“Beginning at 1 p.m. and allowing for some breaks, McConnell’s preferred schedule would result in a trial in the dead of night,” writes Rubin. “Nothing smells more like a coverup than a trial at 2 a.m.”
“The impeachment managers from the House [trial prosecutors], all Democrats, accused Mr. McConnell of doing the president’s bidding with his proposed rules, calling it a ‘rigged process’ that would “further conceal the president’s misconduct,’” reports the New York Times.
“I do think that by structuring the trial this way, it furthers our case that what’s going on here really is a cover-up of evidence to the American people,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), leader of the House impeachment managers.
The Twitterverse lit up after the proposed trial rules were made public: