ABC Provides Megaphone to Dems Crying ‘Cover-Up’ on Impeachment

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On Tuesday, as the political PR battle ahead of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump began, ABC’s Good Morning America amplified complaints from Democrats that the process was “a cover-up and national disgrace” because of the rules outlined by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

At the top of the broadcast, co-host George Stephanopoulos worried: “As we join you this Tuesday morning, the impeachment trial of President Trump about to intensify. The first big fight, will it be a fair trial?” He warned viewers: “The prospect of midnight marathon sessions, the battle over witnesses, documents, and evidence. Democrats already calling the proceedings a cover-up and national disgrace.”

 

 

“The President’s team says these rules will allow for a fair trial, but Democrats say they will prevent the American people from learning the full truth and amount to a cover-up,” congressional correspondent Mary Bruce reiterated in a report minutes later. She added: “Democrats say Republicans are trying to hide the President’s misconduct in the dead of night.”

A long soundbite was then featured of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ranting: “It’s clear McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through. We hope that four brave Republicans will resist McConnell’s cover-up.”

In another segment that followed, senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega worried that the President’s allies would take to Fox News to frame the story:

The President and the White House want to see these surrogates out there shaping public perception. The President is very much concerned about not just what happens in that chamber but how the public views what is happening inside that chamber. He wants this to play out on Fox News to his base. We’re going to see the surrogates out there hitting the press hard...

The coverage on GMA echoed NBC’s Today show hyping “outraged” Democrats trashing Senate impeachment rules as a “national disgrace.”

Here is a transcript of the January 21 report on the ABC broadcast:

7:00 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: As we join you this Tuesday morning, the impeachment trial of President Trump about to intensify. The first big fight, will it be a fair trial?

The Senate trial of President Trump set for today as Republicans now reveal how they want it to play out. The prospect of midnight marathon sessions, the battle over witnesses, documents, and evidence. Democrats already calling the proceedings a cover-up and national disgrace. Our political team is live on Capitol Hill with the latest.

(...)

7:04 AM ET

MARY BRUCE: Before they even get to opening statements and the heart of this matter, this morning, Capitol Hill is gearing up for a fight over the Republican rules that will govern this trial. The President’s team says these rules will allow for a fair trial, but Democrats say they will prevent the American people from learning the full truth and amount to a cover-up. All of this is about to play out on the Senate floor in what is expected to be a contentious first day.

Today on Capitol Hill, fierce debate over what President Trump’s impeachment trial will actually look like. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell releasing his long-awaited blueprint. Each side will have 24 hours, over just two days, to make their opening statements. It means senators will have to sit for 12-hour sessions, part of the Republican push for a faster trial. But Democrats say Republicans are trying to hide the President’s misconduct in the dead of night.

Then up to 16 hours of questioning from senators. After that, likely next week, they will vote to consider additional witnesses. Something Democrats have been demanding and even a few Republicans have supported.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: It’s clear McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through. We hope that four brave Republicans will resist McConnell’s cover-up.

(...)

7:06 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, he’s added to his team overnight with some of his strongest House allies.

CECILIA VEGA: Strongest House allies that you will remember from the House proceedings, people like Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, these are his allies on Capitol Hill, but also they are surrogates who he likes to see talking a lot on Fox News. That’s the other strategy in this. The President and the White House want to see these surrogates out there shaping public perception. The President is very much concerned about not just what happens in that chamber but how the public views what is happening inside that chamber. He wants this to play out on Fox News to his base. We’re going to see the surrogates out there hitting the press hard, we’re also going to see the legal team performing for that audience of one. We know that very much he was involved in their choosing. That these are people who we saw on Fox News a lot. This is – we are told this will not be boring. The President wants the fireworks today, he wants them to move quickly through this.

(...)

NB Daily Congress Trump Impeachment Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America Video Mary Bruce George Stephanopoulos

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