"We have the votes."— ABC News (@ABC) January 7, 2020
JUST IN: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces that a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump would begin without deciding the question of witnesses as Democrats are demanding. https://t.co/OAfCCkQqsG pic.twitter.com/NuSy4912QD
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly moving forward with the rules of an impeachment trial and leaving demands from Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the dust. That means no Democrat witnesses and no additional document requests.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is on the verge of having sufficient backing in his 53-member caucus to pass a blueprint for the trial that leaves the question of seeking witnesses and documents until after opening arguments are made, according to multiple senators. That framework would mirror the contours of President Bill Clinton’s trial and ignore Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s demands for witnesses and new evidence.
No final decision has been made, but in a brief interview, McConnell said he would address the possibility of spurning Democrats on Tuesday afternoon.
But while McConnell moves forward with the parameters of a trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still refusing to turn over two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate. As McConnell noted during a speech on the Senate floor last week, until she does so, nothing can move forward.
"Their turn is over. They have done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now -- to render sober judgment as the framers envisioned. But we can’t hold a trial without the articles. The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that. So, for now, we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder. For now," he said.
Pelosi's refusal prompted Republican Senator Josh Hawley to call for a change in Senate rules, which would allow for the articles be dismissed without a trial.
It’s time to challenge Nancy Pelosi’s assault on the Constitution. Today I’m introducing a change to the Senate rules to force Pelosi & the Dems to send the Senate the impeachment articles for trial - or have them dismissed pic.twitter.com/hbSRmNuWIa— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 6, 2020