McConnell Has Enough Votes To Set Impeachment Rules Without Democratic Support
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has accumulated enough votes to proceed to formulate the rules for the Senate trial for President Donald Trump‘s impeachment without Democratic support.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not sent the articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – to the Senate yet. Upon Pelosi’s release of the reports, the 100 members of the Senate would become the jurors for the Senate impeachment trial.
Congress had been in a partisan battle over the rules and regulations which would surround the Senate trial. The Democrats had been holding off, waiting to accumulate additional documents, which had been blocked by Trump Administration, and key testimonies from witnesses, which were never bought in fruition. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton stated that he would testify if he were subpoenaed after White House Don McGahan defied a subpoena last month under Trump’s direction.
McConnell had previously stated that the White House and Senate would work in collaboration to defend Trump in the hearing. McConnell stated in an interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.” Many lawmakers, such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) expressed discomfort over the matter.
Under the Senate’s rules, it cannot begin the hearing without the Democratic House’s release of such documents. Pelosi’s withholding of the Articles stagnated the resulting Senate trial – the process had become dormant, until one of the opposing parties budged. The GOP, however, accumulated enough votes to proceed with constructing the guidelines and regulations surrounding the case Tuesday.
According to multiple senators, McConnell is on the brink of having enough support in his 53-member caucus to pass a blueprint for the trial, which leaves the witness and document debate until after the opening arguments have been made.
The framework would be similar to President Bill Clinton‘s trial.
Schumer has pressured vital witnesses to testify and has also pointed the finger at the Trump Administration for hoarding new emails, regarding his decision to block $391 million in military assistance to Ukraine without telling Congress first.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-South Dakota) stated that the Senate Majority Leader is “trying to get a consensus among Republicans about how to go forward.”
“We are taking the temperature of our members to see where they are but I’m hoping our members will be prepared to move forward along the lines of the Clinton rules which is what we think makes sense,” Thune said. “What we’re aspiring to do is to get this process moving forward and indicate to the Democrats that as soon as they send those articles over here, we’re ready to go.”
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