Politics: McConnell tells Senate Republicans to be ready for impeachment trial of Trump - - PressFrom - US
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Politics McConnell tells Senate Republicans to be ready for impeachment trial of Trump

07:20  17 october  2019
07:20  17 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

McConnell tees off on Democrats over impeachment

  McConnell tees off on Democrats over impeachment Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) teed off against the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, marking his first comments since Congress returned from its two-week break. "House Democrats are finally indulging in their impeachment obsession. Full steam ahead," McConnell said during a speech from the Senate floor, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had "crumbled" to the "left-wing impeachment caucus." "I don't"House Democrats are finally indulging in their impeachment obsession. Full steam ahead," McConnell said during a speech from the Senate floor, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had "crumbled" to the "left-wing impeachment caucus.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republican senators Wednesday to be ready for an impeachment trial of President Trump as soon as While McConnell briefed senators on what would happen during a Senate trial , House GOP leaders convened what they expect will be regular

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his staff prepared his Republican caucus on Wednesday for the potential voting in an impeachment trial of President Trump in the coming months.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republican senators Wednesday to be ready for an impeachment trial of President Trump as soon as Thanksgiving, as the Senate began to brace for a political maelstrom that would engulf the nation.

An air of inevitability has taken hold in Congress, with the expectation Trump will become the third president in history to be impeached — and Republicans believe they need to prepare to defend the president. While McConnell briefed senators on what would happen during a Senate trial, House GOP leaders convened what they expect will be regular impeachment strategy sessions.

McConnell eyes quick impeachment trial in Senate

  McConnell eyes quick impeachment trial in Senate McConnell eyes quick impeachment trial in SenateSenate Republicans are preparing for a speedy impeachment trial that concludes before the end of the year.

McConnell Prepares Senate For Trump Impeachment Trial As Inquiry Escalates. McConnell and his staff told the caucus the trial could last as long as six to eight weeks, a senator in attendance said. There will also be other limitations that need to be met, McConnell noted with reporters.

Senate Republicans also say an impeachment trial of Trump would also get just the bare minimum time on the floor. “Why on earth would we Nancy pelosi 'Isn't going to be able to hold off' impeachment push from inside her party, senior house dem tells fox news.

In their closed-door weekly luncheon, McConnell gave a PowerPoint presentation about the impeachment process and fielded questions alongside his staff and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who was a manager for the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

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Impeachment is the first step to remove a president, with the House voting on formal charges and the Senate holding a trial in which it either convicts or acquits him.

McConnell said the Senate would likely meet six days a week during the trial, lawmakers said.

“There’s sort of a planned expectation that it would be sometime around Thanksgiving, so you’d have basically Thanksgiving to Christmas — which would be wonderful because there’s no deadline in the world like the next break to motivate senators,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said.

Don’t Be Surprised If Trump Is Never Impeached

  Don’t Be Surprised If Trump Is Never Impeached An impeachment that seemed inevitable a few days ago is looking more and more like it may never happen.Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives would not move forward with a vote on impeachment any time soon. The statement comes as a month of pressure has built up behind efforts to unseat the president over a phone call with the Ukrainian president. While Democrats insist, contrary to precedent, that they do not need to hold a vote, their unwillingness to hold one may show the impeachment train is skidding off the tracks.

Republicans who control the Senate view the fast-building case as serious enough to begin preparing for the trial in their chamber that would follow impeachment by the Facing accusations of secrecy from Republicans , Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans say they have no choice but to hold a trial if the House impeaches President Donald Trump . There had been some speculation that Senate Republicans might use their majority to quickly dismiss the case and do away with impeachment , rather than put

During the meeting, Graham lobbied his colleagues to consider a public declaration in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), which would describe Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seeking an investigation into a domestic political rival as “unimpeachable.” Some senators, however, pushed back against that idea, arguing that Trump would assume that those who did not sign the document would be persuadable on a vote to oust him.

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Meanwhile, Trump has continued to lash out at Democrats over their impeachment inquiry. During a Wednesday afternoon White House meeting on Syria and the Turkish attacks on the Kurds, Trump called Pelosi a “third-rate politician,” according to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). Pelosi later clarified that Trump actually called her a “third-grade politician.”

It was the two party leaders’ first face-to-face meeting since Pelosi launched the impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24, arguing that Trump betrayed his oath of office by pressuring Zelensky to dig up dirt on former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

“He couldn’t handle it,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol, speculating that an overwhelming bipartisan House vote earlier Wednesday condemning Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria had set him off. “He just couldn’t handle it. . . . So, he just kind of engaged in a meltdown.”

The GOP’s internal reality check on Trump’s impeachment comes as House Democrats have had success securing damaging testimony from current and former State Department and National Security Council officials, many of whom are voicing long-held concerns about Trump’s actions on Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Michael McKinley, the former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testified that he resigned from his post of more than 25 years last week because State Department officials were being mistreated — and because he disapproved of using foreign policy to advance political prospects.

“I was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents,” he told lawmakers in an opening statement. “I was convinced that this would also have a serious impact on Foreign Service morale and the integrity of our work overseas.”

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union — who is described in testimony as one of the “three amigos” designated to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens — is scheduled to testify Thursday.

Republicans have been trying to coalesce around an impeachment strategy for weeks, lawmakers and aides say. In the House, they have decried the process as unfair and secretive — even as GOP members of the investigative committees have fully participated in deposing the witnesses.

On Wednesday, Trump allies showed up to McKinley’s deposition and tried to enter the private meeting room. They were denied entry, as they are not members of the House panels — and then they raced to the TV cameras to accuse Democrats of hiding investigative work from the public.

“If this case was so strong, why aren’t we doing it in front of the American people instead of behind closed doors?” asked Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a House Intelligence Committee member who took part in the proceedings.

The House GOP criticism has unnerved some moderate Democrats, who began asking leaders about whether Republicans were being treated unfairly. In a letter to colleagues Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) sought to dispel those notions, saying that Republicans on the relevant committees have been included in the probe and questioned witnesses.

“The special counsels in the Nixon and Clinton impeachments conducted their investigations in private and we must initially do the same,” Schiff wrote. “It is of paramount importance to ensure that witnesses cannot coordinate their testimony with one another to match their description of events, or potentially conceal the truth.”

In the Senate, Republicans have been more blunt about their concerns over the impeachment process. During the Senate GOP lunch, for example, one lawmaker questioned how the party was going to stay on the same page throughout the process, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe the session.

Trump’s top allies moved to punish those who have questioned his actions. On Wednesday, the conservative Club for Growth announced plans for a 30-second ad targeting Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has called Trump’s actions “wrong and appalling.”

The ad accuses the 2012 Republican presidential nominee of “plotting to take down President Trump with impeachment” and being a “Democrat secret asset.”

Timing was a looming question in the Senate GOP meeting. McConnell said that he expected Pelosi to hold an impeachment vote by Thanksgiving and that the Senate should try to dispose of the issue by Christmas. But he also noted that motions of dismissal of the charges in an impeachment trial are handled at the discretion of the chief justice, who presides over the trial.

In this case, John G. Roberts Jr. would have the final word on how quickly the Senate could move, potentially complicating the GOP’s effort to short-circuit what could become a lengthy trial.

Republicans also expressed concern about an even more partisan Washington during a trial. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) remarked that impeachment could be “nastier than Kavanaugh,” the divisive confirmation fight last year over Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, according to two Republicans who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely.

“There was probably as much talk as anything about what will our lives be like through that trial,” Cramer said.

One issue that came up, Cramer noted, was the fine line Republican senators walk between criticizing the House-led impeachment inquiry and maintaining neutrality ahead of the likely Senate trial. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was in office for Clinton’s impeachment, said that members should not weigh in at all since they will be jurors in the process.

“The question becomes: How do we as a conference remain strongly united and open-minded should it come to trial, while at the same time, in the meantime, standing up for obvious injustices between now and then?” Cramer said.

Graham later crossed the Capitol to brief members of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) team and deliver a simple message: “Stick to your guns, and insist on a fair process,” he said.

Graham said the Senate, following the expected release of an inspector general report on the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation, would pick up where House Republicans left off in probing alleged bias at the agency that took place in the 2016 election. Republicans have argued that the Trump campaign was a target.

Graham has also promised to invite Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani to testify about allegations against the Bidens in Ukraine, which have not been substantiated. 

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Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

Romney, Collins, Murkowski only Senate GOP holdouts on Graham's impeachment resolution .
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Friday that all but three GOP senators had signed onto his resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry. GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah) have not yet signed onto the resolution, according to an updated list of co-sponsors shared by Graham the day after he introduced the measure. Spokespeople Murkowski and Collins didn't immediately respond to aGOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah) have not yet signed onto the resolution, according to an updated list of co-sponsors shared by Graham the day after he introduced the measure.

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