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Politics Inside Senate Republicans' impeachment trial strategy

02:05  13 december  2019
02:05  13 december  2019 Source:   politico.com

White House counsel plots with Senate GOP, as impeachment gets closer

  White House counsel plots with Senate GOP, as impeachment gets closer Republicans discussed what a trial might look like if the House impeaches Trump.The lunch occurred while the House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing, during which three constitutional scholars said President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses for trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

How would Senate impeachment trial differ from House? What is happening right now: Over a series of party lunches and separate meetings, Senate Republicans and Democrats have been briefed, separately, on various elements of what a trial could entail and how it has occurred in the

There's a growing consensus among Senate Republicans that President Donald Trump's all-but-certain impeachment trial should be shorter rather than longer, lasting roughly 10 days to two weeks, with no witnesses called by either side. One senior GOP senator told reporters that Majority Leader.

Senate Republicans are keeping their impeachment trial options open — officially, at least.

John Barrasso, Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell are posing for a picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly cautioned his members against votes that divide the party ahead of a tough election year.© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly cautioned his members against votes that divide the party ahead of a tough election year.

The party is uniting around a strategy that could quickly acquit President Donald Trump of articles of impeachment while also giving them the opportunity to call witnesses later in the trial if Republicans and the president are not satisfied with how things are going, according to interviews with nearly a dozen Republican senators on Thursday.

GOP resolution looks to block Dem candidates from Senate impeachment trial

  GOP resolution looks to block Dem candidates from Senate impeachment trial Congressional Republicans want to require Senate Democrats running for president to recuse themselves from a possible impeachment trial against President Trump.

Senate Republicans are preparing to forego calling witnesses during the likely Senate impeachment trial next month, saying they would instead like to see a speedy end to Democrats's attempt to remove President Trump from office.“At that point, I would expect that most members would be ready to vote.

Divisions among Senate Republicans are muddying their strategy for a potential impeachment trial . As lawmakers await any articles from the House, they’re But Republicans disagree over the length of a trial and who should be asked to testify — two issues that will need to be worked out as part of

Heading into the trial, Republicans’ plan would be to call no witnesses and simply allow House Democrats and then the president’s attorneys to make their case before the public. After that, the Senate would consider calling people either for live testimony or closed-door depositions.

It’s a plan they believe will insulate the Senate GOP from pressure to call a host of controversial witnesses — which the caucus would struggle to do for political and procedural reasons alike — while putting Trump on track to be cleared before the end of January.

“The direction we appear to be headed is to let the House managers present their prima facie case which would mean no witnesses, to let the president’s counsel do the same thing,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of leadership. “And then to decide if there’s a reason to go forward from there.”

McConnell: Senate won't take up impeachment trial before Christmas

  McConnell: Senate won't take up impeachment trial before Christmas McConnell and Schumer have yet to negotiate an agreement on the trial.“What is not possible obviously would be to turn to an impeachment trial or to do [the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement] in the Senate before we break for Christmas,” McConnell told reporters, while outlining the Senate’s agenda for the rest of the year.

Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses, a plan that could clash with President Trump’s desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would include testimony the White House believes

The Senate sits as a High Court of Impeachment in which senators consider evidence, hear witnesses, and vote to acquit or convict the impeached official. In the case of presidential impeachment trials , the chief justice of the United States presides.

House Republicans and Trump have repeatedly urged the Senate GOP and its slim majority to summon the likes of Hunter and Joe Biden before the chamber in a spectacle they believe would bolster the president’s case. Senate Republicans have resisted the idea, warning they couldn’t cobble together the 51 votes needed to do so under Senate rules. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also repeatedly cautioned his members against votes that divide the party ahead of a tough election year.

Already Senate Republicans have received a taste of what could come if they preemptively dismiss the idea of calling witnesses: conservative Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) complained to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday to “fight fire with fire” and “rethink” his strategy. GOP senators are also loath to risk the president and his allies’ ire over the holiday break as both sides prepare for the trial.

McConnell will move to acquit Trump, not merely dismiss charges, 2 GOP senators say

  McConnell will move to acquit Trump, not merely dismiss charges, 2 GOP senators say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to hold a final vote to acquit President Donald Trump, should he be impeached, when a majority of senators believe his trial has run its course instead of holding a vote on dismissing the articles of impeachment, two Republican senators told CNN on Wednesday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Senate Republicans said they might forego calling witnesses altogether in order to expedite the Senate ’s impeachment trial . The GOP at first considered using their tactical advantage in the Senate to shift the focus back to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses, a plan that could clash with President Donald Trump’s desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would

“I don’t think anybody wants to foreclose the possibility that additional witnesses would be called,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is close to McConnell. “Whatever 51 senators want, they’re going to get.”

With that approach, Trump’s trial is looking more and more like what President Bill Clinton experienced. Clinton’s opened with a bipartisan agreement over the broad parameters of a January trial, with senators reserving the more divisive witness debate for later. In Clinton’s case, the Senate called Monica Lewinsky and two other witnesses to give depositions on party-line votes. For Trump, it seems more likely no witnesses appear at all.

Essentially, Republicans are aiming to set up a fork in the road and defer the painful topic of whether to call witnesses. A real divide is already being exposed in the party over whether to bring in witnesses, though it’s a dynamic that could fade once the trial actually starts.

“At the end, they can ask for witnesses to be called. You need 51 votes to get a witness called. I’m definitely not [backing any request for witnesses]. Not with my vote. But I’m just one, there are 99 more out there,” Graham said in an interview.

Senate Dems ask that Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton testify at impeachment trial

  Senate Dems ask that Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton testify at impeachment trial Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that drives a hard bargain on witnesses and documents.In a letter sent on Sunday evening to McConnell, the majority leader, Schumer says Senate Democrats want to hear testimony from four administration witnesses, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. There is almost no chance Senate Republicans would vote to subpoena those witnesses without assent from the White House and calling their own preferred witnesses.

Senate President Pro Tem Strom Thurmond swears in Chief Justice William Rehnquist to preside over the 1999 impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. Photo: Wally McNamee/Corbis via Getty Images. In an apparent compromise between a president who would prefer no trial at all and some of his defenders

Trump may not think Mitch McConnell shares his blood-lust for turning his impeachment trial into a counter- trial spectacle. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images. When the prospect of a Senate impeachment trial first came under serious discussion, its subject and object, President Trump

“I’d vote to call Hunter Biden,” countered Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). “He’s relevant, material.”

The White House has sounded closer to Hawley. And some Republicans are eager to show deference to Trump and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who met privately with McConnell on Thursday afternoon to continue to discuss strategy.

“We should let the White House counsel have latitude,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who would prefer closed-door depositions to live witness appearances. “The White House counsel probably does have some witnesses they’d like to depose.”

Then there’s the 47 Senate Democrats, who could counter with demands to call people like acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney or former National Security Adviser John Bolton. With just 51 votes winning the day and a handful of more independent Republicans potentially amenable to joining with Democrats in order to secure the most thorough account, the witness showdown could accelerate quickly.

“If there’s a trial, there should be witnesses. Every side should be able to be called who they want to,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “I never heard of a trial without witnesses. So I don’t understand. Maybe there’s something different, some secret sauce here they do differently in the Senate than any place in the world.”

White House working to feature Trump’s House allies in impeachment trial

  White House working to feature Trump’s House allies in impeachment trial One idea is to allow a collection of Republicans to present a minority report and make their case on the Senate floor.One idea under consideration is to allow a collection of House Republicans — who would be fresh off defending Trump in the House — to present a minority report on the Ukraine affair and make their case on the Senate floor, similar to the role Democratic impeachment managers are expected to play in the trial. The idea has been under discussion for several weeks, according to one GOP member familiar with the talks.

The tension between president and majority leader underlies Republicans ’ strategy for fielding an impeachment hearing in the Senate . How the Senate trial ultimately plays out remains to be seen. Trump hasn’t exactly been consistent on the matter; if McConnell catches Trump in the right mood, he

Impeachment is intensely unpopular in battleground states where both Republicans and Democrats could suffer electoral consequences by prioritizing impeachment over serious domestic issues. A highly unlikely two-thirds majority would be needed to remove a President from office. Via Senate .gov

With sentiments like that, it’s easy to see why Senate Republicans want to hit pause on the witness debate. And their strategy is gaining some currency with the president’s most vocal defenders.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a close Trump ally, said in an interview that he trusted McConnell’s judgment and wouldn’t “second-guess” the Senate.

“The president is talking about wanting witnesses to make sure that at least our witnesses get heard to tell the other side of the story,” Meadows said. “That being said, if the leader and my Republican colleagues in the Senate think it’s best to be expeditious with it… the quicker we can get on with this and get on to real business, I’ll applaud.”

It’s also becoming quite clear that many of Trump’s allies in the Senate simply want to rip off the Band-Aid and go as quickly as possible. They realize a long, drawn-out trial may not be to anyone’s benefit. Sure, it would sidetrack the five Senate Democrats running for president from competing in Iowa, but it would also keep the Trump-Ukraine scandal in the headlines and potentially fuel a messy divide in the Senate GOP.

“The president has to have his day in court because he’s not been allowed that yet in the House,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). “If that can be done with the two presentations then I’m all for getting this vote on and getting it done.”

No final decisions have been made. And the trial is in approximately three weeks, an eon in politics.

But it’s clear where the consensus is heading in the Republican Party: Acquit Trump and then move on.

“It’s gonna be shorter than longer,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). “That’s been my opinion now for two days in a row. It’s amazing.”

Senate leaders punt impeachment trial deal until after holidays .
The Senate is set to leave town for the year without a deal on key components of a President Trump's impeachment trial, including whether to have witnesses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) met on Thursday just hours before the chamber is expected to wrap up its work for 2019. But Schumer indicated after the meeting that they did not reach an agreement on witnesses or requests for additional documents - two key sticking points for Democrats.Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, said the Democratic leader asked McConnell to "consider Sen. Schumer's proposal over the holidays.""Senator Schumer made clear to Sen.

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