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Politics Trump faces fight or flight moment in Senate impeachment trial

10:20  14 december  2019
10:20  14 december  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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.

WASHINGTON — The closer Republicans get to a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump , the more it looks like an improvised political explosive. The White House and the Senate Republican Conference are united in their desire to dispose of it, but divided over how to do that in the

WASHINGTON — The closer Republicans get to a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump , the more it looks like an improvised political explosive. in self-preservation for him and GOP senators . In other words, it's fight or flight time for Trump .

WASHINGTON — The closer Republicans get to a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the more it looks like an improvised political explosive.

The White House and the Senate Republican Conference are united in their desire to dispose of it , but divided over how to do that in the way that inflicts the most damage on Democrats and the least harm on them — a show that gives Trump the chance to turn the tables on his accusers, or a quick dismissal that amounts to an exercise in self-preservation for him and GOP senators.

Schumer to colleagues running for White House: Impeachment comes first

  Schumer to colleagues running for White House: Impeachment comes first Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Democratic colleagues running for president, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), should prioritize the Senate impeachment trial over campaigning ahead of the Iowa caucuses.The trial could tie up senators on the Senate floor for the entire month of January, right before the first contest of the Democratic primary calendar scheduled in Iowa for Feb. 3. With the possibility of close votes on procedural questions such as what witnesses should be called to the Senate floor, Schumer says colleagues should make the trial their first priority, even if it might tread on their campaign plans.

WASHINGTON — The closer Republicans get to a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump , the more it looks like an improvised political explosive.The Wh. in self-preservation for him and GOP senators . In other words, it's fight or flight time for Trump .

President Donald Trump has openly cheered for the impeachment process to move to the friendlier confines of the GOP-led Senate , but there may be some

In other words, it's fight or flight time for Trump.

With his legacy, his re-election and his movement on the line — at a time when congressional Republicans are in lockstep defense of his actions — it would be quite a silent retreat for the chest-thumping, trash-talking Trump to slip away from the chance to have a made-for-TV trial befitting his reality-era presidency.

He sounds like he doesn't want to.

"I wouldn’t mind the long process, because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud, having the whistleblower called to testify in the Senate trial," he said Friday , referring to the anonymous intelligence community official who first accused him of wrongdoing in a complaint filed with the intelligence community inspector general .

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.

Former House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy weighs in on articles of impeachment on 'Hannity.'.

President Trump , who is said to be seething over the media's coverage of the impeachment effort against him, is signaling that he will pressure the Senate to Every night, viewers can expect: Comedy, humor, funny moments , witty interviews, celebrities, famous people, movie stars, bits

He also noted that he believes that the House's impeachment process — the Judiciary Committee there approved two articles against him on Friday morning and the full House is expected to approve them next week — has benefited him.

"It's a very sad thing for our country, but it seems to be very good for me politically," he told reporters.

And yet he also signaled some willingness to listen to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some White House advisers who prefer a trial with more "no" and less show.

"I’ll do long or short," he said.

But while McConnell has kept power in the Republican Conference for more than a decade by averting risk, Trump didn't get to the Oval Office by playing it safe. His instincts likely lean toward brawling.

Demonstrators take to the streets in New York to rally for Trump impeachment

  Demonstrators take to the streets in New York to rally for Trump impeachment Demonstrators take to the streets in New York to rally for Trump impeachmentOrganizers said they were expecting thousands at a rally and march through midtown Manhattan, one of more than 600 events calling for Trump's impeachment that were scheduled to take place across the country.

Trial in the Senate is expected to take place in January after Congress returns from a two-week Christmas break. John Roberts, chief justice of the Convicting Trump and removing him from office is unlikely. It would require two-thirds of the Senate , and Republicans, who so far remain firmly behind

‘Whatever They Want’: Trump Leaves Impeachment Trial Details to Senate . President Donald Trump indicated on Friday that he will leave the details of the impeachment trial up to the Senate leadership when asked about what kind of trial he preferred.

The hope inside the GOP right now is that if he does, it's with Democrats — not fellow Republicans. And so they're seeking a sweet spot of consensus that suits him.

"The president should have every right to put on the defense he wants," said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who is among a group of lawmakers that resisted McConnell's initial plan for a quick trial that would preclude witnesses. "And I have every confidence that [White House Counsel] Pat Cipollone and the rest of the president's defense team will give him the best advice to make the right decision."

The calculus is complicated by a set of instincts and interests shared by the president and some of his most aggressive allies in the Senate that are broadly at odds with those of McConnell, R-Ky., Republican senators in tough re-election bids and White House officials who fear that a circus-like trial could result in unnecessary pain for everyone.

Like any leader of a party caucus in Congress, McConnell's first loyalty has to be to his peers and keeping them in power. But what's perceived as good for Republicans in hard re-election fights — a quick trial that puts less of a spotlight on Trump's alleged misdeeds and the senators' handling of them — doesn't fit with Trump's apparent desire to present his case before the presidential election season heats up.

Trump impeachment: What time is the vote?

  Trump impeachment: What time is the vote? Here’s what you need to know about the historic day’s events.The House will vote to impeach a president of the United States for only the third time in history. It‘s been a tumultuous journey to get to this point and is sure to lead to blockbuster moments.

President Trump said Friday that he hasn’t decided whether to wage a long or short impeachment defense in the U.S. Senate , but either way, he expressed confidence in the outcome. “I’ll do whatever I want. Look, there is — we did nothing wrong,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Trump declined an invitation to have his lawyers participate in the impeachment inquiry by the The full House is expected to vote on both articles of impeachment next week. If passed, a trial in the They are united in supporting a president who faces the prospect of the House Judiciary Committee

President Donald Trump poses for photos with Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez at the White House, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)© ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump poses for photos with Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez at the White House, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

This Senate, a far more hospitable arena for Trump than the House, is the only remaining venue for him to litigate it.

"What’s interesting is they’re totally split on it right now," said Rachel Bovard, a former Senate Republican aide who keeps in close touch with GOP officials. Some "want to sail directly into the wind ... that's what the president wants."

The truth, is either option could backfire.

A speedy trial might make Trump look more guilty, because Democrats will argue he ran and hid behind Republican votes without defending himself. At the same time, a longer version might expose Trump and GOP senators to further revelations about the Ukraine scandal, or simply the humiliation of a public spectacle.

"Get it over fast is the best way," Bovard said, concluding that more time tends to lead to unforced errors for Senate Republicans. "Everything they touch goes sideways."

McConnell is clearly eager to avoid a bigger public split with Trump that could hurt Republican senators with Trump's base. On Friday, he spoke with Fox News' Sean Hannity about his efforts to coordinate with Cipollone, who may lead the president's defense on the Senate floor and who could, conceivably, be a witness in the trial.

But even in tying himself to Cipollone, he revealed that he remains favorable to a quiet trial that would be positively un-Trumpian.

"I'm going to take my cues from the president's lawyers," McConnell said. "But, yes, If you know you have the vote, you've listened to the arguments on both sides, and believe the case is so slim, so weak that you have the votes to end it, that might be what the president's lawyers would prefer, and you could certainly make a case for making it shorter rather than longer since it's such a weak case."

Of course, the president doesn't always do what his lawyers want — especially if they're telling him to shut up and take the win.

Democratic candidates call for White House officials to testify during Senate impeachment trial .
Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and businessman Tom Steyer during Thursday's Democratic primary debate called on White House officials to testify during the Senate's impeachment trial."As we face this trial in the Senate, if the president claims that he is so innocent, then why doesn't he have all the president's men testify?" Klobuchar told the audience at the PBS News Hour/Politico debate in Los Angeles.

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