News

White House

McConnell Claims He Has the Votes to Set Senate Trial Rules Without Dem Cooperation

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. December 16, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has whipped the 51 votes required to establish the rules for President Trump’s impending impeachment trial without a concrete agreement on witnesses, according to multiple reports.

McConnell told colleagues during a closed-door lunch on Tuesday that he had secured the necessary backing to begin President Trump’s impeachment trial, according to the Washington Post. Politico first reported that Republicans were growing increasingly confident in their ability to set the trial parameters without input from Democrats.

The decision comes despite protests from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who said that “Republicans may run but they can’t hide” from the question of whether witnesses and documents will be called in the trial.

“There will be votes at the beginning on whether to call the four witnesses we’ve proposed and subpoena the documents we’ve identified,” Schumer declared. Democrats have argued continuously that White House officials who have first-hand knowledge of President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, such as former adviser John Bolton, should be required to testify during the trial. Bolton said Monday that he would testify if subpoenaed.

McConnell has been planning the trial in the same format as that of former President Bill Clinton, with opening arguments being held before a vote to determine which witnesses, if any, would be called to testify.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R., S.D.) said before the lunch that Republican leadership was ““trying to get 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.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has delayed sending the articles over to the Senate, but Republicans have been ramping up pressure on her to deliver them, with Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) introducing a resolution on Monday that would preemptively dismiss the articles if they’re not sent over in a timely manner.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More