Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he expects the Senate to begin Donald Trump’s impeachment trial next week.
The Senate will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but will start the impeachment trial on Tuesday, the Majority Leader announced.
The Kentucky Republican added that the Senate will take steps toward the trial this week.
The announcement came just hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would vote to move the articles to the upper chamber Wednesday.
‘The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial. The House will now proceed with a vote on transmitting the articles of impeachment and naming impeachment managers on Wednesday, January 15. The President and the Senators will be held accountable,’ Pelosi wrote in a statement Tuesday.
The House speaker was expected to also announce on Tuesday the lawmakers who will prosecute Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial following her meeting with the caucus earlier in the morning.
She did not name any impeachment managers Tuesday.
Two Democrats thought to be included as managers in the trial could be Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry in the House, and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose committee approved the impeachment articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – in December.
Pelosi met with the Democratic caucus Tuesday morning to decide a path forward regarding impeachment after holding the articles hostage in the House for a month. The caucus decided to vote Wednesday to finally hand over the two articles.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the House will vote Wednesday to send impeachment articles to the Senate. She did not name the Democrats who would serve as impeachment managers for the trial
The announcement followed a caucus meeting Tuesday morning
Some speculate two of the impeachment managers could be House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (pictured)
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has still not said if the Senate will host witnesses in the trial, but claims they will hold a vote after opening arguments on if they should call individuals to testify
HOW IMPEACHMENT UNFOLDS NOW
Wednesday: Nancy Pelosi holds a vote on the House floor to approve transmitting the two articles of impeachment to the Senate. She also names the ‘managers’ who will prosecute the case for the Democrats
Thursday: Senate receive the articles of impeachment. Mitch McConnell has still not said whether senators will immediately begin debating the rules under which the trial will take place. He also has to deal with a motion he signed on to himself, calling for a rapid dismissal of the articles. It is unknown whether that motion will be voted on or not.
Friday: Senators leave Washington D.C. for MLIK Day weekend
Monday: Congress observes MLK Day
Tuesday: Opening arguments could begin in the trial and Donald Trump heads to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum
‘In December, the House upheld its Constitutional duty to defend democracy For The People: passing two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,’ Pelosi continued in her statement Tuesday.
‘The Senate GOP Leader has signed on to a dismissal resolution. A dismissal is a cover-up,’ she said.
Some speculate the vote was scheduled for Wednesday to hold off as three Democratic senators – Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobucahr – participate in the first Democratic primary debate of 2020 Tuesday night.
Senators Sanders of Vermont, Warren of Massachusetts and Klobuchar of Minnesota all made the stage for January’s primary debate – but the three candidates could face being taken off the campaign trail as the impeachment trial moves to their chamber this week.
After the two articles are formally sent to the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to kick off the trial next week.
It isn’t clear yet how long the trial will last, with some Republicans, like Senator Lindsey Graham, pushing for a no-witness trial and quick acquittal and others claiming they want to hear from witnesses.
McConnell is readying a resolution to set out the rules of the impeachment trial and claims after opening statements there will be a vote to decide if the Republican majority chamber wants to call individuals to testify.
Pelosi claims the House held impeachment articles for so long because they wanted to make the case to the American people that there was a need for witnesses in the trial.
The California Democrats has requested McConnell provide her with the planned rules for the trial before she hands over the impeachment articles, but the Majority leader would not comply with that request, claiming Pelosi would not dictate the Senate trial.
Republican Senators Susan Collins (left) and Mitt Romney (right) have said they will likely vote to hear from witnesses after opening arguments. They also foiled the White House’s plan to request a resolution to dismiss the case, claiming they would not vote to approve
There are a handful of Republicans who disagree with McConnell and Graham’s approach for a speedy trial, and claim they want to hear from witnesses.
‘I have been working for and advocating that we follow that model. And that we have language in the governing [rules] setting up the parameters of the trial that would allow for a vote on whether or not we should have witnesses subpoenaed and documented provided,’ moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins told reporters Monday evening.
Tennessee GOP Senator Lamar Alexander says he might vote to hear witnesses
‘I might not. Or I might,’ the senator, who is retiring at the end of the year, said.
‘My view is we should hear the case, ask our questions and then have a vote on whether we need to hear additional witnesses or call for additional documents,’ Alexander said. ‘It’s important to have a vote on whether we have witnesses or not.’
Senator Rand Paul warned his colleagues that they can’t be selective on witnesses if they approve to hear from them.
‘Don’t think you can just vote for Bolton and not the witnesses Trump wants,’ Paul told senators at a party lunch last week, two attendees told Politico.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (top), Bernie Sanders (bottom left) and Amy Klobuchar (bottom right) will likely be taking time off the 2020 campaign trail as they participate in the Senate impeachment trial
‘I’m not going to be voting for witnesses prior to the opening arguments. But I presume I’ll be voting for that after,’ another moderate Republican, Senator Mitt Romney, told reporters.
Romney has publicly feuded with Trump in the past.
The White House is also preparing its defense of Trump with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow expected to hold speaking roles in the trial.
Trump’s counsel is also pushing for the Senate to include in the rules of its impeachment resolution an option that would swiftly dismiss the charges against the president. The motion would require 51 votes and, if passed, would end the trial.
Both Collins and Romney claim they will not vote to immediately dismiss the trial – and since Republicans have 53 seats and 51 are required to approve motions, the resolution will not pass.
Trump’s defense strategy for the Senate impeachment trial is underway with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone set to take the lead and deliver opening arguments.
Although the Republican majority upper chamber has not yet voted on if it will call witnesses, Cipollone will also participate in any cross examinations should any individuals end up testifying.
Cipollone’s deputies, Michael Purpura and Patrick Philbin, will also be stationed at Trump’s defense in the Senate and Purpura, along with Trump’s personal attorney Jay Seklow, are expected to participate in any cross examinations of witnesses.
‘If there are witnesses, he’s going to crush some people,’ a former senior Trump adviser said about Cipollone.
Sekulow is the longest-serving member of Trump’s personal legal team. He is expected to make his own trial presentation focused more on the Ukraine scandal.
As Cipollone, 54, takes center stage at the upcoming Senate impeachment hearing, the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, 75, who has been lobbying to join the impeachment legal team, will be left on the side lines.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone (pictured) will take lead as Donald Trump’s defense in the Senate impeachment trial
Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, despite lobbying for a position with the defense, will be sidelined for the impeachment hearing. Giuliani could potentially be a witness in the trial should Republicans vote to call individuals to testify
Giuliani, the former Republican mayor of New York City, has become a central figure in the impeachment proceedings regarding his dealings with Ukraine.
A few officials claimed Giuliani has pressed the president to make him part of the legal team who will argue on the Senate floor against Trump’s removal from office.
Giuliani has been one of Trump’s most staunch defenders, taking to TV dozens of times in the aftermath of the anonymous whistle-blower complaint that launched the impeachment investigation.
The attorney has been noticeably more absent from speaking on TV as Trump’s surrogate lately.
Giuliani has made the case that he knows the details surrounding the charges being levied against the President inside-out.
He also has publicly indicated he has an interest in getting involved in the case.
‘I would love to try the case,’ Giuliani told reporters while attending the President’s Mar-a-Lago New Year’s Eve party.
An informal adviser told the Huffington Post in an interview published Monday that Giuliani has been ‘working Trump hard’ to be included among the lawyers who will defend him.
Another source told CNN that Trump has been advised against tapping Giuliani to join the legal team, especially due to the attorney’s involvement in some issues close to the Genesis of the impeachment inquiry.
‘The President is never going to have him in the Senate trial, starting with the problem that he’s a potential witness,’ the source close to Trump said.
READ THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST DONALD TRUMP
In 1,414 words, the articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday lay out two charges against President Donald Trump.
Article I: Abuse of Power
Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.
Accused: Donald Trump has two articles of impeachment against him
He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.
President Trump also sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.
President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.’
Article II: Obstruction of Congress
As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials.
In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.
In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment — and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives.