It took a bit longer than expected what with the now obligatory hand wringing by Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, but Mitch McConnell has locked up enough GOP votes to end Pelosi’s impeachment fantasy.
She believed and Schumer concurred that the Dems had leverage over the impending impeachment trial.
They do not unless Romney or Collins and the other handwringers decided to revolt and back the Dems plan.
While no one really expected them to revolt, you never know with Mitt and Susan so it is good news that Mitch has secured the votes to overrule Pelosi and Schumer.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has locked down sufficient backing in his 53-member caucus to pass a blueprint for the trial that leaves the question of seeking witnesses and documents until after opening arguments are made, according to multiple senators.
That framework would mirror the contours of President Bill Clinton’s trial and ignore Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s demands for witnesses and new evidence at the outset.
No final decision has been made to move forward with a partisan approach, but in a brief interview, McConnell said he would address the possibility of spurning Democrats on Tuesday afternoon. He’s already won key backing from the handful of Republican swing votes heading into the trial.
“I’d like to hear from John Bolton and other witnesses to provide information. That process will accommodate that. The Clinton process allows for a vote on witnesses to occur after opening arguments,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
GOP leaders are finalizing their vote counts at their first party lunch since the holiday break and Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said on Tuesday that McConnell’s leadership team is “trying to get consensus among Republicans about how to go forward.”
…”That’s not how you run a country. That’s not how you run the United States Senate,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
“That’s regrettable. If I thought McConnell’s offer to bring witnesses… was in good faith, I could probably vote to proceed with impeachment inquiry. I don’t believe that,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “I don’t think he’s going to bring witnesses. I think this is all a whitewash.”
NEW: Lindsey Graham says Mitch McConnell announced at closed-door GOP lunch that they have the 51 votes needed to start impeachment trial under Clinton rules.
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) January 7, 2020