Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) seemed to confirm that the Republican majority was ready to advance with impeachment, saying Wednesday that “there will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure.”
“We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment. The House Democrats’ turn is over. The Senate has made its decision. This is for the Senate, and the Senate only, to decide,” McConnell tweeted.
There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure. We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment. The House Democrats’ turn is over. The Senate has made its decision. This is for the Senate, and the Senate only, to decide.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 8, 2020
Multiple reports broke Tuesday that McConnell and Republican leadership in the Senate had whipped the 51 votes required to establish the rules for President Trump’s impending impeachment trial without a concrete agreement on witnesses.
It is understood that McConnell wants to vote on a resolution outlining the parameters of the trial and hear opening arguments, and only then to vote on a second resolution determining which witnesses, if any, will be called upon to testify — mirroring the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton.
The news came despite threats from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who threatened that “Republicans may run but they can’t hide” from a vote on the question of witnesses and documents.
But several of Schumer’s fellow Democratic senators broke ranks after the news, saying that they believed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) should release the articles of impeachment against President Trump.
“I think the time has passed. She should send the articles over,” Chris Murphy of Connecticut said, according to The Washington Post.
“I think it needs to start, I really do,” concurred West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin. “I can’t tell the House how to do their business…But the bottom line is, the holdout helped force Bolton to step forward. Let us do what we have to do over here.”