GOP will start im­peach­ment trial

Antelope Valley Press - - SECOND FRONT -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell said Tues­day he has the votes to start Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s im­peach­ment trial as soon as Speaker Nancy Pelosi re­leases the doc­u­ments, win­ning sup­port from GOP sen­a­tors to post­pone a de­ci­sion on call­ing wit­nesses.

McCon­nell could launch the third im­peach­ment trial in the na­tion’s his­tory this week if Pelosi sends the ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment to the Se­nate. She was set to meet late Tues­day with her lead­er­ship team.

“We have the votes,” McCon­nell told re­porters. He said the ques­tion of new wit­nesses and doc­u­ments will be ad­dressed later “and not be­fore the trial be­gins.”

The con­tours of a Se­nate trial have been in dis­pute.

Pelosi is de­lay­ing trans­mis­sion of the ar­ti­cles as Democrats press to hear from for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton and other new wit­nesses. McCon­nell has re­sisted.

The GOP leader told sen­a­tors at their closed-door lunch Tues­day that he has sup­port for his plan, which is mod­eled af­ter Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s im­peach­ment trial 20 years ago. It would start the trial first and post­pone votes on wit­nesses un­til later in the process.

Democrats are ramp­ing up pres­sure on Repub­li­cans not to go along with McCon­nell’s pro­posal to post­pone vot­ing on new tes­ti­mony. Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “trap” and a “cover-up.”

“Who­ever heard of a trial with­out wit­nesses and doc­u­ments?” the New York Demo­crat said. He asked Trump what he has to hide. “Wit­nesses and doc­u­ments: fair trial. No wit­nesses and doc­u­ments: cover- up.”

Pelosi ap­pears in no rush to trans­mit the ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment as Democrats push to hear from more wit­nesses but McCon­nell fo­cuses Repub­li­cans on a strat­egy for speedy ac­quit­tal.


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