MCCONNELL: ‘It will fall to the Senate to end it with serious and sobriety…’
(Liberty Headlines) The House is preparing to vote Wednesday to send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate to start the trial, several people told The Associated Press.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi met privately Tuesday at the Capitol with House Democrats about next steps, ending her blockade almost a month after they voted to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Pelosi suggested the House vote on Wednesday to transmit the charges and name the House managers for the case, according to several Democrats who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.
The action will launch the Senate proceeding, a dramatic endeavor coming amid the backdrop of a politically divided nation and an election year.
Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House last month on charges of abuse of power over pushing Ukraine to investigate possible corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and obstruction of Congress in the probe.
The trial would begin in a matter of days. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened the Senate on Tuesday scoffing at what he called the “bizarro world” of Pelosi’s impeachment strategy that delayed transmitting the charges for weeks.
“Do these sound like leaders who really believe we are in a constitutional crisis, one that requires the ultimate remedy?” McConnell asked.
He rejected Pelosi’s recent suggestions that whatever the Senate verdict, Trump will be “impeached forever.”
“It will fall to the Senate to end it with serious and sobriety,” he said.
McConnell meets behind closed doors later Tuesday with GOP senators as they negotiate the terms of the trial.
Senate Republicans are signaling they would reject the idea of simply voting to dismiss the articles of impeachment against Trump as he has suggested. They are considering whether to allow a vote on such a motion to dismiss and another to subpoena testimony from new witnesses.
McConnell is drafting an organizing resolution that will outline the steps ahead. Approving it will be among the first votes senators take after they are sworn as jurors by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts for the Court of Impeachment.
Republicans control the chamber, 53-47, and are all but certain to acquit Trump.
Senators says if witnesses are allowed, some Republicans may also try to subpoena Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company in Ukraine while his father was vice president.
It takes just 51 votes during the impeachment trial to approve rules or call witnesses. Just four GOP senators could form a majority with Democrats to insist on new testimony.
It also would take only 51 senators to vote to dismiss the charges against Trump.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.