BREAKING: McConnell Preps to Move Forward on Impeachment Trial Rules Without Democrats

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly has the votes to move forward with impeachment trial rules without Democrats and to ignore Chuck Schumer’s demand for new witnesses at the outset.

Moments ago, McConnell tweeted:

How embarrassing and revealing for House Democrats to spend weeks telling the American people their partisan impeachment was so very urgent — and then delay it for political purposes.

It’s almost as though this House Democrat majority systematically took all of the framers’ warnings about partisan abuses of the impeachment power & thought, “sure, let’s do that.”

The American people deserve better.

WATCH:

Politico reports Senate Republican leaders are preparing to move forward on a set of impeachment trial rules without Democratic support.

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.”

“What we’re aspiring to do is to get this process moving forward and indicate to the Democrats that as soon as they send those articles over here, we’re ready to go. Quit stalling,” Thune said. “It really undermines the sense of urgency they’ve tried to attach to this from the beginning.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has withheld the articles of impeachment since the House voted in December to charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, in part to push Republicans to agree to fair rules for the trial.