House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to meet with her Democratic caucus Tuesday morning to discuss sending the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, and a top Republican said a trial could begin as soon as next week.
The Democratic-controlled House voted last month on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — but Pelosi has yet to deliver them to the Senate.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said it’s “likely” that opening arguments could begin next Tuesday.
“Tuesday is what I’m what’s what it’s really like feeling like … And so we’d actually be glued to our chair, starting Tuesday,” he told reporters on Monday. “That’s what that’s what it feels like right now and I realize things could change.”
Pelosi has held up the articles because she said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t revealed the framework of the proceedings.
McConnell has said Pelosi cannot dictate how the Senate will conduct the trial.
Democrats are also expected to vote on approving the impeachment managers who will present the House’s case against Trump in the Senate.
The White House has been preparing for the trial to begin and have discussed with Republicans the option of an immediate vote to dismiss the articles in the Senate.
The motion would require 51 votes and Republicans who hold a 53-47 majority appear to be falling short of that number.
“I think our members, generally are not interested in the motion to dismiss. They think both sides need to be heard,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, said Monday.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has been rallying other Republican colleagues — including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — to ensure that witnesses are called, is against dismissal.
“My position is that there should be a vote on whether or not witnesses should be called,” Collins said.
Romney said he would like to see former national security adviser John Bolton to testify about the July phone call in which Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden.
“I’ve said I’d like to hear from John Bolton,” Romney said. “I expect that barring some kind of surprise, I’ll be voting in favor of hearing from witnesses after those opening arguments.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is retiring at the end of the year, said he is leaning toward calling witnesses.
“My view is we should hear the case, ask our questions and then have a vote on whether we need to hear additional witnesses or call for additional documents,” the Tennessee Republican said. “It’s important to have a vote on whether we have witnesses or not.”
With Post wires
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