Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday that he had enough Republican votes to start President Trump’s impeachment trial without caving to Democratic demands for witnesses.
McConnell said he had the necessary amount of votes to move forward with a trial similar to Bill Clinton’s.
"We have the votes once the impeachment trial has begun to pass a resolution essentially the same as — very similar to the 100-to-nothing vote in the Clinton trial," he said.
Democrats had pushed for McConnell to call administration witnesses, but McConnell said that questions would be determined during the trial.
McConnell said the first phase of the trial would include "arguments from prosecution, arguments from defense" and a "period of written questions,” after which the “issue of calling witnesses” would be addressed.
"That will be addressed at that time — and not before the trial begins," he said.
Pelosi says no dice:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate, called on McConnell to release the resolution he plans to vote on.
"It is important that he immediately publish this resolution, so that, as I have said before, we can see the arena in which we will be participating, appoint managers and transmit the articles to the Senate," she said on Tuesday, according to The Hill.
"Sadly, Leader McConnell has made clear that his loyalty is to the President and not the Constitution. Leader McConnell has insisted that the approach under consideration is identical to those of the Clinton trial and that 'fair is fair.' This is simply not true," she wrote. "This process is not only unfair but designed to deprive Senators and the American people of crucial documents and testimony. Under the Clinton trial, witnesses were deposed."
McConnell rejects Pelosi demands:
McConnell said “there will be no haggling” with the House over the trial, Politico reports.
“Speaker Pelosi wanted leverage -- leverage -- to reach in to the Senate and dictate our trial proceedings to us. Now I’ve made clear from the beginning that no such leverage exists. It is nonexistent. And yesterday we made clear it will never exist,” McConnell said. “The House Democrats’ turn is over. The Senate has made its decision.”