The White House and Republican senators agreed to try to limit the seemingly inevitable impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to as little as two weeks, The Washington Post reports.
White House officials and a group of senators met Thursday and agreed that a shortened trial would be enough to make the proceedings seem legitimate (since Republicans plan to vote down the impeachment articles) while also avoiding “risking greater damage to Trump by dragging on too long.”
If the House impeaches Trump in December, as appears likely, the Senate plans to start their trial as early as January.
Even that is “counter to what Trump has expressed privately,” the Post noted, reporting that Trump has been “miserable” and demanding that the impeachment proceedings be dismissed right away.
The impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton lasted five weeks.
Lindsey Graham plays puppet-master behind the scenes:
Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham has been the Senate’s point man on the impeachment process while also frequently conferring with Trump.
“I don’t want them to believe there’s an ability to dismiss the case before it’s heard,” Graham told the Post, even though he previously told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the case should be dismissed without trial.
“I think most everybody agreed, there’s not 51 votes to dismiss it before the managers get to call the case,” he acknowledged to the Post.
Senate wants to call Hunter Biden to testify:
The meeting Thursday also included a discussion about whether to call additional witnesses like Hunter Biden.
“He wants to be able to bring up witnesses like Adam Schiff, like the whistleblower, like Hunter Biden, like Joe Biden,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News. “And he says if the House moves forward with this sham and they continue to push these fake illegitimate proceedings on the American people, then he wants it to go to the Senate, and he wants a trial.”