Chairman cuts off daylong debate on articles of impeachment over Republican objections. They’re likely to get voted out of committee in a 10 am ET session
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump’s top lawyer sketched out a plan to coordinate closely for the Senate’s impeachment trial, but haven’t reached agreement on a final unified strategy to defend Trump against charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, according to two sources familiar with the conversation.
The closed-door meeting yesterday between McConnell and White House counsel Pat Cipollone occurred as Senate Republicans and the White House have diverged on what each would like to see take place in the looming trial in the chamber.
Trump has made clear he wants witnesses to testify, in person, while senators — including McConnell in private — have warned that going down that path could lead to a politically precarious slippery slope in the GOP effort to acquit Trump.
“We are having a lot of good conversations with Senate Republicans,” Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs, told reporters as he departed the meeting with Cipollone. “We will continue to do that here over the next few days and weeks as we work through all these issues and priorities the President has outlined when it comes to where we should go on these articles.”
While no final decisions have been made, there both McConnell and Cipollone agreed that when a trial begins, the House Democratic impeachment managers would have an opportunity to present, followed by the Trump’s lawyers presenting the president’s defense, the sources said.
McConnell made clear this week that no decisions have been made about witnesses or final trial structure, but the path after the initial presentations will be dictated by what a majority of his conference wants to see next — witnesses or a quick vote to bring the trial to an end and then vote to acquit the President.