by WorldTribune Staff, January 7, 2020
The White House is reportedly on the same page with the Republican majority in wanting a speedy impeachment trial in the Senate.
A White House official confirmed that President Donald Trump’s preference was for a quick trial and a fast resolution, the Washington Examiner reported on Jan. 6.
“The president’s view is that this is a scam and the sooner we get it behind us and on to the real work of the American people, the better,” said the official.
Trump had previously said that Joe Biden and his son Hunter could be called to give evidence as part of a trial that he said would reveal the extent of the corruption in U.S. politics and confirm the need for him to “clean the swamp.”
The issue took on greater significance Monday with Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton saying he was willing to appear if he was subpoenaed.
Republican officials say the White House is now in lock step with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been pushing for a swift resolution to the impeachment articles which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to deliver to the Senate.
“It’s better just to get it over with,” a Republican leadership source told the Examiner.
“All Republicans are pretty much now on the same page that House Democrats bumbled it, and so the best move for everyone is to start the trial, have each side’s lawyers make the case, and then see at that point if there are witnesses to be called,” the Examiner quoted a senior Republican figure as saying. “But if not, just go right to a final motion.”
That means witnesses might still be called, but that decision will be left to a later stage, if it happens at all.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine recently told a local radio station that she was open to hearing from witnesses but added, “I think it’s premature to decide who should be called until we see the evidence that is presented and get the answers to the questions that we senators can submit through the chief justice to both sides.”
The rules of the trial will be set by the Senate according to a simple majority vote. That means Democrats only need four defectors to shape the process, such as the procedure for calling witnesses, as well as the time allowed for opening statements and the protocol for asking questions.
First, however, Pelosi is required to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“We can’t hold a trial without the articles,” said McConnell on Monday. “The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that. So, for now, we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder. For now.”