GOP leaders have enough votes to ignore Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s demands for witnesses and new evidence.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving forward on a set of impeachment trial rules without Democratic support.
The Kentucky Republican said Tuesday that he has locked down sufficient backing from his 53-member caucus to pass a blueprint for the trial that leaves the question of seeking witnesses and documents until after opening arguments are made.
That framework would mirror the contours of President Bill Clinton’s trial and ignore Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s demands for witnesses and new evidence at the outset.
“We have the votes once the impeachment trial has begun to pass a resolution essentially the same — very similar — to the 100 to nothing vote in the Clinton trial,” McConnell told reporters. “All we’re doing here is saying we’re going to get started in exactly the same way that 100 senators agreed to 20 years ago.”
The GOP leader added that the Senate will “get around to the discussion of witnesses,” but not before the Senate trial begins.
Schumer reiterated his pledge to force votes on witnesses and documents and offered his own warning to Senate Republicans Tuesday afternoon: “You can run but you can’t hide.”