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Senate Republicans Might Use Impeachment to Screw Over 2020 Democrats – Fox News

Senate Republicans Might Use Impeachment to Screw Over 2020 Democrats  – Fox News


As House Republicans go to bat for President Donald Trump in impeachment hearings (if not particularly successfully), their Senate counterparts are already looking forward to their role in the impeachment saga Though it’s still early in the impeachment process, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican ranks are nevertheless starting to anticipate how they’ll handle the president’s likely Senate trial, which McConnell has already said he’ll take up in the Senate should the House vote to impeach “We are obviously discussing—assuming this comes over to us—what the different options and so forth are and how to prepare for some of those various and potential contingencies,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune told Politico Wednesday And while Republicans have so far floundered on their response to impeachment, they reportedly may see one way to use the Ukraine saga to their advantage: by engineering the Senate trial to screw over their Democratic colleagues running for president  The Washington Post reported Wednesday that some Senate Republicans and advisers are having “closely held” discussions about the possibility of holding a lengthy Senate trial that kicks off in January in order “to scramble the Democratic presidential race ” With the Iowa caucuses launching the presidential primary season on February 3, the trial could keep the six Democratic senators running for president, including high-polling candidates Sen Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, off the campaign trail during the crucial run-up to Iowa—and potentially into the primary season “That might be a strategy,” Sen. Ron Johnson told the Post with a “coy smile” when asked about the reported plan “But I’ll leave that up to others. I’m just a lowly worker.” Sen. John Cornyn also acknowledged the effect that the trial timetable could have on his Democratic colleagues “Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden might like that,” Cornyn told the Post. The Senate’s 2020 Democrats have emphasized their duty to put the trial ahead of their campaigning, and one advisor to a 2020 Senate Democrat told the Post the campaign had already started to rearrange its schedule in anticipation of a trial “I have constitutional responsibilities. I took an oath of office, as did everyone in Congress And part of that oath of office is the basic principle that no one is above the law, that includes the President of the United States,” Warren told reporters Wednesday, explaining that she will “be there for the trial” if one is held At an event Sunday in Iowa, Sanders acknowledged that performing his necessary Senate duties would be an obstacle to his campaign, saying, “We will do our best to get back to Iowa, to get to New Hampshire, to get to all the states that we have to But there’s no question it will make our life a little bit more difficult.” While senators were already anticipating having to be present for the trial, the news that the timing may take place at the most inopportune moment possible would be more surprising, as the Post reports candidates had previously expected to leave Washington in time for their final pre-caucus push (The timeline, of course, also depends heavily on when the House holds its impeachment vote, which is currently unclear ) When to start the proceedings is one of a number of considerations that the Senate will grapple with in the run-up to a trial Senators will have to vote on the rules for the impending trial before it begins, which will be passed with a majority vote instead of the two-thirds majority needed to remove Trump (In this case, a majority would be 51 senators, as Vice President Mike Pence cannot break a tie vote ) That leaves little room for Republican defections—and, as a Politico op-ed by Republican adviser Juleanna Glover speculates, leaves open the possibility that a rogue minority of Republican senators could push for stipulations, such as a secret ballot, that would change the calculus on the Senate vote So far, there’s already signs of disagreement among the Republican caucus when it comes to the length of the impeachment trial Some senators, particularly moderates up for re-election who want to appear fair to their constituents, have pushed for a more lengthy trial—perhaps even exceeding the five weeks spent on former President Bill Clinton’s trial in 1999 “I think the consensus in our conference is at least that we need to proceed and take seriously the responsibility we have,” Thune told the Post “How long that takes is an open question … but I suspect that, you know, it’d go on for a while ” Other Republicans, however, are advocating for a swifter end. Sen. David Perdue told the Post a “week is more than enough,” while Sen Rand Paul says he intends to introduce a motion to dismiss the trial “as soon as we possibly can ” “The sooner we’re done with this, the better,” Paul told the Post.Most Popular “Highly Irregular”: The Democrats’ Earnest Diplomats Win the Impeachment DayBy Abigail Tracy Key Trump Impeachment Defense Is Blowing Up in Republicans’ FacesBy Eric Lutz Mitch McConnell Says He’d Have “No Choice” but to Hold Impeachment HearingBy Tina NguyenAdvertisement McConnell, for his part, is reportedly more inclined toward a longer impeachment trial, as McConnell deputies suggested to the Post that this would give more time for Trump to make his case The majority leader told reporters Wednesday that while it’s “impossible to predict” how long the trial would last, he would not cut it short by dismissing the case out of hand “My own view is that we should give people an opportunity to put the case on, the House will have presenters, the president will no doubt be represented by lawyers as well,” McConnell said Over on the other side of the aisle, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has reportedly started discussing with Democrats how he’ll negotiate with McConnell on the rules process, though he told reporters Wednesday it was still “premature” to speculate how long the trial will take “We want it open and we don’t want it truncated,” Schumer said. “We hope that Leader McConnell would negotiate in a fair, balanced way with us ”More Great Stories From Vanity Fair — The strangely familiar nightmare of impeaching Trump— Clues to the identity of Anonymous, who wrote the explosive White House op-ed— Former Fox News staffers demand to be released from their NDAs— Why crypto-crooks have their sights set on Iceland— A sustained booing reveals Trump’s true face— From the archive: A portrait of Kim Jong Un, part man, part myth Looking for more? 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Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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