An shortened Senate impeachment trial is reportedly in the works for several Republican senators and senior White House officials.
According to a Washington Post report, multiple officials stated that a group of Republican senators and senior White House officials considered restricting the Senate trial to about two weeks during a private meeting Thursday — which moves counter to the Post’s report last week that several Republicans reflected on prolonging and lengthening the Senate impeachment trial.
Officials who conversed on the condition of anonymity told the Post that the Senate trial could kick-off as quick as January if the House decides to impeach President Trump next month.
The Post also stated that people intimate with Trump’s sentiments stated that the President has privately expressed how “miserable” he finds the impeachment inquiry and has pushed to dismiss the proceedings right away. According to an official familiar with the private Thursday meeting, White House counsel Pat Cipollone is getting ready to fully defend Trump for an impeachment trial.
“I don’t want them to believe there’s an ability to dismiss the case before it’s heard,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who attended the meeting, told the Post. “I think most everybody agreed, there’s not 51 votes to dismiss it before the managers get to call the case.”
Officials familiar with the discussions at the private meeting Thursday told the Post that in addition to Graham, the meeting was also attended by Republican Sens. Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), John Neely Kennedy (LA), Ted Cruz (TX) and Tom Cotton (AR); Cipollone; acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner; and counselor Kellyanne Conway.
On Monday, McConnell doubled down on his prediction that a Senate impeachment trial wouldn’t lead to the President’s removal. McConnell’s remarks came soon after Trump’s response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) suggestion that he testify before the House committees probing impeachment — that he’s mulling providing written testimony.