WASHINGTON — As the House arranged to make President Trump only the third president in American history to be impeached, the Senate’s top Democrat on Sunday designed out a detailed proposal for a Senate trial “in which all of the facts can be considered fully and fairly” — including subpoenas for documents the White House has withheld and witnesses it has prevented from testifying.
Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, bestowed the proposal in a letter to his Republican counterpart, Senator Mitch McConnell, in an opening move to overpower Republicans to negotiate over the shape and scope of the proceedings. Mr. McConnell had stated last week that he was “taking my cues” from the White House, inciting Democrats to accuse him of abandoning his constitutional duty to render “impartial justice” in the trial.
In the letter, Mr. Schumer suggested a trial starting Jan. 7 that would furnish each side an established amount of time to exhibit its case, and summoned for four top White House officials who have not previously testified — including Mick Mulvaney, Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff, and John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser — to oblige as witnesses.
Mr. Schumer also requested for the Senate to subpoena documents that could cast light on the events at the heart of the charges against Mr. Trump: his campaign to enlist Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. And he introduced a specific timetable for each side to present its case, modeled on the one used when President Bill Clinton was tried in 1999. Mr. Clinton’s trial lasted about five weeks.