As the upper chamber of Congress looks ahead to a possible presidential impeachment trial, some vital information has been disclosed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) revealed his alternate plan for such proceedings to members of the media on Tuesday. If McConnell can’t strike a bipartisan deal with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to establish rules for an impeachment trial: See if he can do it without Democrats.
The Republican from Kentucky said he would first reach out to Schumer. Yet if no agreement can be reached, he may try a unilateral approach with only the GOP involved.
“It would depend on what we could agree to.” McConnell told reporters when asked if he would prefer to reach a bipartisan deal to set parameters of the trial.
“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure.” He stated. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘OK, can 51 of us agree [on] how we’re going to handle this?’” McConnell wondered.
Plus acknowledged that he may not even have 51 votes in his own conference on the measure to set rules defining exactly what amount of time is allotted for petitioners to argue a case. And what witnesses, if any, will be called to the Senate floor.
Then continued, “My assumption is once you heard the arguments on both sides, motions would be made. My suspicion is the chief justice would not want to rule on those. He would submit them to the Senate, and 51 of us would decide on a case-by-case basis how to go forward.”
House Judiciary Committee leader Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is currently officiating over the latest round of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. This following an opening frame led by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). Rep. Schiff released a 300 page report earlier in the week which states evidence to impeach President Donald Trump is “overwhelming.”
But Schumer made clear he’s eager to reach a bipartisan agreement on the trial framework, even though the two have yet to discuss the matter privately. “The best way to do something that’s important and almost as hallowed a procedure as this, is in a bipartisan way, so I hope that Leader McConnell will make every effort to come up with a bipartisan solution working with me. I’m certainly willing to work with him,” The Democrat declared.
Sen. McConnell finished by saying, “That was a myriad of options, which doesn’t give you an answer,” McConnell said. “Because there is no answer at this point.”