It has come to this: Two articles of impeachment, generated by the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, will soon be in the hands of the Senate for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump.
The articles, one for obstruction of Congress and one for abuse fo power, will be adjudicated by the Republican-controlled higher chamber starting perhaps as early as next week. What exactly this trial will look like is anyone’s guess, however, as there are new reports of a disparity between the White House’s vision for the process and that of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are both looking ahead to the Senate impeachment trial, but there is a growing divide between the two over what that trial should look like, CNN has learned.
In conversations with the White House, the Kentucky Republican has made clear he hopes to end the trial as soon as he can, an effort to both get impeachment off his lap and protect his conference from potentially damaging votes should the process break out into partisan warfare. That will include a continuous whip count until McConnell feels he has the votes to acquit the President and end the show. He has even floated a 10-day minimum during these talks, one person said.
But the show is exactly what Trump wants. He’s made clear to advisers privately that rather than end the trial as quickly as possible, he is hoping for a dramatic event, according to two people familiar with his thinking. He wants Hunter Biden, Rep. Adam Schiff and the whistleblower to testify. He wants the witnesses to be live, not clips of taped depositions. And he’s hoping to turn it into a spectacle, which he thinks is his best chance to hurt Democrats in the election.
It won’t take much, either, as Americans have already grown weary of the politically-divisive process, particularly after the aforementioned Adam Schiff’s secretive behavior during the Intelligence Committee’s work on the matter.
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