The holidays were anything but productive for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to figure out how to manage the Senate impeachment trial.
According to a Washington Post report Thursday, congressional aides said that McConnell and Schumer failed to communicate over the holidays on how to resolve their disagreements regarding the Senate impeachment trial.
The Post noted how the impasse largely hinges on the differences between McConnell and Schumer when it comes to subpoenas and witnesses. While Schumer has insisted that the trial should include subpoenas of certain documents and witnesses who didn’t testify in the House impeachment proceedings — such as acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser John Bolton — McConnell has argued that the Senate shouldn’t decide on witnesses until hearing opening statements from House impeachment managers and President Trump’s attorneys.
McConnell has also signaled he would be fine with no trial at all.
Earlier Thursday, newly leaked emails from the Pentagon added additional evidence that Trump himself ordered a freeze on the Ukraine military aid. In response to the explosive emails, Schumer said in a statement that they are “a devastating blow to Senator McConnell’s push to have a trial without the documents and witnesses we’ve requested.”
“These emails further expose the serious concerns raised by Trump administration officials about the propriety and legality of the president’s decision to cut off aid to Ukraine to benefit himself,” Schumer said in the statement.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that although Trump has privately told aides he’d like the ability to call witnesses on his behalf, McConnell and White House aides are trying to convince the President that a quick acquittal is the best route to take.