GOP Mulls Dragging Out Impeachment Trial To Force Dem 2020 Hopefuls To Stay In DC

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 12: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., conducts a news conference after the Senate Policy luncheons to discuss  bipartisan agreement reached on government spending and border security on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
November 14, 2019 8:49 a.m.

Some Republicans are considering delaying and extending the impeachment trial in the Senate to force Democratic senators who are running for President to stay in Washington and out of the early primary states.

According to the Washington Post, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have acknowledged the possibility and are planning accordingly.

However, there is little consensus among the Republican conference about the best tactic for the trial.

Some think that the appearance that they didn’t take the issue seriously and hastened along a cursory process will reflect badly on them. Some more moderate members, like Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), may insist on a process that Democrats agree to, to infuse at least the beginning of the trial with some bipartisanship.

There is little agreement on what will be the least damaging for President Donald Trump as well. Some think that dispensing of the whole impeachment debacle quickly is best; others argue that the President needs time and space to make his case.

In the end, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be forced to find some sort of arrangement agreeable to most of the factions of his caucus: rules for an impeachment trial must be passed by at least 51 senators, and Vice President Mike Pence does not get a vote. McConnell is working with a 53-member majority.

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