President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly cannot get on the same page regarding how to approach the Senate impeachment trial.
According to a CNN report Tuesday, one source said that while McConnell favors getting the Senate trial over with as soon as possible and even floating a 10-day minimum during talks, Trump is on the opposite page.
Two sources told CNN that Trump has privately made clear to advisers that he prefers a dramatic event rather than ending the trial swiftly because he believes it’s his best chance at hurting Democrats in the 2020 election.
CNN reported that Trump wants Hunter Biden, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the whistleblower — whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry and still remains anonymous despite efforts by Trump and his allies to expose their identity — to testify on the Senate floor in-person, rather than via taped depositions.
One Republican senator told CNN that within the past month, several Republican senators warned White House counsel Pat Cipollone not to “turn the Senate into a circus.” Another source told CNN that Cipollone and Trump share the same opinion on how the trial should be handled.
CNN’s Tuesday report highlights the ongoing dizzying back-and-forth between the White House and Trump’s allies when it comes to approaching the Senate trial.
Last Thursday, Trump goaded Democrats to impeach him “fast” on the heels of news that the White House plans to bring live witnesses to the Senate floor for trial and that Trump “wants his case made fully in the Senate.”
Late last month, the Washington Post reported that a group of Republican senators and senior White House officials discussed limiting the Senate trial to about two weeks during a private meeting — which was a 180 compared to the Post’s report the week before that said Republicans were mulling delaying and extending the Senate trial to force Democratic senators who are also presidential candidates to stay in Washington and out of the early primary states.
The Post’s report last month came just a day after Politico reported that top White House officials and Senate Republicans agreed to hold a full trial if the House votes to impeach Trump and to not dismiss articles of impeachment outright, despite how some on the right attempted to push McConnell — who’s repeatedly predicted that the trial wouldn’t lead to the President’s ouster — to ditch the notion of a fair trial.
Read CNN’s report here.