While the House Democrats are still holding the articles of impeachment hostage, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is passively threatening the House to make a move or move over.
McConnell made sure that they were aware that they have no leverage in this case and he has the votes right now to start the impeachment trial without an agreement on witnesses.
“We have the votes. Fifty-one senators determine what we do and there will be, I’m sure, intense discussion, once we get past phase one, about the whole witness issue,” McConnell told reporters.
Not long after McConnell’s announcement, Schumer promised to move forward with trying to push the Democrats’ demands for a fair trial with witnesses and documents.
“We will not let them avoid the vote. They can delay it, but they can’t avoid it,” Schumer said.
Sen. John Barrasso said, “It’s time for Speaker Pelosi to get on with it or get out of the way,”
“Their turn is over. They’ve done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now to render sober judgment,” McConnell said on the Senate floor last week, referring to House Democrats.
According to The Hill,
Two key moderate senators, Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), on Monday evening, backed McConnell’s position that the Senate should follow the precedent of the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial and defer until later in the process the question of calling additional witnesses.
Collins told reporters at Monday evening votes that the Senate should follow the 1999 precedent and consider the question of subpoenaing additional witnesses and documents only after House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team present their opening arguments.
This whole thing is a sham and we’re all just waiting for it to end so Congress can get back to focusing on things of actual significance rather that this sideshow that they’ve been putting on.