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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can’t be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he’s also readying a “backup plan” in case he can’t reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

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“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, could also set the procedure through motions that would be submitted to the Senate and approved by at least 51 votes.

Procedures for the five-week impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton passed by a 100-0 vote, and McConnell reportedly is planning to model Trump’s trial on those rules.

Schumer says he’s willing to compromise with Republicans, and he hopes McConnell won’t take the partisan route.

“The best way to do something that’s important and almost as hallowed a procedure as this, is in a bipartisan way,” Schumer said, “so I hope that Leader McConnell will make every effort to come up with a bipartisan solution working with me. I’m certainly willing to work with him.”

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2020 Election

Fox News legal analyst bucks his network and lays out why Trump’s attack on impeachment is bogus

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Judge Andrew Napolitano has been one of the political wild cards at Fox News: like his colleague Chris Wallace — but unlike so many others at the right-wing cable news outlet — Napolitano doesn’t see it as his job to reflexively defend everything President Donald Trump says and does. And Napolitano, in an op-ed published on Fox News’ website this week, takes issue with Trump’s assertions that his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate is a “hoax.”

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‘Your head will be on a pike’: GOP senators warned to stay on Trump’s side in impeachment trial

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Republican senators received a violently metaphorical threat before the impeachment vote.

One of President Donald Trump's confidantes said GOP senators were warned not to vote for impeachment -- or else, reported CBS News.

“Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike," senators were told, according to the confidante.

It's not clear who delivered the message or how it was sent.

So far, the network reported, all 53 GOP senators' heads appear to be safe.

None of them have signaled they will vote to convict Trump and remove him from office.

In opening statements, House managers examined the debunked conspiracy theories invoked by Pres. Trump.

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Here are 7 embarrassing arguments Republicans have tried to use to defend Trump

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With the Senate impeachment trial in full swing, Republicans have launched an aggressive if scattershot campaign to defend President Donald Trump and discredit the Democrats’ case.

It’s not going well. Multiple recent polls have found that a majority of the country thinks Trump should be removed from office and many more think he has done something seriously wrong, even if they think he should remain in the White House until the next election.

While the Democrats have unleashed a torrent of facts and compelling arguments for the charges that Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress, Republican replies have been all over the map. Many of their arguments are completely beside the point of the case, and the sheer weakness of their defenses is an embarrassment to the party.

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