As the impeachment of President Donald Trump moves forward, the president is turning to right-wing Republican members of Congress who defended him in the hearings leading up to the vote to authorize articles of impeachment. But Senators are cautioning him against it.
According to the Washington Post, GOP senators are telling the president to reconsider turning the opening statements into a reality show. House Republicans are clamoring to join the legal team, something Trump is excited about, given they defended him so loudly during the House hearings.
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Doug Collins (R-GA) are the three members being floated as additions to the Trump legal team. While the other men have worked as lawyers, Jordan never took the bar exam after attending law school and has never practiced law. The three have been working with White House counsel Pat Cipollone to fight off the charges for the past several weeks, the report said. Trump is likely in favor of Jordan, as he's spent weeks defending the president on Fox News.
"Trump, partial to bare-knuckles tactics and top-rated TV performances, loves the idea, according to four administration and congressional officials familiar with his thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly," wrote the Post.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is reportedly concerned that Trump will turn the trial into a sideshow, which could put off moderate senators up for reelection in 2020.
"McConnell has been advising Trump and his legal team not to think of the trial as a 'made-for-TV-type House setting,' said one individual familiar with the leader’s thinking, 'but rather one where ultimately your audience is senators in the middle on both sides, who are actually listening to the arguments here,'" said the Post.
Another McConnell ally argued that some of the Republican Congressmen lack the proper temperament to speak to the Senate.
“One thing I’m not eager to do is re-create the circuslike atmosphere of the House — that’s not what we’re going to do here if we can avoid it,” the Post cited Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). “So I think it seems obvious to me that if the president picks a team that does not include House members, that we’d be more likely to have the dignified process that the Constitution calls for.”
It's yet another divide between traditional Republican leaders and the Trump philosophy.