Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on Tuesday that he will leverage the votes of Republican senators to move forward with a trial of President Donald Trump even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has not provided articles of impeachment to the Senate.
While speaking to the press Tuesday afternoon, McConnell confirmed reports that he has enough support from Republicans to begin the trial.
“We have the votes,” McConnell said, adding that he hoped Pelosi would send the articles of impeachment prior to the trial.
McConnell also indicated that Republican senators are willing to move forward with a “phase one” of the trial before deciding whether or not to call witnesses.
Just last week, McConnell said that he would be willing to wait out Pelosi.
“We cannot hold a trial without the articles,” McConnell said in a Friday floor speech. “The Senate’s rules don’t provide for that.”
McConnell argued on Tuesday that the impeachment trial rules would be based on the trial of President Bill Clinton. But in that case, no rules changes were required because the House provided articles of impeachment to the Senate in a timely manner.
"We have the votes."
JUST IN: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces that a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump would begin without deciding the question of witnesses as Democrats are demanding. https://t.co/vTZuyr7OFt pic.twitter.com/32wJ2BTO5F
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 7, 2020
McConnell says publicly what he said behind closed doors to his conference: he has the votes to move forward on his proposal for the initial Senate trial rules
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 7, 2020