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Senate Prepares Trial as Pelosi Announces Impeachment Articles Moving Next Week

01-10-2020
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gets angry at a reporter at her impeachment news conference at the Capitol, Dec. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gets angry at a reporter at her impeachment news conference at the Capitol, Dec. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday the House will move forward with sending the two articles of impeachment to the Senate next week. 

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing his Republican caucus for the trial, telling members to prepare for six-day work weeks and to stay in Washington next weekend.

McConnell claims the Senate will not make a decision whether to call witnesses until after phase one of the trial when they hear arguments from the prosecution and defense.

"Obviously, that is the most contentious part of one of these proceedings, and that'll be addressed at that time and not before the trial begin," McConnell told reporters this week.

McConnell and other top Senate Republicans hope to end the trial quickly without witnesses.

"I think our job is to pass judgment on the articles that they have sent over to us. That's the role that we have constitutionally in the Senate," said Sen. John Thune (R-SD), a member of GOP leadership. 

But GOP senators like Mitt Romney (R-UT) may prevent moving directly to a vote on the articles without hearing from witnesses first. 

"At this stage, I'd like to hear from John Bolton and other witnesses with the direct information," Romney told reporters.

McConnell will need 51 votes to call witnesses or move directly to a vote. Senate Democrats have made it very clear they want witnesses.

"The four witnesses we've asked to testify should testify," argued Sen. Michael Bennet, (D-CO).

"I have never seen a trial without a witness," claimed Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

+The mandatory Senate trial, however, spells trouble for the Democrat senators still in the presidential race that hope to campaign in early voting states ahead of the Iowa caucus on Feb. 3. 

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