By Madeleine Grisanzio – Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that Republicans have not ruled out calling witnesses to the stand in the impending impeachment trial. McConnell has said several times that he does not want to call witnesses that wish to prolong the trial or their testimony.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham has also indicated he wants a quick trial that does not call for additional witnesses.
The Senate is still waiting on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send over the Articles of Impeachment. McConnell says that it is absurd that the House has impeached the president, yet will not send over the documents the Constitution mandates.
McConnell says that he spoke with Senator Chuck Schumer before those in the House left for Christmas break, but the proceedings remain at an ‘impasse’ since they cannot move forward until they receive the papers.
Senator Graham said in a tweet that failing to provide the Articles of Impeachment for Senate review is a violation of the Constitution.
If House Dems refuse to send Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial it would be a breathtaking violation of the Constitution, an act of political cowardice, and fundamentally unfair to President @realdonaldTrump.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 19, 2019
In 1999, Mitch McConnell denied a motion to dismiss the trial of then-president Bill Clinton. He called this proposal a ‘terrible idea’.
However, Senate Republicans have argued that the charges brought against President Trump significantly differ from those against Bill Clinton, and the investigation into the current president has had little due process.
McConnell and his advisor Senator Judd Gregg believe that the Constitution mandates a trial if the Articles of Impeachment are brought against a president.
As it is the responsibility of the Senate to have a trial, they will move forward with a swift one when they receive the Articles of Impeachment from Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Chief Justice Roberts will be presiding over the hearings as Vice President Mike Pence will not be able to break a tie vote. McConnell explained how the trial will work in a statement released to reporters,
“The Chief Justice will be in the chair. We will have to convene every day, six days out of seven, at 12:30 or 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Senators will not be allowed to speak, which will be good therapy for a number of them. And we intend to do our constitutional responsibility.”
McConnell says that times like this are why America’s Founding Fathers created the Senate. He adds that it was intended “To keep partisan passions from boiling over. Moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.”