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As Impeachment Looms, McConnell Starts Planning

Reports: If things head toward Senate trial, there would be hearings 6 days a week
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2019 11:40 AM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with the media on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledges that President Trump's impeachment by the House is rather likely, and he has a plan in place. "There's great motivation to get this done by Christmas," North Dakota GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer tells CNN of the expected trial in the Senate, which was discussed among Senate Republicans Wednesday during a closed-door lunch. McConnell reportedly said the House could pass articles of impeachment by Thanksgiving. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would then preside over a Senate trial beginning at 12:30pm six days a week, excluding Sundays, per NPR.

McConnell—who's claimed "impeachment stops ... with me as Senate majority leader"—said the trial could last as long as six to eight weeks. But "he thinks Democrats are of the same mind: Let's not drag this out for five weeks," one attendee tells Politico. Most lawmakers hope to have impeachment proceedings concluded by the Iowa Democratic caucuses on Feb. 3, though some Republicans "asked how they can force a vote to dismiss the trial" well before that date, per Politico. In a Wednesday letter, Chairman Adam Schiff said the House Intelligence Committee is "aware that time is of the essence." He added witness testimony would be made public "at an appropriate point" if it doesn't "jeopardize investigative equities," per the Hill. (Read more impeachment stories.)

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