WASHINGTON (AP) – Parliament is preparing for Wednesday's vote to send impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump to the Senate to open the historic process. This was communicated by several people to The Associated Press.
Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi met privately with the House Democrats on the next steps at the Capitol on Tuesday and ended her blockade almost a month after they voted against Trump for congressional abuse of power and disability.
Pelosi proposed to vote the house on Wednesday to forward the indictment and to name the property managers for the case, according to an unauthorized democratic adjutant who discussed the meeting in camera.
The move will launch the rare Senate trial, just the third impeachment lawsuit against the President in American history, a dramatic endeavor against a politically divided nation and the start of an election year.
The process would start in a few days. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell later meets behind closed doors with GOP senators later Tuesday as they negotiate negotiating terms.
Senate Republicans signal that they would reject the idea of simply voting to reject the articles he proposed to impeach Trump. They are considering whether to allow a vote on such an application and to summon another testimony from new witnesses.
“I think our members are generally not interested in the application for dismissal. They think both sides need to be heard, ”said Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Who is part of the GOP leadership, on Monday.
Trump was charged by the democratically-run house with abuse of power last month for urging Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and Congress's disability in the investigation.
Since the impeachment process begins in a few days, the senators are still debating the procedural rules. The GOP senators privately discuss whether an application to dismiss the indictment against the President or to convene additional witnesses is admissible.
Trump suggested simply dismissing the charges over the weekend, rather than legitimizing Parliament's charges, which he sees as "hoaxes."
It was an extraordinary proposal, but it was proposed by Trump allies with the support of some GOP senators, including McConnell.
But it's clear that McConnell doesn't have the votes his GOP majority needs to do that.
The main Republicans, Senator Susan Collins from Maine and Senator Mitt Romney from Utah, also spoke out against a motion to dismiss the indictment.
Collins is trying among some Republicans, including Romney and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, to ensure that the ground rules include plans to consider voting for witnesses.
"My position is that a vote should be taken on whether to call witnesses or not," said Collins.
Romney said he wanted to hear from John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor in the White House. Others have raised the alarm about the alternative foreign policy towards Ukraine led by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"I said I'd like to hear from John Bolton," Romney told reporters Monday. "I am assuming that if there are no surprises, I will vote to hear witnesses after these introductory arguments."
The Democrats have urged Republicans, who have a majority in the Senate, to think about new statements. They argued that new information had emerged during Pelosis' months of delay in submitting the charges.
McConnell develops an organizational resolution in which the next steps are described. The approval will be among the first votes that senators receive after being sworn in by the Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts, for the impeachment court.
Republicans control the chamber, 53-47, and are almost certain to acquit Trump. McConnell is reluctant to call new witnesses who would prolong the process. He prefers to partially model Trump's trial based on the trial used in 1999 against the then President Bill Clinton.
Senators say if witnesses are allowed, some Republicans could also try to summon Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company in Ukraine while his father was vice president.
Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has followed theories about the Bidens, but other Republicans are cool to do the job. The claims against the Bidens are unfounded.
During the impeachment process, only 51 votes are required to approve rules or call witnesses. Only four GOP senators could form a majority with Democrats to insist on new statements. It would also take only 51 senators to dismiss Trump's charges.
Most Republicans appear to be willing to agree to McConnell's plan to begin the process, and then to consider witnesses later and not in advance, as the Democrats would like.
Collins urges that at least the promise of witness voices be included in the organizational decision. You and the others seem to be gathering support.
"I have worked to ensure that we can vote on a process whether we need additional information or not, and yes, that would include witnesses," Murkowski told reporters.
House majority leader Steny Hoyer told reporters the House vote could take place on Wednesday. "Could be," he said.