McConnell: GOP will start impeachment trial, delay witnesses

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has secured enough Republican votes to start President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and postpone a decision on witnesses and documents Democrats want.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives for a closed meeting with fellow Republicans as he strategizes about the looming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The announcement on Tuesday is significant, enabling McConnell to bypass for now Democratic demands for new testimony as he launches the third impeachment trial in the nation’s history.

The trial could begin this week if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate. She is set to meet late Tuesday with her leadership team.

The Senate Republican leader opened the Senate Tuesday morning outlining his proposal to start the trial first and postpone votes on witnesses until later.

McConnell believes he has support for his plan, which is modeled after Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial 20 years ago, according to a congressional aide.

The contours of a Senate trial have been in dispute.

Pelosi is delaying transmission of the articles as Democrats press to hear from former national security adviser John Bolton and other new witnesses. McConnell has resisted.

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