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McConnell says he has the votes to set impeachment trial rules that don’t guarantee new witnesses would be called

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he has enough votes to set impeachment trial rules that don’t guarantee new witnesses would be called, rebuffing demands from Democrats.

McConnell Says Impeachment Trial to Start Without Guarantee of Witnesses

Senate majority leader says he has the votes as both parties meet to discuss procedures

By Siobhan Hughes, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 7, 2020 2:55 pm ET

WASHINGTON—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he has enough votes to set impeachment trial rules that don’t guarantee new witnesses would be called, rebuffing demands from Democrats.

Mr. McConnell has concluded he has at least 51 votes from within his 53-member Republican conference for opening the trial first, and then voting later on whether to issue subpoenas for witnesses and documents. Mr. McConnell has insisted that a trial take place in two parts, with opening statements first, followed by votes on possible additional evidence regarding President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

“I want to make sure you understand: we have the votes,” Mr. McConnell told reporters.

Also on Tuesday, several Democratic senators signaled impatience with the decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to delay sending the House’s articles of impeachment to the Senate. Mrs. Pelosi had held up the articles as a means of putting pressure on Mr. McConnell to agree to Democratic requests for witnesses and documents.

“I think it is time,” said Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. “I don’t think her holding them puts any particular pressure on Mitch McConnell,” adding that he expected the key vote to call more witnesses would happen in the middle of the trial.

“The time has passed, she should send the articles over,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.).

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