Nov 21, 2019

White House agrees to full Senate trial if House impeaches Trump

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House along with Senate Republicans agreed on Thursday to hold a full Senate trial if the House votes to impeach President Trump, Politico reports.

What we know: A group of Republicans met privately with Jared Kushner, Kellyanne Conway and White House counsel Pat Cipollone Thursday morning to outline a strategy for a possible impeachment trial. The White House wants the Senate to hold a trial that does not overtly dismiss the articles of impeachment, two meeting attendees told Politico.

  • "The White House and Trump's GOP allies decided instead 'they want some kind of factual affirmative defense on the merits,' said one attendee," Politico notes.
  • Sens. Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, John Kennedy, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson were in attendance. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was also present, the Washington Post reports according to unnamed officials.

Of note: A senior White House official tells Axios that Trump has privately said he doesn’t want to see impeachment drag on too long. “He’d rather get it over and done with,” the official said.

The bottom line: No final decision has been made, a senior White House official told the Post.

  • The private meeting "underscored the increased coordination between the White House and its allies in the Senate as the House proceedings appear to point to likely impeachment as early as next month," per the Post.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

White House condemns impeachment inquiry ahead of participation deadline

President Trump. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Staff/ Getty Images

White House counsel Pat Cipollone called the impeachment process a "charade" on Friday in a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, ahead of the House deadline for President Trump and his legal counsel to announce their participation in the impeachment hearings.

What they're saying: The letter emphasized that Trump is calling for House Democrats to impeach him "fast" if they're going to, so there will be "a fair trial in the Senate."

Go deeperArrowDec 6, 2019

Lindsey Graham wants to "deep-six" Trump’s impeachment trial

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler opens the markup of the articles of impeachment yesterday. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Axios: "I'm not in the camp of calling a bunch of witnesses [in President Trump's impeachment trial]. ... I think as an American, the best thing we do is deep-six this thing."

The big picture: Many Senate Republicans told Axios that they trust Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's judgment on whether to accelerate the vote to acquit the president.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019

Why the missing testimony from the impeachment inquiry matters

As impeachment moves into its next phase, House Democrats lack testimony from major players in the Trump administration about allegations that the president withheld military aid and a coveted White House meeting to pressure Ukraine into investigating his domestic political rivals.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019