McConnell crows on Senate floor that Pelosi's impeachment 'gambit' produced 'absolutely nothing'

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Allies and opponents of President Trump alike can see that impeachment has become a desperate effort to instill fear in the American people ahead of a general election.

The trial could begin next week.

According to the nation's Constitution, the House shall have the sole power of impeachment, while the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. Now, that's something that the president would love but that's not a fair trial.

Pelosi said senators need to consider new witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton, who has said he would be willing to testify.

And Mr Bolton announced this month that if the Senate subpoenas him, he "is prepared to testify". But the Republic leader was convinced that there was no other option for Pelosi and "sooner or later" she is going to send them over.

Once the Republican-led Senate receives the charges, the trial is expected to begin swiftly. There's nothing that the Senate can do that can ever erase that, she said.

"Ridiculous", Trump told Fox News' Laura Ingraham about the speaker's gambit.

Also on the floor: The House managers selected by Pelosi will prosecute the case against Trump. I have done much more for them than Obama did for them.

It would require a rare rules change similar to the approach Senator McConnell used for Supreme Court confirmations. It set out a path for starting the trial and voting on witnesses later.

Syria cross-border aid under threat
It also decided that the aid will enter Syria through just two crossing points along the Turkish border, instead of four. All were unhappy with the final draft resolution, but none wanted to be seen to be blocking humanitarian aid operations.

McConnell has said that, once the charges are formally submitted to the Senate, he will back a resolution that would set initial rules for the trial but postpone a decision on whether to hear from witnesses.

Democrats are trying to put pressure on senators, particularly those up for reelection in 2020, to consider new testimony.

"They take an oath to have a fair trial and we think that should be with witnesses and documents". The political ramifications of witness testimony could prove to be both beneficial and detrimental for both sides in the run-up to elections in November. McConnell, however, has not budged.

The California Democrat has been criticized by members of her own party who have said it's time to send the articles to the Senate. McConnell rebuffed all over her demands.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday asserted that there is "enough testimony to remove President Donald Trump from office" when the impeachment hearing will move to Senate for the trial.

"It's been a long wait", McConnell said Friday. "We'll have a choice in ten months if we don't get him removed earlier", she said. Yet questions remain in the Senate on the scope, format and duration.

In an anonymous complaint last summer, a whistleblower raised concerns about the White House's interactions with Ukraine, resulting in the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Democrats say Bolton could provide a first-hand account of important discussions regarding Ukraine in the White House. The theory of Trump's defense rests in part on the idea that pursuing investigations into the Bidens was less about securing his re-election at the expense of national security interests than it was about his worldwide anti-corruption efforts.

Mr Trump is widely expected to be acquitted of the charges that he abused power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former vice-president Joe Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and then obstructed Congress in its investigation. Trump follows a conspiracy theory pushed by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company there while his father was vice president.