Trial Likely to Start Jan. 21, Cornyn Says: Impeachment Update

Trial Likely to Start Jan. 21, Cornyn Says: Impeachment Update

January 13, 2020

President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial will begin as soon as this week after Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended a three-week standoff with Republicans over rules for the trial by announcing that the House will prepare to transmit the articles.

Here are the latest developments:

Trial Likely to Start Jan. 21, Cornyn Says

Opening statements in Trump’s impeachment trial will likely begin next Tuesday, Jan. 21, senior Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters. “Tuesday is what it’s feeling like,” he said.

He said he expects the articles and the names of impeachment managers would be sent from the House this week. Cornyn said the swearing-in of senators as jurors and the summons to Trump would delay opening arguments until after the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Cornyn also said he believes there would not be enough Republican votes to dismiss the charges without a trial, as Trump suggested on Twitter.

“My understanding is that most Republicans want to have a full trial” and a vote on acquittal or conviction, Cornyn said.

Majority of Voters Want Bolton to Testify (3:21 p.m.)

Two-thirds of U.S. voters say former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton should testify at Trump’s impeachment trial, a Quinnipiac University poll shows, a finding that may put pressure on wavering Republicans to join with Democrats and call him as a witness.

Bolton’s offer to testify at the trial if subpoenaed has been central to attempts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats to force the GOP-controlled Senate to allow witnesses. It would take just four Republican senators to vote with Democrats to get a majority on the question of witnesses. Maine Senator Susan Collins, one of the most vulnerable GOP incumbents in 2020, said last week she’s been talking with a small number of her colleagues about allowing new testimony.

The poll, conducted Jan. 8-12 among self-identified registered voters, also found a bare majority, 51%, approved of the House vote to impeach Trump and 46% disapproved. Voters were divided on the verdict of a trial, with 48% saying the Senate should not vote to remove the president from office and 46% saying Trump should be removed.

The poll of 1,562 people nationwide has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Nadler, Schiff Likely to Be House Managers (11:23 a.m.)

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff will likely be top names on the prosecution team in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, according to a lawmaker on the House Democratic leadership team.

“Talented group, obviously with Adam Schiff and Nadler — one would expect them,” Representative Dan Kildee of Michigan said Monday on CNN Monday as he talked about who Pelosi might choose as House managers to prosecute the case in the Senate impeachment trial.

Another House official familiar with Pelosi’s thinking confirms that Nadler and Schiff are both likely to be appointed.

Kildee said he didn’t know yet who else will fill out the House managers’ roster. The complete list is expected to be approved in a House floor vote, as part of the process of transmitting the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.

A number of lawmakers on the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, as well as other House Democrats, have lobbied to be named to the managers’ team.

Republicans chose 13 managers from the Judiciary Committee for the 1999 Senate trial in the impeachment case against former President Bill Clinton. The official familiar with Pelosi’s thinking said the speaker isn’t expected to choose that many managers.

Kildee said the House has a “deep bench” of others to choose from. Three other names that Kildee speculated could be on the team are all lawyers on the Judiciary Committee, though that is not a requirement.

They were House Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York; Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a constitutional law expert; and Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, who was a Judiciary Committee member during the Clinton impeachment.

Once the managers are named, they will have to get to work quickly on strategy. Former Representative Bill McCollum of Florida, who was a Republican House manager in the case against Clinton, said that group swiftly decided who would present various aspects of the case on the Senate floor, pursue legal research, and prepare for potential testimony. — Billy House

Catch Up on Impeachment Coverage

Key Events

  • The House impeachment resolution is H.Res. 755. The Intelligence Committee Democrats’ impeachment report is here.
  • Gordon Sondland’s transcript is here and here; Kurt Volker’s transcript is here and here. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s transcript is here and here; the transcript of Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to the secretary of State, is here. The transcript of David Holmes, a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, is here.
  • The transcript of William Taylor, the top U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is here and here. State Department official George Kent’s testimony is here and here. Testimony by Alexander Vindman can be found here, and the Fiona Hill transcript is here. Laura Cooper’s transcript is here; Christopher Anderson’s is here and Catherine Croft’s is here. Jennifer Williams’ transcript is here and Timothy Morrison’s is here. The Philip Reeker transcript is here. Mark Sandy’s is here.

— With assistance by Billy House

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