Last week, McConnell announced that he has enough Republican votes to adopt trial rules that don't immediately allow witnesses.
The witnesses that Senate Democrats want to testify in the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump might not bolster their case against Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) admitted on Tuesday. House democrats' case can not simultaneously be so robust that it was enough to impeach in the first place but also so weak that the Senate needs to go fishing. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be removed, while Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House, respectively in 1868 and 1998, but not convicted by the Senate. The House voted to impeach Trump last month. The trial has been delayed long enough that it is quite likely Trump will still not have a Senate vote on his fate before he delivers the State of the Union on February 4.
Pelosi will meet behind closed doors with House Democrats to decide next steps on Tuesday morning ahead of the party's presidential primary debate that evening, the last before the Iowa caucuses February 3. If the Senate approves the Kaine measure, the House could take up the Senate resolution and send it to Trump.
Mrs. Pelosi, in an unprecedented move, has held on to the charges after House Democrats voted to impeach the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on December 18, saying she wants assurances the Republican-controlled Senate will hold a fair trial. A major sticking point between Republicans and Democrats has been over whether witnesses will be allowed to testify during the Senate trial.
GOP Sen. John Cornyn also said he would advise the president against it, telling ABC News that it's better to start fresh in the Senate because the House impeachment inquiry "was a little bit of a circus and I don't think the Senate trial will be anything like that, which is fine with me". Republican allies led by Senator McConnell are ready to deliver swift acquittal without new testimony.
One leading Republican, Sen.
However, popular support for witness testimony could pressure Republican senators to vote in favor, especially lawmakers who are up for re-election in swing districts this year. It also would take only 51 senators to vote to dismiss the charges against Trump.
Mr Trump delayed almost $400 million in aide as Ukraine battled Russian Federation on its border while he pushed the country's new president to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
White House officials are growing increasingly concerned that at least four Republican senators will agree to Democrats demands to call high-profile witnesses who may bolster some of the underlying details that House Democrats claim proves that the president's conduct was impeachable.
"That is why Donald Trump has been impeached, because he abused his power".
Senator Susan Collins, one of those at-risk GOP lawmakers, said she's been working with a small group of Republicans to ensure the upper chamber hears from additional witnesses. "In America no one is above the law, not even the president". It did contain motions for dismissal or calling new witnesses.
Kaine said the resolution is eligible for floor consideration next Tuesday though it could get a vote earlier if a deal is reached with leadership.
The legal defense the White House will present is significant.