Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters as he departs the Senate floor, in the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, on Jan. 3, 2020.

JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters

The U.S. Senate remained at a stalemate on Friday over how to proceed with the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, as the chamber’s leaders continued a dispute over whether top White House aides will be called as witnesses.

After a two-week holiday recess, there was still no clarity about when Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial might begin.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said the trial could not begin without the articles of impeachment, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent to the Senate.

Story continues below advertisement

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted in December to impeach Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential rival in the 2020 presidential election.

A trial would be held in the Senate, and Mr. Trump is expected to be acquitted by the Republican-controlled chamber. But Mr. McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have been at loggerheads since late last year over how it should be conducted.

Mr. McConnell said on Friday the Senate should go ahead and start the trial and resolve the dispute over witnesses “midtrial,” a repetition of his earlier stance. He said this would follow the precedent set in former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial two decades ago. Mr. Clinton, a Democrat, was acquitted by the Senate.

“Just like 20 years ago,” Mr. McConnell said, “we should address midtrial questions such as witnesses after briefs, opening arguments, senator questions and other relevant motions.”

Mr. Schumer, speaking after Mr. McConnell, repeated his call for a commitment to include witnesses before proceedings begin. He said there had never been an impeachment trial “in which the Senate was denied the ability to hear from witnesses.”

“It may feel like we are no longer – we are no closer to establishing the rules for a Senate trial than when we last met, but the question – the vital question of whether or not we have a fair trial – ultimately rests with a majority of the senators in this chamber,” Mr. Schumer said.

Republicans have a 53-seat majority in the Senate, where 51 votes are needed to pass a set of rules for the Trump trial.

Story continues below advertisement

At least two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, expressed concerns over the holiday break about Mr. McConnell’s approach to the trial after he said he was acting in “total co-ordination” with the White House and would not be an impartial juror.

The actual impeachment trial in the Senate would need a two-thirds majority vote for a conviction, requiring more than 20 Republicans to break with their party to remove the president.

Mr. Schumer said Trump administration correspondence released this week bolstered Democrats’ case that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in an effort to pressure Kyiv to investigate the Bidens.

He has asked for testimony from Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, along with former national security adviser John Bolton and two other White House aides.

The two Senate leaders spoke after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force and architect of its growing military influence in the Middle East. The attack was authorized by Trump, and Iran has promised harsh revenge.

Mr. Clinton ordered four days of bombing on Iraq in 1998 as he was facing an impeachment vote in the House. The air strikes delayed the vote, but did not prevent it.

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies