June 21, 2024
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Senate leaders close in on deal on impeachment trial rules, source familiar with the talks says

House impeachment managers are preparing a case to show the visceral evidence of the Capitol insurrection and how former President Donald Trump’s words and actions motivated the rioters to breach the Capitol, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.

There are still key questions for them to decide before the trial: They haven’t made a final decision, for instance, on whether they will call witnesses. 

But the desire for witnesses who might be able to corroborate Trump’s thinking and actions while the riots were unfolding is running into many Senate Democrats’ wishes for a quick trial so they can move onto passing President Biden’s Covid-19 relief package.

Still, some Senate Democrats say they don’t want to hamstring the managers for the sake of speed.

Because Democrats control the Senate, they have the votes to allow for witnesses without GOP support, unlike in the 2020 trial.

“I think we should be consistent,” Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, said on “Fox News Sunday” about Senate Democrats’ push in the first trial to subpoena witnesses.

“This time, we saw what happened in real time,” Murphy added. “President Trump sent that angry mob to the Capitol on live TV, so it’s not as important that you have witnesses, but if the House managers want witnesses, we should allow them to be able to put them on.”

Even without witnesses, Democrats are considering using evidence from video and social media to help illustrate how Trump’s words, actions and tweets motivated the rioters to attack the Capitol, the sources say.