Trump is struggling to convince even his own base that they shouldn't hear new evidence in his impeachment trial
President Donald Trump has spent the last several months waging a full-blown war on the impeachment process. But it doesn't look like he's managed to convince even his own base that the Senate trial now underway is a "hoax" and should be over as quickly as possible. A new CNN poll found that 48% of GOP voters are in favor of the Senate calling new witnesses to testify during the impeachment trial. Fewer than this — 44% — opposte hearing new witnesses, showing Trump's trouble bringing even his own supporters with him. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump has spent the last several months waging a full-blown war on his impeachment. But it doesn't look like he's managed to convince even his own base that the Senate trial now underway really is a "hoax" that should be over as quickly as possible. A new CNN poll found that a large majority of Americans — 69% — think the Senate should call new witnesses to testify during the trial — a key issue which Democrats strongly favor and most Congressional Republicans reject. Notably, Republican voters are divided on the issue with 48% in favor of calling new witnesses and 44% opposed to hearing new witnesses. This is a win for Democrats, who are fighting for the Senate trial to include witnesses who weren't heard during the House impeachment process. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a month, freezing the process while she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell duked it out over the terms of the trial. Pelosi's central ask is that McConnell allows a vote on whether to call witnesses. McConnell ultimately refused to guarantee that witnesses will be called, but some swing-state and moderate Republican senators have indicated they might side with Democrats on that point. It remains to be seen whether Democrats can convince any of their GOP colleagues to defect, giving them the necessary 51 votes to alter the trial rules. A slim majority — 51% — of Americans think the Senate should convict and remove the president on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, according to the poll. 58% believe that Trump abused his office for personal political gain and 57% think he obstructed congressional lawmakers from investigating him. CNN surveyed 1,156 adults by phone between January 16-19 and the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.SEE ALSO: The National Archives blurred out signs criticizing Trump in an exhibited photo of the Women's March Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A law professor weighs in on how Trump could beat impeachment
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The GOP handled Trump's impeachment with total ruthlessness and left the Democrats with almost nothing to show for it
President Donald Trump was acquitted on two articles of impeachment on Wednesday. He owes a great...President Donald Trump was acquitted on two articles of impeachment on Wednesday. He owes a great deal of it to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell's ruthless campaign to bring about a speedy trial and a forgone conclusion left Democrats with little but the hope that voters will notice when the 2020 election arrives. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Shortly after the US Senate voted twice to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, the hashtag #MitchMcConnellsTheTypeOfGuy trended on Twitter in the US. The descriptions of McConnell were largely unflattering, but there was no denying that he was one thing: victorious. Unlike Trump, McConnell's power in the GOP does not come from a populist tone, it is his political acumen — whether that means never bringing a Supreme Court Justice nominee to a vote, stalling legislation passed by the House, or not subpoenaing former national security adviser John Bolton to come before the Senate in Trump's trial. In his victory statement to the press on Wednesday, McConnell reflected that. It was not a statement meant for the American people or even the Republican party, but for the DC establishment. The Senate Majority Leader led a ruthless campaign to end the impeachment process as quickly as possible, and with as little political damage to Trump as possible. The goal was never a secret, and on all counts, more or less, he achieved it — leaving the Democrats with almost nothing to show for a grueling, months-long process. The facts of the case were stark: House managers and video witnesses laid out a case that Trump had held up military aid to Ukraine and a visit to the White House. Meanwhile, a pressure campaign was launched outside of formal channels to urge Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Trump's political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The case was convincing enough that multiple GOP senators, though declining to acquit, called Trump's actions "inappropriate" and "shameful and wrong." Per McConnell's comments, the trial seemed to exist in a separate reality. He touched very little on the facts of the case, calling the process both a "political" and "partisan exercise." He stated that he believed that, politically, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not want to go down the path of impeachment but was "dragged" into the process. He also alternately took jabs at the House managers' and Pelosi's strategy as if adding commentary to a sports match. "Well, that brought one of those rare smiles to my face, which you witnessed, in which I was perplexed by the strategy that was being employed," he said referring to an attempt to leverage the calling of witnesses in the Senate trial. To McConnell, the trial was not to determine whether the president abused his power to ask a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, it was a partisan political move started by Democrats in the House, which he ended swiftly and without witnesses when it came under his power in the Senate. He repeatedly avoided addressing the supposed heart of the case, dodging reporters' questions about whether Trump's actions over Ukraine were wrong. Long before Wednesday's vote, the acquittal was a foregone conclusion. Voting to remove the president requires a two-thirds majority, and the single GOP defector — Sen. Mitt Romney — came far short of the 20 GOP votes needed to remove the president. The real battle came the week before, in a vote on whether to have witnesses testify in the Senate trial. On that issue, it seemed at one point like the Democrats could prevail, and at the very least confront Trump and the Republicans with more unflattering testimony, spinning out the impeachment drama for longer. However, McConnell's GOP held the line. Only two Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney — voted in favor of allowing witnesses. Even with the lower threshold of a simple majority, the Democrats were still two short of the 51 votes they needed. There was no drawn-out process with additional witnesses and documents that, even if they had no hope of winning over 20 Republicans — could have had a meaningful impact on public opinion. McConnell's critics point out the problems with his quest to win at all costs: his actions could prove a damaging precedent, in which Congressional power hurt due to deference to the White House. In the short term, some worry that victory will embolden Trump, arguably making it more likely that a situation like that with Ukraine will happen again. Democrats were between a rock and a hard place when it came to impeachment. They declined to impeach after the Mueller report, knowing it would be politically fraught, but felt compelled to act after a whistleblower complaint kicked off the Ukraine scandal. If they did not impeach, they feared angry voters would never forgive them for passing up the chance to hold Trump accountable. But the downside of impeachment has been that any other legislation they may have wanted to tout — for example, a bill to lower the price of prescription drugs — was overshadowed by the grinding process of putting Trump on trial. And at the end, they lost the battle — possibly moderate seats in 2020. It won't be until November 2020 that Democrats will know whether their gambit — that an ultimately futile impeachment process would cut through enough to turn the public against Trump — had paid off. Until then, McConnell is still smiling.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
Day 2 of Q&A phase of Trump impeachmentTrump attorney makes ‘odd’ claim about public interestHelp us...Day 2 of Q&A phase of Trump impeachmentTrump attorney makes ‘odd’ claim about public interestHelp us cover the critical issues of 2020. Consider making a contribution 11.56am GMT The Republican leadership in the Senate is increasingly confident that they have enough votes to block witnesses being called in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, according to Axios. The news site notes the wily tactics of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell: Sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his conference that they did not yet have the votes to block witnesses, knowing that the news would likely leak to the media and alarm some senators who dread both a prolonged impeachment trial and Trump’s Twitter wrath. 11.35am GMT Here’s a poster for an upcoming New Hampshire gig by a live act who exhumed styles and ideas thought to be long-dead and suddenly made them seem fresh and exciting again… and Bernie Sanders. pic.twitter.com/jxOiwPlfx8 Continue reading...
Mitch McConnell just said he might not have the Republican votes to block witnesses from testifying in Trump's impeachment trial
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his caucus on Tuesday that it hasn't secured the votes...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his caucus on Tuesday that it hasn't secured the votes necessary to block Democrats from calling witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial, The Wall Street Journal reported. McConnell compiled a list of "yes," "no," and "maybe" votes but didn't show the count to his fellow senators, The Journal said. But Republican leadership is confident it can win over the necessary GOP votes by Friday, CNN reported. The party says that calling witnesses would extend the trial indefinitely. Pressure on Republicans has intensified after The New York Times reported on Sunday that former national security adviser John Bolton wrote in his forthcoming book that the president told him last year he would withhold military aid to Ukraine until the country investigated his political rivals. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his caucus on Tuesday that it hasn't secured the votes necessary to block Democrats from calling witnesses to testify in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, The Wall Street Journal reported. McConnell told his fellow Republicans during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon that he didn't have enough Republican votes to quash the Democrat-led effort, a vote for which is planned for Friday, The Journal and other outlets reported. McConnell compiled a list of "yes," "no," and "maybe" votes but didn't show the count to his fellow senators, The Journal said. But Republican leadership is confident it can win over the necessary GOP votes by Friday, CNN reported. The party says calling witnesses would extend the trial indefinitely. Senate Democrats want at least four key witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, to testify. The vast majority of Republicans oppose calling witnesses, but some GOP senators have expressed willingness to break with their party on the issue. Pressure on Republicans has intensified after The New York Times reported on Sunday that Bolton wrote in his forthcoming book that the president told him last year he would withhold military aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian president acceded to his demands for investigations into his political rivals. Bolton's allegations contradict Trump's repeated claim that he didn't leverage the military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic opponents. Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly said on Monday that he believed Bolton's allegations over Trump's denials. Kelly was among Trump's closest advisers for 18 months after a stint as secretary of Homeland Security. But it remains unclear whether Democrats can gather the four GOP votes necessary to reach the 51-vote threshold to call witnesses. SEE ALSO: Trump's former chief of staff, John Kelly, sides with John Bolton and says the Senate should call witnesses in impeachment trial Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope