Republican Sen. Martha McSally admits Senate Republicans are coordinating with the White House on the impeachment trial.
Another Senate Republican admitted that her party is actively coordinating with the White House to prepare for the likely impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
The Associated Press obtained a recording of Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) telling supporters that Republicans in the Senate are "working closely with the White House" on impeachment. The statement, which McSally made over the weekend and was reported on Tuesday, mirrors a controversial comment Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made to Sean Hannity on Thursday.
"There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this, to the extent that we can," McConnell told the Fox News host. "We'll be working through this process, hopefully in a fairly short period of time, in total coordination with the White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate," he added.
In the past, McSally has insisted that she would be a fair juror in an impeachment trial. "If it [impeachment] comes to the Senate, I'm actually a juror," McSally said in an October interview. "My job is to be thoughtful, to look at the facts, and show good judgement."
In the same interview, McSally lamented politicians using impeachment as "a way to go after their political foes," saying Americans should be "concerned about how easily people are being very partisan about this."
Weeks later, the leaked audio appear to show McSally using impeachment to attack her political foes. On the recording, she told supporters her party wants to "make sure that we continue to highlight the abuse of power [by Democrats], which is the only abuse of power that we've seen going on here."
The first of two articles of impeachment recommended by the House Judiciary Committee states that Trump abuse the power of his office when he asked Ukraine to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee. A House investigation cited evidence — provided by current and former Trump administration officials — showing the Trump administration put a hold on $400 million in military aid allotted for Ukraine in order to pressure the country into opening the investigations.
The second article of impeachment deals with Trump's obstruction of Congress for his refusal to cooperate in the impeachment inquiry.
The full House is expected to vote on both articles of impeachment on Wednesday.
If one or both are approved, the Senate would then hold a trial to be presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. McConnell, McSally, and the other senators would be jurors in the trial, even though both have already admitted to coordinating with legal counsel for the defendant, Donald Trump.
Another Republican senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, admitted that he has no intention of being impartial or weighing the evidence in a trial.
"I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind," Graham told CNN on Saturday. "I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here," he added.
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate. In an impeachment trial, a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, would be needed to remove Trump from office.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.