Earlier this week, Democrats in the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, released the two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. The articles are now in the Republican-controlled Senate, where lawmakers will decide whether to convict or acquit the president.
Several issues have already arisen. According to a new report from The Hill. the seven Democratic impeachment managers, led by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, are planning a “marathon preparation session” ahead of the trial, and remain concerned that Trump will attempt to “game” the whole process.
On Sunday, the managers and their staffers will reportedly start examining the record built throughout their investigation into Trump’s alleged wrongdoings and investigate new documents from presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s longtime associate Lev Parnas. A Soviet-born Florida businessman, Parnas is thought to have played an important role in the president’s alleged Ukraine pressure campaign.
Democrats have also indicated that they want to summon John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, to testify. Bolton did not testify before the House, but he has expressed willingness to testify before the Senate. Standing in the Democrats’ way, however, is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell has refused to accommodate Democratic demands for additional witnesses and documents, even in the wake of new revelations regarding Parnas’ role in the case. Republicans have also suggested that they want to speed up the trial, with Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota stating that the goal is to finish the proceedings “as quickly as possible.”
According to individuals briefed on the matter, McConnell’s approach has not only frustrated Democratic impeachment managers but has also generated concern about the integrity of the process.
According to a Democratic aide, the managers are growing increasingly concerned that the Trump team will cherry-pick certain documents that could benefit the president while withholding potentially relevant information from the jurors.
“One thing we’ll be watching very closely is whether the president is seeking to game the system by selectively introducing documents or [other] material here and there in order to suggest a misleading narrative,” the aide explained.
“That’s something we’re very keenly aware of,” they added.
Republicans have openly stated that they want the trial to be modeled after former President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment proceeding. The comparison has reportedly frustrated Democrats working on the trial, given that Clinton willingly provided thousands of pages of documents and allowed additional witnesses. As pointed out by a Democratic aide who spoke to The Hill, Trump and the GOP are refusing to do the same.