Top Democrat: Impeachment verdict is 'preordained'

Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the No. 3 House Democrat, weighed in President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE’s ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate.

Clyburn said Wednesday that even though the trial has been having “all kinds of twists and turns,” he argued that the verdict on Trump’s impeachment already has a “preordained conclusion.”

“All of a sudden now things are beginning to come out,” he told Hill.TV in reference to the trial before adding that he stills believes that “the conclusion is pretty much cut and dry.”

After a months-long investigation, House Democrats voted to impeach Trump on two counts: abuse of power for personal political gain and obstruction of Congress.

Now that the impeachment articles are in the Senate, Republicans in the upper chamber have grown increasingly optimistic about moving to quickly acquit Trump.

If the senators in the GOP-led Senate are able to defeat an effort to call in new witness or compel new documents, they could have the trial wrapped as soon as Friday.

“I’ll let you talk to Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Trump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE, but I’m increasingly optimistic this ends Friday,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony US defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Lawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban MORE (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Tuesday.

Democrats, meanwhile, have been clamoring to have former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump unleashed: President moves with a free hand post-impeachment Barr back on the hot seat The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE appear as a witness in the trial.

According to a report by The New York Times, Bolton said in his forthcoming book that Trump sought to withhold nearly $400 million in security aid to Ukraine until the county agreed to open investigations into his political rivals.

The White House has since sent a letter to the former national security advisor seeking to block parts of the book from being published, arguing that it contains “significant amounts of classified information."

—Tess Bonn