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Trump's GOP allies huddle at White House on eve of impeachment vote

Trump's GOP allies huddle at White House on eve of impeachment vote
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A group of House Republicans huddled at the White House on Tuesday on the eve of a vote to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCheney, top GOP lawmakers ask Trump campaign for proof of election fraud New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future Sunday shows preview: Biden team gears up for transition, Trump legal battles continue and pandemic rages on MORE (R-Ohio), a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and one of the president’s top attack dogs during the impeachment probe, was one of the lawmakers in attendance at the White House the day before the impeachment vote, according to a GOP source with knowledge of the discussions.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonNew RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future House GOP votes to keep leaders in place This week: Clock ticks on coronavirus, government funding deals MORE (R-La.), who previously practiced constitutional law, and Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeTop intelligence official says China targeting foreign influence at incoming Biden administration Krebs describes threats to election officials as 'undermining democracy' Schumer meets with Biden national security picks MORE (R-Texas), whom Trump tapped earlier this year to become the director of national intelligence before the congressman withdrew from consideration, were also in attendance, the source said.

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In addition to the three members who attended the meeting at the White House, Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsFive things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs Sunday shows - Health officials warn pandemic is 'going to get worse' Collins urges voters to turn out in Georgia runoffs MORE (Ga.) — the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee — is also said to be on the short list of House Republicans being considered to play a role on the president’s defense team as the impeachment process moves to the Senate for trial, according to one source.

"There is some discussion about who would be the best to assist in that regard, and I think it is pretty widely understood that the president wants to include a few House members on his defense team," the source said.

The president is looking to have a combination of lawyers and three to four of his allies from the House on his defense team, Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsDespite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill EPA chief quarantining after exposure to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Barr splits with Trump on election; pardon controversy MORE (R-N.C.) said on the House Freedom Caucus's podcast last week.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening, but officials have been meeting in recent days to finalize plans for Trump’s defense in a looming Senate trial.

Multiple officials have said White House counsel Pat Cipollone will play a significant role in the proceedings, but cautioned that a complete breakdown of responsibilities was not yet settled.

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No final announcements on decisions on what the president’s defense team will look like have been made.

What role, if any, Trump’s House allies will play in a Senate trial may be partly determined by the rules determined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: GOP chairman says defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal | Senate panel advances FCC nominee | Krebs says threats to election officials 'undermining democracy' On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.).

McConnell said Tuesday that negotiations would begin this week. Some Republican senators have said they favor a short process to quickly acquit Trump.

Tuesday’s meeting came a day before the House is scheduled to vote on two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Nearly all House Democrats are expected to vote for both articles, making it all but inevitable that Trump will become the third U.S. president to be impeached.

House Republicans are expected to remain completely unified in voting against the articles.

Olivia Beavers contributed.