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 TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJordan says he thinks trial will be over by next week Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules 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 JohnsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Five lingering questions as impeachment heads to Senate MORE (R-La.), who previously practiced constitutional law, and Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeJordan says he thinks trial will be over by next week The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team 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 CollinsSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules This week: Raucous rules fight, opening arguments in impeachment trial 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 MeadowsSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Meadows says Trump told him he didn't threaten senators on impeachment vote Impeachment trial to enter new phase with Trump defense 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 McConnellSchumer: Trump's team made case for new witnesses 'even stronger' Trump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats Trump insults Democrats, calls on followers to watch Fox News ahead of impeachment trial 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.