Schumer briefs Democrats on impeachment trial 'mechanics'

Schumer briefs Democrats on impeachment trial 'mechanics'
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants MORE (D-N.Y.) briefed Democrats during a closed-door caucus lunch on Wednesday on the "mechanics" of a likely impeachment trial.

As part of the briefing, lawmakers were shown "video clips" from the Senate's 1999 trial against then-President Clinton to help "familiarize themselves with the process," a senior Democratic aide familiar with the lunch said.

The briefing was limited to the "mechanics of a potential Senate trial," the aide added, because the House hasn't yet drafted potential articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE. How broadly the articles are written, and how many there are, is likely to shape a Senate trial.
The closed-door briefing by Schumer comes as Senate Republicans met with White House counsel Pat Cipollone during their own closed-door caucus lunch. 
GOP senators say they discussed the potential procedure for a Senate trial in broad terms, and that Cipollone detailed why the House impeachment inquiry process is "flawed." 
"All the issues remain the same, sham process, probably doesn't deserve to even come over here, but if it does we'll have to deal with it," Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerSenate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules GOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans MORE (R-N.D.) told reporters, summarizing the discussion in the meeting. 
Senators are increasingly trying to familiarize themselves with what to expect from a potential Senate impeachment trial as it appears increasingly likely that the House will send them articles of impeachment. Only 15 senators now serving voted in the Clinton impeachment trial. 
The House is weeks into its investigation into whether or not Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country opening up a probe into Vice President Biden or his son Hunter Biden. House Democrats have pointed to Christmas as a soft deadline for a vote on impeachment articles on the floor. 
Schumer noted during a press conference on Tuesday that he and McConnell had not yet started negotiating, but that he was "certainly willing to work with him."

'The best way to do something as important and almost as hallowed a procedure as this is in a bipartisan way," Schumer said.