Schumer briefs Democrats on impeachment trial 'mechanics'

Schumer briefs Democrats on impeachment trial 'mechanics'
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package Meadows: 'I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term' on coronavirus package Biden calls on Trump, Congress to enact an emergency housing program 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 TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary 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." 
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.