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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Treasury to use extraordinary measures despite debt ceiling hike MORE (R-Ky.) repeatedly lashed out at House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden to take part in CNN town hall in Baltimore Manchin on finishing agenda by Halloween: 'I don't know how that would happen' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday over her decision to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, described the House process as the "most rushed, least thorough and most unfair" and argued that House Democrats have gotten "cold feet."
He added House Democrats appear to be waiting "for some mythical leverage" as part of a "pretrial hostage negotiation."
"I've had difficulty figuring out where the leverage is," McConnell said.
But Pelosi threw a curveball into the timeline for the Senate trial by refusing to say when, or if, she would send over the articles, a first step to starting the proceeding in the upper chamber. Democrats say they are waiting for more details on what the trial will look like before they appoint House managers.
McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper Hispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act MORE (D-N.Y.) are at an impasse over how to structure the trial rules.
Schumer wants one resolution at the outset that deals with both the rules and a deal on calling specific witnesses. Democrats want four witnesses, including former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWe've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive It's time to pull the plug on our toxic relationship with Pakistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod MORE, who said on Monday that he would testify if he is subpoenaed.
"Mr. Trump if you believe you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to be afraid of from witnesses and documents," Schumer said on Tuesday. "If my Republican colleagues believe the president has done nothing wrong, they should have nothing to fear."
But McConnell wants two resolutions. The first, passed at the outset, would deal specifically with the procedures for a trial. A second resolution, passed after opening arguments from both sides and questions from senators, would determine which, if any, witnesses are called.
With a larger deal between McConnell and Schumer unlikely, 51 senators will effectively be able to determine the process for the trial. McConnell appears to have the votes to establish the rules and punt a decision on witnesses until after the trial starts.
"If that unanimous bipartisan precedent was good enough for President Clinton, it should be our template for President Trump," McConnell said on Tuesday. "Fair is fair."