White House: Impeachment Trial 'Unlikely' to Last Very Long in the Senate
Senate would move quickly to try the case against President Donald Trump
As the impeachment trial proceedings against President Donald Trump got underway on Thursday, the White House issued a statement saying it's "unlikely" the case will last very long in the Senate.
A senior White House official said the Democrats' anti-Trump trial would not last longer than two weeks, suggesting the case will move quickly through the Senate.
“I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that we’d be going beyond two weeks,” the official told reporters during a phone briefing.
“We think that this case is overwhelming for the president."
"The Senate is not going to have any need to be taking that amount of time on this.”
President Trump has already accepted an invitation from Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to deliver a State of the Union address on February 4, 2020.
The Senate impeachment trial is expected to begin on January 21, according to Breitbart.
The White House criticized House Democrats for delaying the transfer of articles to the Senate.
The House held back the articles despite expressing urgency during the impeachment process and saying the trial should move quickly.
“These are the weakest articles of impeachment that have ever been passed in any presidential impeachment,” the official stated.
“They state no violation of a crime, no violation of any law.”
The official also defended the idea of the right to dismiss the impeachment case outright.
The suggestion is a proposal that Senate Republicans have not supported.
“Why would there be a motion to dismiss?” he asked.
“That’s because these articles of impeachment are so weak that, on their face, if this were a court proceeding, they’d be subject to dismissal.”
The White House left open the possibility of the Senate opening the trial to further witnesses.
If Democrats were allowed to call new witnesses to the case, Republicans and the president would call additional witnesses as well, the White House added.
“We’re prepared for all possibilities,” the official said.
The official ridiculed the idea of Democrats demanding further witnesses, arguing the Senate trial should not be a “do-over” for House Democrats.
“They’re supposed to do their preparation and come ready to present a case,” he said.
“If they’re not able to do that, then what should happen is, the president should be acquitted.”