The latest on President Trump's impeachment

By Fernando Alfonso III and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:54 AM ET, Wed January 15, 2020
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2:46 p.m. ET, January 14, 2020

McConnell says Senate trial likely to start next Tuesday

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Mitch McConnell said this afternoon at a press conference that the Senate impeachment trial will likely begin next Tuesday as long as lawmakers can get through a few "preliminary issues" this week.

On whether the motion to dismiss will be included in the organizing resolution, McConnell told reporters that there is "little or no sentiment" for this among Republican senators.

"Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments," McConnell said.

More on this: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier today that she plans to hold a vote on impeachment managers tomorrow. After that, the next step is for the House to send the articles over to the Senate. At some point after that the trial will begin.

2:08 p.m. ET, January 14, 2020

Trump's allies are still pushing for motion to dismiss in Senate trial

From CNN's Lauren Fox

 Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
 Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

As GOP leadership pushes back on idea to include a motion to dismiss in their resolution citing the fact that the votes are not there anyway, and it would be better to acquit the President outright, some of Trump’s hill allies are still pushing to have a vote.

In an interview with reporters today ahead of the Senate GOP’s lunch, White House legislative affairs advisor Eric Ueland told reporters that “the President’s rights will be protected including the right to a motion to dismiss.”

“It will be included in the resolution?” CNN's Lauren Fox asked Ueland.

“The technicalities are for others to talk through, but we are confident the President’s rights will be protected,” Ueland said.

Here is where things get interesting: Even if a motion to dismiss is not included in the Senate’s formal organizing resolution, any individual member could still force a vote on it. So, be on the lookout for how some of the President’s closest allies on the hill approach this.

Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican who talks to Trump and advises him regularly, said that he is still interested in the motion to dismiss and hinted Republicans may need to step up and force a vote on it.

“I would vote to dismiss immediately. I would love for us to move to just have a vote to dismiss,” Perdue said.

Then, just moments later, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), another close ally of Trump’s, said flat out that a motion to dismiss was not realistic and should not happen.

There clearly is still a divide about what to do with the motion to dismiss question, but we should not assume it is settled even if leadership is posturing against it.

1:23 p.m. ET, January 14, 2020

Pelosi didn't take any questions on impeachment during her news conference moments ago

President Trump's impeachment wasn't discussed today during a press conference acknowledging the 10-year anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi didn't answer any questions.

Citizens United was a landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision that paved the way for the creation of so-called super PACs, and unlimited, undisclosed contributions to outside groups that are often impossible to track.

More on Pelosi: Earlier today, Pelosi confirmed that the vote on the impeachment managers will be held tomorrow. That vote will then allow the articles of impeachment to be sent to the Senate.

12:08 p.m. ET, January 14, 2020

The House will vote on impeachment managers tomorrow

From CNN's Lauren Fox and Ellie Kaufman

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has confirmed that the vote on the impeachment managers will be held Wednesday, according to a statement she released this morning.

“The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial. The House will now proceed with a vote on transmitting the articles of impeachment and naming impeachment managers on Wednesday, January 15," Pelosi said in the statement.

Pelosi added: “The President and the Senators will be held accountable.”

11:50 a.m. ET, January 14, 2020

White House officials: Trump not expected to delay State of the Union speech for impeachment trial

From CNN's Jim Acosta

 Mark Wilson/Getty Images
 Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It's likely to be deja vu all over again at President Trump's State of the Union speech.

Trump is not expected to delay his upcoming State of the Union address because of any complications arising from his impeachment trial in the Senate, according to two White House officials. 

One official pointed to former President Bill Clinton's 1999 State of the Union, which occurred as his impeachment trial was underway, as proof that Trump can do the same on February 4, three weeks from today. 

"It could run up against the State of the Union," said one official who specifically noted Clinton also delivered his speech during his impeachment trial. 

Could the speech be delayed? "No," a separate official stated flatly.

Some more historical context: Clinton did not even mention his impeachment trial during his State of the Union address on January 19, 1999. Several GOP House members boycotted Clinton's speech to register their disgust with the 42nd president, who was on trial at the time on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury resulting from his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was later acquitted.

During his address to the nation, Clinton touted his handling of the economy, a theme that is almost certainly to reemerge in Trump's State of the Union, which is scheduled one day following the Iowa caucuses.

But, some of Trump's allies appear to disagree. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon floated the idea of delaying the State of the Union over the weekend during an interview on Fox Business, and Senator John Cornyn sounded open to the idea in comments made to the Washington Examiner.

11:33 a.m. ET, January 14, 2020

Impeachment managers announcement could come at any time

From CNN's Haley Byrd

Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images
Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

An announcement on who will serve as impeachment managers for the Senate trial could come at any time between now and tomorrow’s vote, members say. But there is a lack of clarity on what that will look like.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said this morning that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “may well announce the managers before the resolution comes to the floor” tomorrow.

Hoyer's comments came after Pelosi told reporters Democrats “will be presenting them on the floor tomorrow” when asked when she will announce the managers.

Others said she could wait until the resolution is brought up — Rep. Dan Kildee told CNN after this morning's caucus meeting that his understanding of the timing is “it’ll be announced at the time we take up the resolution.” 

10:51 a.m. ET, January 14, 2020

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: The "ball is in the Senate's court"

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries said the "ball is in the Senate's court" as it relates to the impeachment of President Trump.

"What is the Senate doing such that they don't have time on the calendar to hear from witnesses like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney?" Jeffries asked this morning.

Former White House national security adviser John Bolton says he is willing to testify — if he is subpoenaed — in the Senate's impeachment trial.

Bolton is one of several witnesses whom Senate Democrats are now pushing for in the Senate trial, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House aide Rob Blair.

10:36 a.m. ET, January 14, 2020

House GOP leaders criticize Pelosi over delay on articles, saying it will hurt senators running in 2020

From CNN's Clare Foran

House Republican leadership held their weekly press conference this morning, and they criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the delay in transmitting articles of impeachment.

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said "there was nothing gained" by holding the articles and suggested that Pelosi’s move will hurt senators running for president. 

“Obviously, after saying for months that it was urgent that President Trump be impeached the Speaker of the House then sat on the articles for many, many weeks,” Rep. Liz Cheney said, “Unclear exactly what she believes she accomplished by it. We seem to be in exactly the same situation we were in previously except we’ve now had this tremendous delay, which means that important pieces of work like, for example, USMCA, which the House has passed, which we need to have passed in the Senate will not be taken up because the Senate will now be focused on the impeachment trial.”

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy suggested that Pelosi is giving an unfair advantage to former Vice President Joe Biden in the presidential race and disadvantaging 2020 candidates in the Senate who will now have to sit for the trial, like Sen. Bernie Sanders.

10:29 a.m. ET, January 14, 2020

Democratic House leader says articles of impeachment will be sent to the Senate tomorrow

 Alex Wong/Getty Images
 Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries said at this morning's caucus meeting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi "indicated" that the articles of impeachment "will be transmitted to the Senate at some point tomorrow."

He added that at some point between now and the resolution to transmit the articles being debated on the House floor, "individual impeachment managers will be named."

Jeffries added, "We are going to keep the focus on the stunning abuse of power" by President Trump.