The latest on President Trump's impeachment
On witnesses at the Senate trial, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “we'll be dealing with the witness issue at the appropriate time."
"I think it's certainly appropriate to point out that both sides would want to call witnesses," McConnell said.
Earlier today: 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.
This morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said 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.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said today that he has not yet seen the Senate trial organizing resolution.
“No. I haven’t seen the resolution so I can't be on board with anything yet," Schumer said.
On the question of who will serve as House impeachment managers, Schumer said, "I have great faith in Speaker Pelosi, she has tremendous, tremendous talent in her caucus and she'll pick a good team.”
Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate GOP leadership who has been working closely on the impeachment trial logistics, told CNN he doesn’t believe the Senate trial will be done by Feb. 4 as the White House and Trump’s allies hope.
“If we would have gotten started at the proper time, we might have” gotten done by the State of the Union. “It’s hard to imagine” it finishing by Feb. 4, he said.
He added there’s “no reason” to think Trump won’t be giving the State of the Union when the trial is going on, similar to what happened to Bill Clinton in 1999.
“It’s hard to imagine this would be over quicker than two or three weeks,” Blunt said.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”