McConnell wants a low-risk no-frills process in which the GOP does its constitutional duty and then quickly — emphasis on quickly — moves on. If he thought he and his caucus could get away with it, no doubt they’d accept the articles of impeachment from the House and hold an immediate vote on whether to remove Trump from office, dumping the whole matter in the trash once the requisite 67 votes fail to materalize. Total time elapsed: 20 minutes, tops. But Senate rules say they have to hold a trial of some sort, and McConnell knows that endangered Republicans like Collins and Gardner want a process that makes it seem like the party is at least pretending to take this seriously. That subject seems to be consuming a fair amount of McConnell’s thinking on impeachment, in fact. How long do they have to drag the trial out before voters will say, “Okay, this at least vaguely resembles an earnest fact-finding effort”?
Trump, on the other hand, wants a “show,” because of course he does. When in his life has he ever been offered the option of a spectacle and decided, “No, let’s do the low-key thing”?
He may not get an option this time. According to CNN, McConnell is right in line with the rest of the GOP leadership in wanting to dispense with the trial ASAP. That means no witnesses for the defense. Trump does … not agree.