Republicans discuss longer Senate impeachment trial to scramble Dem primaries

Some Republican senators and their advisers are privately discussing whether to pressure GOP leaders to stage a lengthy impeachment trial beginning in January to scramble the Democratic presidential race — potentially keeping a half-dozen candidates in Washington until the eve of the Iowa caucuses or longer.

Those conversations about the timing and framework for a trial remain fluid and closely held, according to more than a dozen participants in the discussions. But the deliberations come as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) faces pressure from conservative activists to swat back at Democrats as public impeachment hearings began this week in the House…

“Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden might like that,” Cornyn said of the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and the former vice president, who now poll in the top four in Iowa with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

There is an emerging divide among Republicans, however, over timing. While some Republicans favor a lengthy trial as a means of defending President Trump and creating problems for Democrats, others are calling for swift dismissal or final vote.

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