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Vox Sentences: Impeachment like it’s 1999

McConnell is ready to move on impeachment; Spain’s parliament approves a new government.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

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The rules of impeachment

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans are ready to vote on rules for the impeachment trial of President Trump — without Democratic support. Under his plan, “phase one” of the trial would proceed along the same lines as the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. [NPR / Kelsey Snell]
  • The Senate can’t vote until the House delivers the articles of impeachment, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won’t do that until she knows more about the rules for the trial. [Washington Post / Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz, John Wagner, and Seung Min Kim]
  • McConnell isn’t interested in negotiating with House Democrats on impeachment, though. “There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure,” he said in a floor speech. [NYT / Nicholas Fandos]
  • Senate Democrats hope to peel away at least four moderate Republican votes to ensure their ability to call witnesses at the trial. [CNN / Devan Cole]
  • The debate over whether to allow additional witness testimony at the trial took on a new dimension Monday when former National Security Adviser John Bolton, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry, expressed a willingness to testify if subpoenaed. Bolton previously refused to be deposed as part of the House impeachment inquiry. [Politico / Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney]
  • Despite Bolton’s statement, potential Republican defectors Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney appeared to fall in line earlier this week and voiced their support for impeachment rules mirroring the Clinton trial. [Vox / Sean Collins]
  • Some Senate Republicans, impatient with the delay, have suggested Senate rules should be changed so the trial can begin without articles of impeachment being sent to the Senate. [Axios / Ursula Perano]

A coalition government, if you can keep it

  • After two national elections last year, Spain finally has a functioning government, led by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. [Washington Post / Pamela Rolfe and Chico Harlan]
  • Sánchez previously led a caretaker government until a narrow left-wing coalition could be cobbled together. It’s the first such coalition government in Spain’s modern era. [NYT / Raphael Minder]
  • The coalition between the Socialist party and the left-wing Podemos still represents a fragile minority, however. Its future will rely on support from smaller parties in parliament. [WSJ / Giovanni Legorano]
  • Catalonian separatism could pose a problem for the new government. Sánchez promised a resolution to the region’s push for independence in exchange for Catalan MPs abstaining from the vote to form a new government. [BBC]



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