McConnell courts GOP hard-liners, moderates and Trump as impeachment trial looms - www.politico.com

Excerpts from article:

...For McConnell, he has to deal with an angry president who dismisses the impeachment saga as a "Hoax" and a "Witch hunt"; moderate Republican senators anxious for the case to proceed with at least a patina of impartiality; GOP hard-liners who want to dismiss the charges outright or alternately call Joe and Hunter Biden as witnesses; a united Democratic caucus eager to score points at the Republicans' expense; and constituents back home who want to see how McConnell delivers as he runs for reelection to a record seventh term in the Senate.

...With a nod to his hold on at least 51 GOP votes, McConnell also told reporters that Senate Republicans will begin the impeachment proceedings without any Democratic involvement.

...McConnell made clear on Tuesday there's "Little to no sentiment" among Senate Republicans to dismiss the trial, showing the GOP leader is also trying to keep his most aggressive members in line as well.

...The long-delayed start of the Trump trial crept closer as Pelosi announced that the House will vote Wednesday to transmit the articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate.

...Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 4 Senate Republican, said McConnell is right to hold on to the trial resolution until next week, despite complaints from Democrats about kept being in the dark.

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