02:06 GMT29 March 2020
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    A group of Republican senators reportedly met Thursday with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, as well as senior presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, to discuss a strategy regarding the ongoing impeachment probe against the president launched earlier by Democrats in the House.

    Senior Trump administration officials and Senate Republicans agree that a full trial should be conducted if the US House of Representatives impeaches Trump, Politico reported, citing unnamed sources.

    According to sources cited by the media outlet, the White House seeks evidence of a commitment to due process, particularly as Republicans criticize Democrats for how they are conducting the impeachment proceedings. 

    Republican Senators reportedly noted, during the meeting, that there are not enough votes to approve a motion to dismiss the trial, stressing that it would take just three Republicans to block any impeachment vote on the Senate floor, Politico said, citing sources.

    “Different people have different opinions of what to do but the main message [is] that a motion to dismiss won’t fly [...] They understand it because we’re hitting the House on lack of due process. Most trials you at least hear the evidence first", the source said, cited by Politico.

    House Democrats allege that Trump pressed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a probe into the Bidens by withholding nearly $400 million in US military aid - a charge Republicans deny, pointing to the release of the cash several weeks prior to a July 25 request by Trump, even though Ukraine never launched a Biden investigation.

    Democrats have blocked a Republican request to subpoena Hunter Biden to testify.

    Trump declassified what the White House claims is the full, unedited transcript of his telephone call with Zelensky. The president denied wrongdoing in his dealings with Ukraine. Trump has also inexplicably attempted to paint the impeachment inquiry as a political "witch hunt" by Democrats aimed at reversing the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election.

    House Democrats in the ongoing impeachment inquiry have scheduled testimony this week from eight witnesses.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden publicly admitted that, as US vice president, he threatened to withhold some $1 billion in US military aid unless Ukraine dismissed a prosecutor who was investigating a company that employed his son, Hunter.


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    US Senate, Republicans, White House, impeachment, Donald Trump, Ukraine, United States
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