Two attendees said that the White House wants the Senate to hold a trial of some length and not immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment with the GOP's majority, as some Republicans have suggested.
After two weeks of public testimony revealed that Democrats' impeachment case against President Donald Trump is largely made up of hurt feelings and foreign policy disagreements, the White House and allies say Trump is looking forward to a 'trial of some length' in the Senate if the House votes to impeach so he can expose what a flimsy case has been built against him.
Donald Trump says he wants an impeachment trial in the Senate, despite saying that "they should never, ever impeach." pic.twitter.com/ZAENby2hcA— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) November 22, 2019
"He wants to be able to bring up witnesses like Adam Schiff, like the whistleblower, like Hunter Biden, like Joe Biden," said Hogan Gidley, principal deputy press secretary for the White House.
Trump spent much of Thursday and Friday tweeting highlights from recent impeachment testimony:
SCHIFF'S "FACT" WITNESSES! pic.twitter.com/Pab2y1BVoN— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2019
On Thursday morning, a group of Republican senators met with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to discuss strategy for a potential Senate trial which would likely take place in January, according to Politico.
The White House and Trump's GOP allies decided instead “they want some kind of factual affirmative defense on the merits," said one attendee.
One attendee noted that the White House wants to show a commitment to due process, particularly since Republicans have criticized House Democrats for how they've conducted their impeachment proceedings.
A White House official said the meeting "wasn't so much about the details, it was about the Democrats' weak case and we want to show just how weak it is." -Politico
President Trump, meanwhile, has been tweeting and retweeting highlights from the last week - and spent nearly an hour with Fox and Friends on Friday where he said he knows "exactly" who the Ukraine whistleblower is. Trump also said that he wants Schiff to testify more than Hunter Biden, and repeated his claim that former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was "not an angel" and that she was speaking poorly of him to others.
Trump repeated the claim that the hacked DNC server was given to Crowdstrike, "a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian."
Trump also praised Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for her performance during the public impeachment hearings (23:40 in video above), as well as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) - tweeting and retweeting clips related to Schiff's hearings.
Today we heard from Amb. Sondland that @realdonaldtrump told him: “No quid pro quo. I want nothing.”— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) November 21, 2019
No evidence of impeachable offenses, but the partisan process continues.
And Adam Schiff still won’t let us call the whistleblower or Hunter Biden to testify. pic.twitter.com/LAfwofDMQ3