Senate leaders looking ahead to possible impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Senate isn’t expected to begin President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial until after the new year but some lawmakers are already getting ready for whatever comes their way.

“I’ve said over and over again, if the House does in fact act, then the Senate will be in business with an impeachment trial,” Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who’s considered the dean of the Senate, has worked through an impeachment trial before and he’s urging his fellow lawmakers to be prepared.

“We’ll see what comes over here,” he said. “I’m not going to tell anybody what they should do. I talk about what happened in the past.”

Leahy said he’s looking over notes and transcripts he kept from the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

“The vast majority of members in both parties approached it very seriously,” he recalled. “They stopped the sloganeering and everything else.”

According to Leahy, the process must be taken seriously by all parties to avoid political theatrics that will damage the country.

“It’s a serious thing,” he said. “You actually take a separate oath to sit on the impeachment trial.”

The White House stands ready for the next steps as well.

“I think if you go to a trial, that’d be more familiar, and we’re very ready for that,” White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said.

Regardless, Trump maintains that the investigation into his presidency holds no merit.

“It’s a hoax,” he said. “It’s a big fat hoax.”

The Senate is expected to take over the reins of impeachment after the first of the year.