Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chamber's top Democrat, are at "an impasse" in moving toward the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.
McConnell told Fox News he's not interested in including witnesses and documents at the Senate trial, something Schumer and congressional Democrats are demanding as part of the process.
McConnell said the Senate is at an impasse until Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the impeachment articles. Pelosi and other Democrats have said they want some assurance there will be a fair trial before the articles, which were passed by the lower chamber last week, are physically delivered.
The House in its investigation heard from a number of witnesses, but the president blocked most who were subpoenaed in his current administration from testifying. Democrats, feeling they had sufficient evidence to adopt both articles, opted not to wait for federal courts to rule on the matter.
"The House went ahead without witnesses, and they didn't pursue the witnesses in court," the Kentucky Republican said Monday. "They just blew right through that and accused the president of doing something improper by simply invoking executive privilege, which every president has done."
House Counsel Douglas Letter wrote a filing on Monday responding to an inquiry by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on whether the House must still hear testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn, saying that a second impeachment may be necessary if it is determined Trump attempted to obstruct investigations related to the proceedings.
"If McGahn's testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the articles approved by the House, the committee will proceed accordingly -- including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment," Letter wrote.
McConnell said the GOP-controlled Senate hasn't ruled out the possibility of witnesses at trial, saying he envisions an impeachment proceeding similar to that of President Bill Clinton in 1999, when witness depositions were used instead of live testimony.
"Fair is fair," he said.
Schumer, D-N.Y., is asking for four witnesses, including the White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. In a letter Monday, he also asked for the inclusion of new documentary evidence related to Trump's handling of Ukrainian military aid and his efforts to persuade Kiev to publicly investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden -- the nature of the relationship between the two elements serving as the key focus of the entire ordeal.
Among the documents he asks for are White House email correspondence and memos pertaining to phone calls between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, communications from officials like Bolton and Mulvaney on the matter, Natonal Security Council communications for at least six occasions on which NSC personnel reported concerns about Trump's decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine and hundreds of documents from an internal investigation into the issue.
Schumer's letter also calls for similar evidence from the State Department and White House budget office.
Schumer has argued that Trump's trial is different than Clinton's because his administration has refused to provide any documentation and testimony -- unlike Clinton's, which provided both to the trial stemming from his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
As members of the Senate's controlling party, Republicans will control Trump's trial proceedings because all motions can pass with a simple majority. A two-thirds majority, however, is needed to convict Trump on either article and remove him from office.