President Trump is set to address the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, where he will seek to get the full Senate to vote on his impeachment.
But first, he needs the cooperation of Sens.
Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake, the two Republican senators who will chair the panel.
Graham has already announced he will vote to bring Trump to trial.
On the Senate floor, the first-term senator from South Carolina will ask questions on the impeachment process, and Flake will try to push back on Trump’s assertion that the Senate should be in recess.
“It’s time for Congress to have the proper deliberative process in place, to hold a public hearing and to have an independent investigation,” he said.
But Graham, who was one of the first Republicans to join Trump’s impeachment bid, says his committee will likely hear only about Trump’s firing of Comey, which he said would be part of a broader investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Flake, who voted against Trump’s inauguration last year, said he will only vote to take action if Trump’s charges are proven false.
“If there is a fair and impartial investigation into this matter, we will have a full and fair hearing, not a sham hearing,” he wrote in a letter to members.
“I believe the president should be held accountable, not his campaign or his staff.”
He added that if he were to vote to proceed with an impeachment, he would do so “because I believe that it is the best course of action for our country and our democracy.”
The hearing, which will begin at 7 p.m.
EDT on Monday in the Senate, will feature a number of key points.
Graham and Flake both want to see Trump removed from office.
Graham will ask for the impeachment hearing to be closed to the public.
“This hearing is a public forum, not an investigation into a single individual,” he told The Hill.
He will also argue that the hearing should be conducted in a way that does not invite the president to testify against him.
“Let us not be dragged into the process of impeachment, or into any other investigation,” Flake said.
“We should not be held hostage to the president’s words and actions, nor be subject to his malicious lies.”
On Monday, Graham will also push for the Senate to hold hearings on all the relevant committees, as well as the White House and Congress, as part of the impeachment proceedings.
He says his focus is on the Senate’s “continuing role in this process.”
Graham and the other senators have been pressuring Trump to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Trump-Russia investigation.
But the Senate Republican leader says he won’t allow the hearing to take place before his committee, since it has jurisdiction only over the president.
“The Senate Intelligence investigation is a special jurisdiction, and therefore the president has to go before that committee in person,” Graham told The Daily Beast on Monday.
Flake, a former Republican senator from Arizona, is the only Republican to be a co-sponsor of Graham’s motion to move the hearing before the Intelligence Committee. “
There is no place for this in a regular committee, and I would prefer to have a hearing in the regular committee instead.”
Flake, a former Republican senator from Arizona, is the only Republican to be a co-sponsor of Graham’s motion to move the hearing before the Intelligence Committee.
Flake and the others want the Senate panel to hold an open hearing.
“All of us, the American people, should have the opportunity to be heard and to be able to see what is in the president, what is going on with his campaign, and what his staff is doing,” Flake told The Associated Press on Monday afternoon.
He said he also wants the committee to hold “a fair and transparent hearing that allows us to see the president for himself.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In his opening statement, Graham said he wanted the hearing “to be an opportunity for the American public to hear the President of the United States on this matter.”
“The public has a right to know that he is acting in accordance with the law and that he has been subject to the highest degree of transparency,” Graham said.