Discussions have not yet begun between Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate about how an impeachment trial for President Donald Trump will take place, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said Thursday, but he hopes they will.
"Thirteen of us in the Senate were present during the impeachment trial of President [Bill] Clinton," the Illinois Republican told CNN's "New Day."
"There was a moment when Sen. [Tom] Daschle, Sen. [Trent] Lott, the Democrat and Republican leads, brought us into the old Senate chamber. It was an important moment because it established this had to be a dignified and orderly process. We haven't reached that point. We're waiting for the House to act."
It would be premature of Republicans to try to dismiss the case against Trump before a trial starts, Durbin added.
Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also discussed testimony given by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan in his confirmation proceedings for ambassador to Russia.
Sullivan confirmed he told U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch that she was being recalled after pressure from Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani, who singled her out for what he said was an anti-Trump agenda.
"It's worrisome, very much so," said Durbin. "Ms. Yovanovitch is a career diplomat. A career employee. Bob Livingston, a former member of the House, was also lobbying for her removal. It was clearly a political effort to stop her for reasons I can't even explain."
Durbin said that he'd tell Sullivan and others that before they remove a professional diplomat who served under presidents of both parties, there should be cause for taking that action. In this case, he said "there never was."
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