“I know outside pundits are just bringing up, dismiss this thing out of hand and move on, but at the same time that would not afford President Trump the ability to really defend himself. So I think consensus viewpoint literally is we’ll take it up in the Senate,” Johnson told KHOW, a Colorado-based radio station, as reported by The Hill.
When the articles of impeachment are sent to the Senate, they will be “incredibly flawed,” Johnson added. House managers and Trump’s legal team would be able to make their case.
“I don’t think we should ever just bring up a motion to dismiss. I think if at some point in time if we’ve heard enough, if we’ve really got the votes, we should bring up a motion to vote. Let’s actually vote on the articles of impeachment and then dispense with it that way,” Johnson continued.
On Friday morning, meanwhile, Trump said that he is open to having a trial in the Senate.
“I want a trial,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” in a morning interview. “There’s nothing there.”
The president said that he would call on the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to testify in the Senate. A White House spokesperson on Thursday said that Trump would also like to see former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden testify.
“I want to see Adam Schiff testify about the whistleblower who was a fake whistleblower,” Trump told Fox News, adding that the whistleblower complaint “bore no relationship to his call” on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to the Hill report, Johnson and several Republican senators met with White House aides on Thursday to discuss a potential Senate trial.
Republican Senate leadership has suggested that it’s highly unlikely that Trump would be convicted and removed from office as it takes 67 votes rather than a simple majority like the House.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shot down suggestions from Republican senators about quickly dismissing any articles of impeachment.
“The rules of impeachment are very clear, we’ll have to have a trial,” McConnell previously told reporters.
House Democrats are nearly two months into their impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused his power by allegedly withholding military to Ukraine exchange for politically advantageous investigations. Trump, Ukrainian officials, and a number of White House officials have denied the allegations.
The latest White House official to deny such claims is Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who stated that neither the Bidens or Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings were ever mentioned.
“Not once, not once was the name Burisma [or] the Bidens mentioned to me,” Perry, the former governor of Texas, told Fox News on Thursday.
“Not by the president, not by Rudy Giuliani, and not by [U.S. Ambassador to the European Union] Gordon Sondland. And if there’s anyone who says anything different, then they’re surmising. And that’s not a wise thing to do.”