House impeachment managers reiterated an offer to the Senate on Friday that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) first made the night before: allow one week for witnesses to appear for depositions, and for review of documents.
The “one week” offer appeared designed to assuage concerns that calling new witnesses would lead to long, drawn-out court battles over executive privilege, or that testimony could make the trial last for many months.
Alternatively, the “one week” offer also provided Democrats with a simple request that, if denied, could be used as evidence that the House impeachment managers had been willing to compromise with Republicans.
House Democrats did not, however, explain how the “one week” offer would fit into the cramped political schedule for next week. Following Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, the presidential primary process kicks off Monday with the Iowa caucuses. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver the State of the Union address — thanks to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), herself who invited him.
Several Senate Democrats who are running for president are eager to return to the campaign trail, having lost almost two weeks of face time with voters. On Friday, they will face off in the last debate before the New Hampshire primary. There are only two real working days next week — Wednesday and Thursday — and the Senate has already lost a month of work to the impeachment that Democrats said was urgent, then delayed.
Lawyers for the president have pointed out that during the month-long delay when the House refused to deliver the articles of impeachment, it failed to take any steps to secure more witnesses and documents.