Pelosi advances impeachment process, clearing way for Trump's trial

Elias Hubbard
January 15, 2020

All of that is likely to happen on Wednesday, Blunt said.

The idea of dismissing the charges against Mr Trump is as unusual as it is unlikely.

But Pelosi has delayed sending the charges to the Senate in an unsuccessful effort to get that chamber's Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to agree to include new witness testimony that could be damaging to the Republican president. At stake is not how best to achieve a preordained partisan result, but how best to conduct a fair trial.

"The president and the senators will be held accountable". If a House majority wants to impeach a president, the ball is in their court, but they have to do the work.

Pelosi could name up to 10 lawmakers as managers to argue the case against Trump, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who spearheaded the impeachment probe, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

To become law, the measure must pass the House of Representatives and either be signed by Trump, or garner a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress in order to override his veto.

It was an extraordinary suggestion, but one being proposed by Trump allies with support from some GOP senators, including McConnell.

The president said he shouldn't have to carry the "stigma" of impeachment because he's done nothing wrong. Pelosi said the House vote last month means Trump will be "impeached forever" and "for life".

The ceremonial delivery to the Senate is expected to happen Wednesday.

A key question looming over the trial is to what extent the president will seek to influence the proceedings and limit witnesses who have direct knowledge of events at the center of the inquiry. It also would take only 51 senators to vote to dismiss the charges against Trump.

Trump "pressured a foreign government to target an American citizen for political gain, and at the same time withheld without justification $391 million in military aid to a vulnerable Ukraine as part of a geopolitical shakedown scheme", Democratic caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries said. No evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens has emerged.

Senator Susan Collins, one of those at-risk GOP lawmakers, said she's been working with a small group of Republicans to ensure the upper chamber hears from additional witnesses.

The House resolution serves as a formal notice to the Senate that it is prepared to transmit the articles.

In supporting such a rules change, Tribe said, "McConnell was essentially telling Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, the House and the nation that he intends to do all he can, rules or no rules, to cover up the obviously grave charges against President Trump embodied in the two articles of impeachment voted by the House in December".

Most Republicans appear willing to go along with McConnell's plan to start the trial first then consider witnesses later, rather than upfront, as Democrats want. That special oath, ever since the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868, has required every senator to commit, on pain of perjury, to "do impartial justice". If that succeeds, he said Republicans likely will want to call witnesses of their own.

Testimony from other officials during the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry identified Bolton as the highest-profile voice of dissent in the president's dealings with Ukraine.

"That is why Donald Trump has been impeached, because he abused his power".

"Do these sound like leaders who really believe we are in a constitutional crisis, one that requires the ultimate remedy?"

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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