Stephen Colbert Outlines Impeachment Case Against Trump Ahead Of Senate Trial

Elias Hubbard
January 21, 2020

Trump has been charged with abuse of office and obstruction of Congress, with his impeachment trial slated to begin in the Senate on Tuesday.

They state that Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 USA election to help him win, and then tried to thwart a congressional probe of his behavior.

The Senate is not going to automatically enter the House evidence into the trial record.

The memo goes on to claim that the charges against Trump fall short of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" the Constitution requires to trigger impeachment, and warn that a trial leading to Trump's removal from the White House would "permanently weaken the presidency and forever alter the balance of the branches of government".

As for the phone call at the heart of the impeachment inquiry where President Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine to look into Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, the brief argues Trump was justified to inquire into the Biden's due to corruption concerns in Ukraine.

While the Republican-controlled Senate is highly unlikely to remove Trump from office, it is important for him to try to diminish the Democratic accusations to limit political damage to his bid for a second term.

Since the testimony bears directly on the two pending impeachment articles, Democrats will argue that it is part of the case they care about presenting.

Senate Democrats are already understandably howling.

Neither side will be allowed to call witnesses or seek documents under the proposed rules unless a majority of the Senate votes to allow such motions after the opening phase of the trial, including up to 16 hours of senators' questions.

Either way, McConnell's resolution lays the ground work for a trial that would likely last far fewer than the 37 calendar days that the Clinton trial took up. The amount of time remains the same as the Clinton impeachment but constricted to a narrower window, forcing either long days or an abbreviated argument.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused McConnell of casting aside public statements that he would use the same rules as under the Clinton trial, adding that the majority leader is clearly "hell-bent on making it much more hard to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through".

As Washington prepared for the impeachment proceedings to start, McConnell released his four-page resolution late on Monday outlining a condensed, two-day timetable for the each side to give opening statements. The chamber will debate and vote on the proposed rules Tuesday.

The Democrats want key Trump administration officials to testify, such as acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton, in the belief that they know a lot about Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

The backdrop: The GAO found that the White House Office of Management and Budget violated the law when it withheld military aid to Ukraine.

One final point. The inclusion of new witnesses would not necessarily lengthen the trial by many weeks, as is sometimes suggested - although it could.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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