Pelosi slams McConnell trial rules as "deliberately created to hide the truth"

Elias Hubbard
January 22, 2020

The Democrats want to call four additional witnesses - former and incumbent White House officials - who defied House subpoenas in the fall and get more documents they say could provide evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Donald Trump in the Ukraine affair.

The Capitol is seen at sunrise on the first full day of the impeachment trial of President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially proposed 48 hours, divided evenly between House managers and Trump's defence, for opening arguments over six days.

Congress' upper chamber will fill today with lawmakers tasked with determining whether Trump should be convicted and removed from office over two charges - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Adam Schiff admitted Tuesday morning that Donald Trump's defense team should have the right to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial along with Democrats being able to call individuals, as well.

It is only the third time in U.S. history that a president is facing an impeachment trial and it is unclear how long it will last.

The source said the president's lawyers will ask the Senate to "swiftly reject" the articles of impeachment.

Indeed, Trump has sought to rally his base with the impeachment issue, fundraising off it and at raucous election rallies painting himself as the victim of a witch hunt.

Schumer reiterated the criticism against those 12-hour days: "If the president is so confident in his case, why doesn't he present it when the sun is shining?" No president has ever been removed through impeachment, a mechanism the nation's founders - anxious about a monarch on American soil - devised to oust a president for "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors".

During the impeachment inquiry, Trump refused to participate and urged current and former administration staffers to do the same.

Trump insists that Biden removing a prosecutor who was looking into potential corruption regarding Hunter's position was a conflict of order the then-vice president used to prevent him son from getting into trouble. Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring a vulnerable ally to interfere in USA elections at the expense of American national security.

On the other side of the aisle, five Republicans may also buck party loyalty in their ultimate vote.

Trump has been impeached on two charges.

Trump, however, said he was attending the forum to encourage businesses to invest in the US.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ultimately moved the process forward without the assurances Democrats sought.

A pivotal event in the impeachment case is Trump's July 25 call to Zelensky asking Ukraine's president to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, meddled in the 2016 election.

The second allegation is that, by refusing to allow White House staff to testify at the impeachment hearings past year, Mr Trump obstructed Congress.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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