Published: Sun, January 12, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Donald Trump impeachment charges set for US Senate

Donald Trump impeachment charges set for US Senate

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will take steps next week to send articles of impeachment to the Senate for President Donald Trump's Senate trial.

A senior House GOP source, involved in the impeachment process, said that his concern that Pelosi is requesting managers to send the impeachment articles to the Senate may be a ploy because she lost the war on impeachment, adding that "none of us understand what Pelosi is doing".

The protracted showdown has scrambled the politics of impeachment and the congressional calendar three weeks after the House Democrats impeached Ms Trump on charges of abuse and obstruction over his actions toward Ukraine.

Update: Pelosi appears to have caved, telling fellow Democrats she'll transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate next week.

After Pelosi's announcement on Friday, Schumer issued a short statement: "Senate Democrats are ready for the trial to begin and will do everything we can to see that the truth comes out".

A new profile in TIME says that Pelosi "had been mulling the tactic since she heard former Nixon White House counsel John Dean float the idea on CNN on December 5".

Mr McConnell walked Mr Trump through his intended trial format on Wednesday, according Washington insiders.

'We have the votes, once the impeachment trial has begun, to pass a resolution essentially the same, very similar to the 100-0 vote in the Clinton trial, ' McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, announced after having lunch with the members of his party.

A two-thirds Senate majority - 67 votes - would be needed to convict Trump and remove him from office.

Asked if he would invoke executive privilege to block Bolton's testimony, Trump said, "Well I think you have to for the sake of the office".

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Pelosi said on Thursday she will send the articles 'soon'. No Republicans voted in favor of the articles of impeachment, while at least one Democrat dissented on one or both of them.

The former national security adviser would be a critical witness due to his firsthand knowledge of numerous events that led to Trump being impeached over his dealings with Ukraine.

The Senate is expected to start its trial this month before the political temperature quickly rises as the nation turns to the 2020 presidential race.

Democrats have demanded it include new witness testimony and evidence about the Republican president's pressuring of Ukraine to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the Democrats running for the right to face Trump in the November election. "Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment", proclaimed James Ziglar, who was the Senate sergeant at arms at the time.

The top Democrat in Congress had hoped Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, of Trump's Republican Party, would provide assurances of what she described as a "fair" trial in which Democrats can subpoena witnesses and documents.

In fact, in an extremely historic move, Trump released his transcripts of his July, 2019 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

They brought attention to how Republicans plan to hold a Senate trial.

For five senators who are running for the Democratic presidential nomination, the impeachment trial complicates the face-to-face contact that's critical for candidates before the February 3 Iowa caucuses.

Bolton, who was present for several of the internal White House discussions about Ukraine policy that were at the heart of the Democrats' impeachment case, is among the most compelling of four witnesses suggested by Schumer. Warren says she's prepared to spend days in the Senate, then fly back to Iowa for evening campaigning "if that's what it takes".

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