Published: Mon, January 20, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hunter Biden testimony questions loom over Senate impeachment trial

Hunter Biden testimony questions loom over Senate impeachment trial

Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor brought in to assist President Trump's legal team, said that even if the House makes its case that the president abused his power he can not be impeached because the charge is not addressed in the Constitution.

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially transmitted the articles of impeachment to the Senate after weeks of delay in a futile attempt to demand new witness testimony in the coming trial. A two-thirds majority of senators would be required to remove Trump from office.

"The case against the president of the United States is simple, the facts are indisputable, and the evidence is overwhelming", they said.

The document was an appeal directly to the senators.

She said all senators faced political pressures but her responsibility was "not to focus on the politics of where we are but a recognition that we are in the midst of an infrequent and in many ways extraordinary process that the Constitution allows for, and I'm going to take my constitutional obligations very, very seriously".

The trial is set to begin on Tuesday with US Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.

Their filing said the articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats were a "dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president".

Democrats said they have built an unassailable case that Trump improperly sought to trade congressionally mandated security aid to vulnerable USA ally Ukraine in exchange for political favors, in what they allege was an abuse of power.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), another House manager, also said the president's team would not be able to disprove the testimony given by witnesses in House hearings a year ago about Trump's campaign to withhold the aid from Ukraine until President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate the Bidens.

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But one of Trump's lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, best known for defending celebrity clients like Mike Tyson and O.J.

Trump stands accused of orchestrating an effort to press Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential 2020 rival, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while Biden was vice president.

The document filed by the Democratic House impeachment managers on Saturday explained why the House passed the two articles of impeachment, and listed evidence supporting the charges.

The two sides have been publicly fencing over whether the trial will be conducted quickly, perhaps in as little as two weeks - Trump's clear preference - or whether witnesses can be called and new evidence introduced - as Democrats insist is needed for a full and fair trial.

It also included a finding on Thursday by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) that Trump broke the law when he withheld military aid that Congress had designated for Ukraine.

"An acquittal would also provide license to President Trump and his successors to use taxpayer dollars for personal political ends", the Democratic lawmakers' brief said. In the Senate, only a handful of Republican lawmakers have suggested they would not simply support his exoneration.

Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida for the weekend, and played a round of golf on Saturday.

Trump says he didn't do anything wrong.

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