Impeachment trial likely to begin next Tuesday

Cheryl Sanders
January 15, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have grappled over trial guidelines, with McConnell seemingly winning out by getting the majority votes necessary to start the trial without voting on whether to call witnesses.

The Senate majority leader said the House is likely to send the articles of impeachment over on Wednesday, which would then allow the Senate to go through some preliminary steps this week. During that process, the House impeachment managers presented their case for impeachment and the president's legal team responded before the issue of witnesses was debated. The Kentucky lawmaker has reportedly been surveying members of his conference to gauge support for a dismissal, but apparently GOP senators are generally not interested in such a move as some attempt to remain impartial ahead of the upcoming 2020 primaries.

Trump is also charged with obstruction for holding back witnesses and documents from the House impeachment investigation in defiance of Congressional subpoenas.

She suggested it was a win for Democrats when Mr. Trump's former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton recently said he would be willing to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed.

Pelosi will meet behind closed doors with House Democrats to decide next steps on Tuesday morning ahead of the party's presidential primary debate that evening, the last before the Iowa caucuses February 3.

Sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate is necessary to begin the trial.

Mrs. Pelosi, in an unprecedented move, has held on to the charges after House Democrats voted to impeach the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on December 18, saying she wants assurances the Republican-controlled Senate will hold a fair trial.

Though Democrats hoped to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) into adopting trial rules that would mandate the role of witnesses, that's nearly certainly not going to happen.

The Democratic Caucus meeting comes after Pelosi said Friday she would send the impeachment articles to the Senate this week, which would trigger a Senate trial over whether to convict Trump and remove him from office.

"Well, I think you have to for the sake of the office", Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in an interview when asked if he'd invoke executive privilege over witnesses such as Bolton. Until that happens, he continued, the Senate "cannot purport to dismiss the articles that would trigger the trial".

"We don't really care who comes forward because the president has done nothing wrong", said Gidley.

One leading Republican, Sen.

That trial included ten days of testimony from witnesses. It also would take only 51 senators to vote to dismiss the charges against Trump. He was national security advisor to President Trump. "If the existing case is weak, House Democrats should not have impeached in the first place", he added.

"Next to Donald Trump himself, this could be the most important witness that the Senate could call to determine what the actual facts are", attorney Nick Akerman told Newsweek.

Almost a month later, the California Democrat is now prepared to advance the process. 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".

Bolton's remarks, which were recalled by witnesses in the House investigation, could cut different ways in testimony. The Senate will then consider a resolution dealing with floor access and mechanical details, such as the placement of the furniture, for the Senate trial.

Other reports by iNewsToday