WASHINGTON – Congress opened impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump on Thursday. House Democrats read the official charges from the well of the U.S. Senate before all 100 senators were sworn in as jurors for the third impeachment process in U.S. history.
“Hear, hear, hear!” said the Senate Sergeant and asked the procedure to order.
Seven lawmakers who filed the indictment, led by MP Adam Schiff from the Intelligence Committee and MP Jerrold Nadler from the Justice Committee, walked solemnly across the Capitol for a second day. It is the beginning of a ceremony protocol that shifts negotiations from the democratically run house of spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi to the Senate with a Republican majority.
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Schiff, who stood in the well of the Senate, which was normally reserved for senators, read the resolution: “Charges against Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and crimes.”
In the late afternoon, Chief Justice John Roberts senators who vowed to ensure “impartial justice” were to take the oath of the jury.
The events that occur during an election year while Trump is seeking another term will test not only his presidency, but also the country’s three branches of power and his control system. Several senators are running for Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in November.
The president calls the impeachment process a “joke”, even if new information about his actions against Ukraine emerges, which has led to the charges against him.
Pelosi said new allegations by an indicted Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, only reinforce the need for the Senate to consider further statements about the President’s actions against Ukraine.
Pelosi noted that a special prosecutor would normally open an investigation, but doubted it would.
“This is an example of all of the President’s henchmen,” said Pelosi, “and I hope that the Senators will not become part of the President’s henchmen.”
Trump is accused of abusing his presidential violence by putting Ukraine under pressure to investigate democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as a lever. Trump has also been accused of hindering Congress’s subsequent investigation. Before the trial, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday that the White House violated federal law when it denied security assistance to Ukraine, which has a border with enemy Russia.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell opened the chamber on Thursday and decided to hand over “memory pens” to Pelosi after she signed the resolution to send the charges to the Senate.
“This last presentation brought together the entire partisan process of the house into a perfect picture,” said McConnell. “‘It was a transparent partisan process from start to finish.”
Democratic Senate chairman Chuck Schumer reiterated his party’s request that the trial include new witnesses and documents that are not available for Parliament’s impeachment process.
“What is the President hiding from? What is he afraid of?” Said Schumer.
“The seriousness of these allegations is obvious,” he said. “The House of Representatives accused the President of trying to shake off a foreign leader for personal reasons.”
The President recently suggested that he is open to a quick vote to simply reject the allegations, but the Republicans do not have sufficient support to do so. Nevertheless, a possible vote on Trump’s release is considered very likely.
On Wednesday, the House Democrats brought the prosecution to the Senate in a dramatic procession through the U.S. Capitol.
“Today we’re going to make history,” said Pelosi, when she signed the documents and used several pens to distribute and mark the moment. “This president will be held accountable.”
A moment later, the prosecutors solemnly walked through the stately hall and announced themselves in the back row of the Senate when the house employee announced the arrival: “The house has passed House Resolution 798, a resolution appointing and approving managers of the Impeachment proceedings against Donald John Trump, President of the United States. “
The opening disputes are scheduled to begin next Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr.’s holidays.
On Wednesday evening, Parliament voted almost entirely party-political with 228-193 votes, putting an end to a week-long delay in filling the indictment with a balance sheet that reflects the division of the nation.
The House’s top Republican, Kevin McCarthy of California, said the Americans looked back on this “sad saga” attempting to remove the “weakest case” president from office.
The president’s team expects a trial in the Senate that will take no longer than two weeks to be acquitted, senior officials said. That would be much shorter than the lawsuit against President Bill Clinton in 1999 or the first against President Andrew Johnson in 1868. Both were acquitted.
The seven-person law enforcement team is led by the chairperson of the House impeachment process, MPs Adam Schiff, and Jerrold Nadler, Justice Committee, two of Pelosi’s best representatives.
On Wednesday, Schiff released new notes from Lev Parnas, a staff member of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, about Ukraine’s strategy, including an exchange with another man about the surveillance of U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was later released.
Schiff said the new evidence should put more pressure on McConnell, who is reluctant to allow witnesses to testify, and prefers a quick acquittal. The White House has instructed officials not to honor the House’s subpoenas for testimony and documents.
“The challenge is to get a fair trial,” Schiff said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It shouldn’t be a challenge – if the senators really do their oath of being impartial, they’ll want a fair trial. Obviously that’s not where Mitch McConnell came from.”
Managers are a diverse group with legal, law enforcement and military experience, including Hakeem Jeffries from New York, Sylvia Garcia from Texas, Val Demings from Florida, Jason Crow from Colorado and Zoe Lofgren from California.
Two are inexperienced lawmakers – Crow, a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Garcia, a former judge in Houston. Demings is the former Orlando chief of police and Jeffries is a lawyer and member of the party leadership. Lofgren had the rare privilege of participating in the investigation of President Richard Nixon’s impeachment by the congressional staff – he resigned before the entire House voted on the indictment – and was then elected legislator during Clinton’s tenure.
Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine is trying to include Senate witnesses among some Republicans, including Mitt Romney from Utah, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Lamar Alexander from Tennessee. She told reporters that she was satisfied that the rules would allow voting on this.
Romney said he wanted to hear from John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor in the White House, who was alarming the other about Giuliani’s foreign policy on Ukraine.
Any four senators could force a result. Republicans control the chamber, 53-47, but it only takes 51 votes during the process to approve rules or call witnesses. It would also take just 51 senators to dismiss Trump’s charges.
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