Trump impeachment goes to Senate; trial to follow

Trump impeachment goes to Senate; trial to follow

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


WASHINGTON, DC, United States (AP) — The House voted yesterday to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, delivery set for a dramatic procession across the US Capitol for only the third such trial in American history.

Trump, meanwhile, complained anew of a “hoax”, even as new details emerged about his efforts in Ukraine.

The charges were to be carried in a ceremony of pomp and protocol by lawmakers prosecuting the case, moving the impeachment out of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Democratic-run House to the Republican-majority Senate, where the president's team is mounting a defence aiming for swift acquittal.

The mostly partly-line House vote to deliver the charges was 228-193, reflecting the deeply divided nation at the start of this presidential election year. It came one month after the House impeached Trump, alleging he abused his presidential power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as leverage. Trump was also charged with obstructing Congress' ensuing probe.

“We are here today to cross a very important threshold in American history,” Pelosi said yesterday, addressing the House before the vote.

“This is what an impeachment is about,'' she said earlier, announcing the prosecution team. “The president violated his oath of office, undermined our national security, and jeopardised the integrity of our elections.”

Trump's political campaign dismissed it all as “just a failed attempt to politically damage the president leading up to his re-election”.

The constitution calls on Chief Justice John Roberts to preside at the trial, administering the oath to senators who will serve as jurors and swear to deliver “impartial justice''. Opening arguments are to begin next Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr holiday.

The top Republican in the House, Kevin McCarthy of California, said Americans will look back on this “sad saga” that tried to remove the president from office with the “weakest case”.

The president's team expects acquittal with a Senate trial lasting no more than two weeks, according to senior Administration officials unauthorised to discuss the matter and granted anonymity.

That's far shorter than the last presidential impeachment trail, of Bill Clinton, in 1999, or the first one, of Andrew Johnson, in 1868.

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sets the rules for the trial, Trump has given mixed messages about whether he prefers lengthy or swift proceeding, and senators are under pressure with the emerging new evidence to call more witnesses for testimony.

The seven-member prosecution team will be led by chairmen of the House impeachment proceedings, Reps Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee and Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee, two of Pelosi's top lieutenants.

Ahead of yesterday's session, Schiff released new records from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, about the Ukraine strategy, including an exchange with another man about surveillance of later-fired Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch.

Schiff said the new evidence should bring more pressure on McConnell, who is reluctant to allow witnesses to testify and also prefers swift acquittal.

“If McConnell makes this the first trial in history without witnesses, it will be exposed for what it is and that is an effort to cover up for the president,” Schiff said.

McConnell opened the Senate dismissing what he called a rushed impeachment that is more about the politics of Democrats who don't like Trump than the charges against him.

“This isn't really about Ukraine policy or military money,” McConnell said. “This has been naked partisanship all along.”


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT