Trump's trial begins at the start of an election year

Clay Curtis
January 17, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Republican allies plan to launch a massive effort to limit damage to his chances of re-election as the Senate trial to determine whether to remove him from office gets under way in earnest next week.

In Kentucky, activists marked the moment by gathering Thursday outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Louisville office to assure him that they will be watching to proceedings.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has charged Trump with abuse of office for pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and obstructing Congress in its investigation into his conduct.

Ahead of the proceedings, the Government Accountability office said on Thursday that the White House violated federal law in withholding the security assistance to Ukraine, which shares a border with hostile Russian Federation.

Also on Thursday, FBI agents visited the home and business of CT congressional candidate Robert Hyde, who has been thrust into the center of the impeachment story after newly revealed text messages showed Hyde communicating with former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas about surveilling then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Ukrainian officials have opened a criminal investigation into the potential surveillance - before the US has announced a similar investigation.

But their presence in the Senate chamber for Trump's impeachment trial could complicate certain features of Trump's defense, including the attempt by top Republicans to block new witness testimony.

Mr Schiff said the challenge is to get a fair trial. But a vote to allow witnesses to be called seems likely, after GOP leadership suggested Republicans "generally are not interested in the motion to dismiss".

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Opening arguments are to begin next Tuesday.

A majority of American voters have consistently said in opinion polls that Trump abused his power and deserved impeachment, including in polling directed by conservative media organizations.

Instead, the president's team expects a trial lasting no more than two weeks, according to senior administration officials.

The senators responded they would, and then they lined up to sign an oath book.

In short, impeachment was supposed to prevent a crisis, not create one. "That's obviously not where Mitch McConnell is coming from".

The House managers are a diverse group with legal, law enforcement and military experience, including Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Sylvia Garcia of Texas, Val Demings of Florida, Jason Crow of Colorado and Zoe Lofgren of California. "Total assassin. She's an assassin, '" Axios reported the co-authors wrote.

Romney said he wants to hear from John Bolton, the former national security adviser at the White House, who others have said raised alarms about the alternative foreign policy toward Ukraine being run by Giuliani. "I take no position on the politics - just on the Constitution". It also would take only 51 senators to vote to dismiss the charges against Mr Trump.

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