Impeachment: Senate passes resolution; GOP rejects subpoenaing witnesses

Clay Curtis
January 22, 2020

Prosecutors from the U.S. House of Representatives are scheduled on January 22 to deliver their opening arguments in a landmark trial taking place in the Senate on whether to remove President Donald Trump from office for "high crimes and misdemeanors".

In order to allow more witnesses to testify, the 47 Democratic Senators -assuming they stay united-need to peel off at least four Republican Senators to join them in voting first to allow new evidence, and again to allow for witnesses.

Schumer then introduced a second amendment seeking to subpoena the State Department for certain documents and records.

The votes set the stage for a swift trial that could wrap up in less than two weeks. "It is the President's belief that ... he can do anything he wants, no matter how corrupt, outfitted in gaudy legal clothing".

No President has ever been removed from office by the Senate.

McConnell's handwritten, last-minute changes stunned fellow senators and delayed the start of the proceedings.

The Senate remained in session late into the night as it heard arguments on more motions and debated the final rules.

On Tuesday, arguing as a House impeachment manager on the Senate floor, Schiff asserted President Zelensky was afraid to admit Democrats' claims that he was pressured by President Trump to re-up an investigation into Burisma and the Bidens.

Politico reported Tuesday that in a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) a week ago, Schiff wrote that Lev Parnas - an associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani - "continued to try to arrange a meeting with [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenksy" providing a text exchange in which Parnas told Giuliani, "trying to get us mr Z".

In a strict 53-47 party-line vote in the early hours of Wednesday, local time, the senators backed the trial plan offered earlier by Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell.

Puerto Ricans demand answers after discovery of disaster aid in warehouse
Reyes, the adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, to replace him. "This fight goes on no matter what!" they chanted. The scene reminded numerous beginning of protests that escalated over the summer and led to the resignation of former Gov.

After opening arguments, senators will have 16 hours to submit written questions in the chamber.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvany's pivotal role in implementing the Ukraine quid pro quo meant that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), as he argued for a Mulvaney witness subpoena, could recount all the various episodes that involved the OMB chief.

But Democrats argued documents and witnesses must be called at the start of the trial so that both sides have access to all the evidence before they make their cases.

A trial without witnesses and evidence is not a trial, the Democrats complain - a seemingly compelling argument on the face of it.

Senators remained as the clock passed 10:30pm (local time), while Democrats pursued what may be their only chance to force senators to vote on hearing new testimony.

"It's clear Sen. McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more hard to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through", Schumer said.

"Not a single [previous] president has categorically refused to co-operate with an impeachment investigation", she said.

McConnell had initially planned to compress the 24 hours of argument into two days, which could have led the sessions to go well past midnight.

Each amendment vote failed, but the exercise provided an opportunity for the House managers to preview the major points they plan to make in their impeachment case. Sen. A simple majority vote of 51 senators will decide the issue. But the public had already heard from all three of those witnesses, as they had been interviewed by Starr's team.

Cipollone then demanded Nadler apologize to Trump, his family, the Senate and the American people before Justice Roberts admonished both sides "in equal terms to remember they are addressing the world's greatest deliberative body".

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