Trump’s Senate impeachment trial set to begin with fight over rules

Daniel Fowler
January 22, 2020

Dershowitz also responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's repeated claim that President Trump's impeachment "is forever" and that he will remain impeached regardless of the Senate trial outcome.

Democrats want to call White House officials involved in withholding military aid, including chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and his adviser, Robert Blair, and budget official Michael Duffey; John Bolton, Mr. Trump's former national security adviser who is said to have been angry with the President's pressure campaign; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and former secretary of energy Rick Perry. The Senate in 1999 unanimously passed the proposed resolution that would guide the proceedings against Clinton.

"The basic structure we're proposing is just as eminently fair and even-handed", McConnell said.

Late Monday evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a compressed calendar for opening statements, just two days for each side, as Trump's lawyers argued for swift rejection of the "flimsy" charges against the president and acquittal. "What she has said that even if the president is acquitted, the impeachment stands. No". Also, that change meant that any previous House-gathered evidence will now be admitted as evidence for this trial. Instead, we got a lengthy debate about the rules for how the Senate trial will work, with Senate Democrats introducing a number of amendments to call witnesses and documents at the outset of the trial. Susan Collins of ME played a role in attempting to ensure that the rules governing the proceeding mirror as much as possible the Senate's last impeachment trial, that of President Bill Clinton in 1999. The rules will be debated and voted on when senators convene for the trial on Tuesday.

Per underlying Senate rules, upon which both resolutions were based, the senators have to submit those questions in writing. "That is a profound departure from the Clinton precedent".

"We are ready to present our case". Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. "You can't have all these smoking gun emails out there and not get to the facts".

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There was no such agreement in Trump's trial and few negotiations between the two parties, as partisanship has hardened in the intervening years.

What they're saying: Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday, "Under this resolution, Senator McConnell is saying he doesn't want to hear any of the existing evidence, and he doesn't want to hear any new evidence". He is likely hoping by that point, a majority of senators will be exhausted and want to move on.

The rules are similar to the resolution outlining Clinton's impeachment proceedings.

After the senators' question period, Trump's trial will follow Clinton's format with debate over witnesses. Vernon Jordan Jr. and Sidney Blumenthal had also testified. Kenneth Starr's probe led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Bolton, who was present for numerous episodes detailed by the House as Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats, refused to testify in the House. The White House has cited executive privilege in its refusal to comply.

The president's lawyers dismissed the Democrats' demand for witnesses as proof that the House didn't prove their case before they voted to impeach last month.

If the Senate votes no, no one will be permitted to call for new witnesses or documents, according to a Republican leadership aide. Some Republican senators - including Collins, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah - pushed McConnell to include a vote on witnesses and have signaled they will vote to hear at least some testimony.

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