Democrats to Make Opening Arguments in Trump Impeachment Trial

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate will hear opening arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday, beginning up to six days of presentations on the question of whether Trump should be removed from office.

After battling into the early morning hours on Wednesday over the trial’s rules, senators voted 53-47 to approve a hastily revised set of procedures put forth by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that allows up to 48 hours of opening arguments – 24 hours for each side – over six days.

Trump was impeached last month by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, and impeding the inquiry into the matter.

The president denies any wrongdoing.

The Senate trial, the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, will resume at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT), the day after Democrats argued more witnesses and records were needed since the Trump administration had not complied with requests for documents and urged officials not to participate.

Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who helped spearhead the House impeachment inquiry, said the evidence against Trump was “already overwhelming” but further witness testimony was necessary to show the full scope of the misconduct by the president and those around him.

“They insist that the president has done nothing wrong, but they refuse to allow the evidence and hearing from the witnesses … and they lie, and lie and lie and lie,” Representative Jerrold Nadler, one of the House’s impeachment managers, said of the president’s lawyers.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone fired back.

“Mr Nadler, you owe an apology to the president of the united states and his family,” Cipollone said. “You owe an apology to the Senate. But most of all you owe an apology to the American people.”

REMEMBER WHERE YOU ARE

That back-and-forth led Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the impeachment, to admonish both men.

“I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are,” he said.

Republican senators have not ruled out the possibility of further testimony and evidence at some point after opening arguments and senators’ questions, but they held firm with Trump to block Democratic requests for witnesses and evidence.

During a debate that finally wrapped up near 2 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Wednesday, 13 hours after it started, senators rejected on party lines, 53-47, four motions from Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to subpoena records and documents from the White House, the State Department, the Defense Department, and the Office of Management and Budget related to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

By the same tally, senators also rejected requests for subpoenas seeking the testimony of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, White House aide Robert Blair and White House budget official Michael Duffey.

Under the rules, lawyers for Trump could move early in the proceedings to ask senators to dismiss all charges, according to a senior Republican leadership aide, a motion that would likely fall short of the support needed to succeed.

Even if such a motion fails, Trump is almost certain to be acquitted by the Republican-majority 100-member chamber, where a two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office.

But the impact of the trial on his re-election bid in November is far from clear.

The Senate trial is expected to continue six days a week, Monday through Saturday, until at least the end of January.

Trump and his legal team say there was no pressure and that the Democrats’ case is based on hearsay. Cipollone described the Ukraine investigation as an illegal attempt to remove a democratically elected president and avert his re-election.

No president has ever been removed through impeachment, a mechanism the nation’s founders – worried about a monarch on American soil – devised to oust a president for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” One, Richard Nixon, resigned in the face of a looming impeachment.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Patricia Zengerle, David Morgan and Susan Cornwell; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Scott Malone, Robert Birsel)

Responses

  1. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Gerald Nadler should be impeached and expelled from Congress for wasting tax payer monies on such a farce. The President of the Ukraine has stated on more than one occasion that there was no quid pro quo. It has also been stated by Ukrainian officials that they did nor even know that military aide had been held up until told by Sondland and by that time they had already received the aide. Democrats couldn’t get nothing out of the Russian Collusion no matter how hard Mueller tried so the Ukrainian quid pro quo was the second phase of trying to get rid of President Trump. They have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars trying right what they saw as wrong with the 2016 Presidential Election. They over confidence in Hillary Clinton. The people of the United States were tired of Barack Obama and his do nothing ways, Hillary would have continued on the same course except with her pay to play schemes the U.S. would have been in much worse shape. The economy would have tanked, or military would have failed and we would have been overrun with illegals, the entitlement programs would have bankrupted the U.S.. Democrats can’t accept that Hillary lost the election was not stole from her.

  2. confuction you and the whole of the communist party know exactly what you are doing. Cherrie is EXACTLY right. You are the party of racism, class warfare, hate, violence, lies, deception, devious under takings, America haters, freedom haters, totalitarian rule, haters of our Constitution, Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence and much, much more. They wish to change our history, brain wash our children and make EVERYTHING hammer and sickle through and through. Can everyone say “da comrade”. These are the things we can expect from a demonrat/communist president or from any demonrat/communist animal. They wouldn’t be a party without violence and criminals.

  3. Schumer states “Our Fore fathers are rolling over in their graves” he is correct especially at Schumer and his racist, misogynistic, bigoted, democrats selfishness and complete disrespect for America. They by themselves have made a mockery out of impeachment. Remember when you vote think hard and quietly look at every Democratic state, Democratic Governor that is in charge of their states, look where they are look what they have done and pay attention to what they won’t do to better their state or county! Now do you really want a Democratic President, thats wanting to be first women(if she is a woman) President, or a crazy older man whom will absolutely tell you what to do but will not follow it for himself and do you really want to be vulnerable to government powers that remove those that don’t agree with Government? Or perhaps you would prefer to have a Democratic Government that would render your life and family useless and allow the criminal to control everything. Then pretty sure it will end up coming down to a Purge Society where one day a year you can take your anger out without punishment? Yes the Purge, i know you think i am crazy but Hollywood knows more about Big Government doings and truly believes that we as citizen think its only a movie… The Democrats have proven over and over they are not for us but against us and some cowardly republicans too are against the citizens.

    This is just my opinion for what its worth

  4. These Democrats in particular just live for the pomp and circumstance whenever it can be arranged. It could be and skit on SNL if it wouldn’t have been lasting for 3 long years.

  5. So, where’s the “crime”? Of course as inferred by D’RAT Schiff, Alan Dershowitz is not qualified to speak about the Constitution; a man whose ~40 years of teaching Constitutional Law SHOULD give him an advantage to cite “chapter and verse” in what’s left of a document the D’RATS like Schiff/Nadlet/Schumer are shredding.

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