President Trump To Face Trial In Senate
Donald Trump has entered history as the third US president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The House set up a trial in the Senate and voted on two charges that the president abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress. The trial will decide whether he remains in office.
While voting took place, President Trump addressed a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, saying:
While we’re creating jobs and fighting for Michigan, the radical left in Congress is consumed with envy and hatred and rage, you see what’s going on.
Both votes fell along party lines with nearly all Democrats voting for the charges and all Republicans against the charges. The House called for votes on the two charges: first, abuse of power, stemming from president Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his Democratic political rival, Joe Biden, and second, obstruction of Congress, because the president allegedly refused to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry, withholding documentary evidence and barring his key aides from giving evidence.
The vote for the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, was passed 230-197 and the second, for obstruction of Congress, 229-198. The proceedings on Wednesday began with members of Mr Trump’s Republican Party calling for votes on procedural issues in an effort to frustrate the process. Following this was a vote on the rules to be set out for the impeachment, which kicked off 10 hours of partisan debate on the merits of the two impeachment charges against President Trump.
While the House debates was going on, Mr Trump tweeted several times, calling the Democratic arguments “ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT” and an “ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!”. The president also wrote an irate six-page letter to Ms Pelosi on the eve of Wednesday’s vote, accusing her of declaring “open war on American democracy”.
President Trump was publicly invited by the Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee to give evidence, a move that would also have allowed his legal team to question witnesses, but he declined and penned a letter which was published by the White House, claiming he had been deprived of basic Constitutional Due Process from the beginning of this impeachment scam.
The White House released a statement saying that the president was “confident that he will be fully exonerated” in a Senate trial.
For President Trump to be removed from office, the trial would require a two-thirds majority ( 67 senators ) to convict and remove the president. Republicans control the Senate, 53 to 47, and Mr. Trump is widely expected to be acquitted.
The Republican Party has a majority in the Senate, making it highly unlikely that the president will be removed from office when senators cast their votes. Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week said that Republican senators would act in “total co-ordination” with the president’s team during the trial, outraging Democrats who pointed out that Senators are obliged to act as impartial jurors. Mr McConnell will be the one who decides the rules for the trial and which witnesses will testify. He is due to address the Senate later on Thursday.
Ms Pelosi is yet to name the case managers who will act as prosecutors during the trial. This impeachment places Donald Trump alongside two other presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, in the nation’s history, to face a trial in the Senate for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The first two, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were both acquitted. Another president, Richard M. Nixon, resigned rather than face impeachment and trial.