Trump impeachment trial to start next week
An impeachment trial against Donald Trump will begin on Tuesday, after the articles of impeachment were formerly delivered to the US Senate..
The House of Representatives voted largely on party lines in December for the impeachment trial, with 228 Democrats voting in favour, and one Democrat joining 192 Republicans to vote against.
Although Mr Trump is expected to be acquitted of the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, because the Republicans control the Senate, he is still required to face a trial.
The US president is accused of abusing his office by asking the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of his political rival Joe Biden.
Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats. All of this work was supposed to be done by the House, not the Senate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2020
Articles of impeachment were signed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and then marched into the Senate by the House prosecutors, in the “engrossment procedure”.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was “sad” to have to send the documents but it was “progress”.
She said: “We will make it very clear that no president is above the law.”
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Addressing the House before the impeachment vote, Mrs Pelosi said: “The president violated his oath of office, undermined our national security, jeopardised the integrity of our elections.”
Mr Trump dismissed the charges as a “hoax”.
In a statement before the House started its work, the White House accused Mrs Pelosi of leading a “sham” which will “prove she is focused on politics instead of the American people”.
It added: “The Speaker lied when she claimed this was urgent and vital to national security because when the articles passed, she held them for an entire month in an egregious effort to garner political support. She failed and the naming of these managers does not change a single thing.
“President Trump has done nothing wrong. He looks forward to having the due process rights in the Senate that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats denied to him, and expects to be fully exonerated.
“In the meantime, after President Trump signs the historic China trade deal greatly benefiting the people of this country, he will continue working and winning for all Americans, while the Democrats will continue only working against the president.”
Before the vote, Mrs Pelosi named the House prosecutors, known as impeachment managers, who took the case to the Senate.
The seven she announced are Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow and Sylvia Garcia.
Ms Pelosi said she had chosen these seven carefully, and that they would launch a defence of the US Constitution.
She said: “Today, I have the privilege of naming the managers of the impeachment trial of the president.
“It is their responsibility to present the very strong case for the president’s impeachment and removal. The impeachment managers represent the patriotism, pluralism and vibrancy of America.”
Today, I have the privilege of naming the Managers of the impeachment trial of the President. #DefendOurDemocracypic.twitter.com/Y2613Ni3pC
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 15, 2020
When the articles of impeachment were sent to the Senate, the whole prosecution team lined up behind House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and House Clerk Cheryl Johnson, who held the articles.
They walked two-by-two to the doors of the Senate, and handed the articles to Secretary of the Senate Julie E. Adams.
Senate Republicans have indicated they will not vote to dismiss the articles without hearing the arguments, something the president suggested doing.
There is an ongoing debate over how and when witnesses will be called.
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Republicans control the Senate, the US’s second chamber, by 53-47 and it would take 51 votes to approve rules or call witnesses during the trial.
If four Republican senators joined with Democrats, they could insist on new evidence.
Mr Trump’s trial will be only the third in US presidential history and the second to be televised.