Trump impeachment: Democrats decry 'White House-driven and rigged process'

Trump impeachment: Democrats decry 'White House-driven and rigged process'

Trump impeachment: Democrats decry 'White House-driven and rigged process'

Donald Trump's impeachment trial begins in earnest in the Senate on Tuesday in a rare use of the constitutional mechanism for ousting a president that has only deepened the polarization of US voters ahead of presidential elections in November. "Trump.pdf" target="_blank">110-page legal brief, the president's lawyers say the two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstructing Congress don't amount to crimes and don't merit removing Mr. Trump from office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his resolution outlining the next steps, including a week of hours-long opening arguments, on Monday.

Schumer took immediate issue with that, charging that it is "designed to prevent the Senate and the American people from learning the full truth about President Trump's actions that warranted his impeachment". Those opening arguments will be followed by 16 hours of questioning and a four-hour debate before the ultimate vote on whether to remove Trump from office.

Votes on trial rules could take place later on Tuesday, including on whether witnesses such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton can be called.

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska have all - in one way or another - expressed concerns with President Trump and could break with their party.

After almost a month-long standoff, the two articles of impeachment were sent to the Senate last week, setting the stage for the historic trial.

That's a tough schedule for the impeachment managers if they want to use all of their allotted time.

Schumer reiterated the criticism against those 12-hour days: "If the president is so confident in his case, why doesn't he present it when the sun is shining?"

A two-thirds vote is needed in order to oust Trump from his position of commander-in-chief. A senior GOP leadership aide said that was because of a lack of due process for the president in the House proceedings.

The whistleblower complaint has served as the basis for House Democrats' impeachment inquiry and subsequent charges.

Trump has been impeached on two charges.

Trump is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he delivered a speech early this morning.

A pivotal event in the impeachment case is Trump's July 25 call to Zelensky asking Ukraine's president to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, meddled in the 2016 election.

Democrats said Trump abused his power by initially withholding $391 million U.S. in Ukraine security aid meant to combat Russia-backed separatists, and a coveted White House meeting for Zelensky, to pressure Ukraine to announce the investigations into the Bidens. Trump's legal team says there is no evidence he conditioned the aid on getting that help.

The second allegation is that, by refusing to allow White House staff to testify at the impeachment hearings previous year, Mr Trump obstructed Congress.

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