While US President Donald Trump is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, impeachment proceedings against him begin in the US Senate. The first day after the official opening last Thursday could be nerve-wracking. The reason: a controversial resolution by the leading Republican in the Chamber, Mitch McConnell, on the procedural rules. Presumably around midnight German time, further action should be taken.
Follow the impeachment process in stern.de-Ticker:
Senate blocks Democrats’ request for documents
The majority of the Senate blocked an application by the Democrats to release certain White House documents in connection with the allegations against Trump. Both the Republicans (53 votes) and the Democrats (47 votes) voted unanimously and along the party line.
The Trump administration had refused to provide the documents, including correspondence between the U.S. President and his top advisers, as part of the impeachment process.
White House lawyers cheat on allegations of hearing of witnesses
Even in a debate about Donald Trump’s impeachment in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. President’s defense lawyers tend to skew the facts. Defense chief Pat Cipollone, for example, claimed that during the House of Representatives investigation, Republican representatives were not allowed to attend private hearings. But that’s not true. 48 Republicans should have interviewed witnesses at such meetings, said Adam Schiff, who is in charge of the investigation and now “chief prosecutor” of the Democrats: “I do not want to say that Mr. Cipollone intentionally made a false statement, but I say that he is wrong. “
This is what the new compromise schedule would look like
- Wednesday, January 22nd to Friday, January 24th: Democrats put forward their arguments
- Saturday, January 25th to Monday, January 27th: Republicans put forward their arguments
- Wednesday January 29th and Thursday January 30th: Questions from the Senators
- Friday January 31st: Vote on whether additional witnesses should be summoned. Should that be rejected, the Senate could proceed to the final vote.
Apparently controversial procedural rules are to be changed
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are also currently debating the procedural rules proposed by majority leader Mitch McConnell. After that, both sides should present their actual arguments in two twelve-hour sessions. In addition, it should only be decided whether witnesses and evidence should be admitted. These two points went too far for some Republicans. But McConnell appears to be willing to change just that. According to the US broadcaster CNN, the new version plans to extend the hearings to three days of eight hours each and automatically incorporate the evidence already available into the process. This concession makes it more likely that McConnell’s rules will be adopted by the plenary, especially since his Republicans already have a majority in the Senate.
Donald Trump reports via Twitter
With a short interjection, US President Donald Trump reported on the first impeachment hearing. “Read the transcripts,” is his interjection. He is alluding to the transcript of his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj – the conversation that triggered the impeachment. Trump argues that the transcript would prove his innocence – on the contrary, the opposition sees it as evidence of his guilt.
The debate about the proposed approach has started
Majority leader Mitch McConnell has proposed a roadmap for impeachment procedures. Among other things, this means that both sides – prosecution and defense – will each have 24 hours to present their arguments. The Democrats reject this approach. The representatives of both sides are now discussing the matter, and the Senate will then vote whether or not McConnell’s proposal is accepted. If so, two time slots of twelve hours each will start on Wednesday at 3 p.m. German time, in which the Democrats and the Republicans can present their views.
A senator is defended
Senator Jim Inhofe, who could not be defended last Thursday, has now also sworn his oath.
This is how the procedure should proceed according to the will of the majority leader
Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has explained how the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump are to go: in four steps, the Senate said over Tuesday.
- First of all, the so-called house managers, representatives of the Democrats as kind of chief prosecutors, will give their opening presentation. This corresponds to the reading of the allegations against the US president.
- Second, the US President’s lawyers will present their defense arguments.
- Third, the senators can submit written questions to both sides – indictment and defense – about the chief judge.
- Finally, the Senate will use all of this information to check whether additional evidence or witnesses are required.
Pelosi accuses Republicans of trying to cover up Trump’s misconduct
The head of the US House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, has accused the Senate Republicans of deliberately hiding the truth about the president’s possible misconduct. Pelosi’s criticism targeted procedural rules that majority leader Mitch McConnell is proposing. “His nocturnal impeachment process plan confirms what the American people have seen since day one: the Republican Senate majority leader has chosen to cover up the president,” she said at the beginning of the substantive part of the impeachment process. McConnell knew that Trump’s misconduct was defensible and demand impeachment.
That happens on Tuesday
The Senate meets at 12.30 p.m., the procedure opens at 1 p.m., i.e. 7 p.m. German time. It is likely that a vote will be taken on the resolution, charges and defense brought into play by McConnell twice every twelve hours. Originally it was also planned that a vote should be taken as to whether witnesses should be heard on the matter, as the Democrats demand. The Republicans reject this.
Read here: This team defends Donald Trump
When does the Senate make a decision?
It is completely unclear. It will also depend on whether new witnesses are heard or not. The impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton in 1999 lasted around five weeks. In the current case, a significantly shorter procedure time is expected.
Visit to the base: This is how the procedure in the province is hushed up
What do the Democrats accuse Trump of?
Abuse of power and interference with the House of Representatives investigation. Trump violated his oath by trying to “cheat” in the elections and undermine national security. Trump is said to have urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj to investigate his political rival Joe Biden from the Democrats in order to gain personal benefit in the US election campaign. Trump has made a meeting with Selenskyj in the White House and the release of military aid of around $ 400 million for Ukraine dependent on the announcement of such investigations, the allegation.