the Senate is preparing for the trial of Donald Trump

► Where is the procedure?

On December 18, Donald Trump became the third president in the history of the United States to know the horrors of the“Impeachment” (“Impeachment”, in English). At the end of its investigation into the “Ukrainian affair”, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives found the charges against the White House tenant serious enough to hold two charges: ” abuse of power “ and “Hindering the smooth running of the Congress”.

→ MAINTENANCE. “Impeachment can mobilize the democratic electorate”

As provided for in the United States Constitution, the trial must now be held in the Senate. After trying to influence the Republican majority in this place and obtain certain assurances, Nancy Pelosi, President of the House of Representatives, finally gave in: a last vote must take place on Wednesday January 15, allowing the indictments to be transmitted to the Senate and to appoint the two Democratic deputies who will act as prosecutors during the trial.

► How will the trial take place?

Before getting to the heart of the matter, several preliminary and solemn steps are planned. Democratic prosecutors must first go to the Senate to present the indictments, before President of the Supreme Court of the United States, John Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush, swears on the Bible from “Dispense justice impartially”. The American Constitution specifies that it is up to the head of the highest judicial authority in the country to supervise the trial.

Once the hundred senators, called upon to play the role of both judges and jurors, have taken the oath, they will still have to define the rules of the game. Because if it is codified, the procedure for this type of trial is flexible . The head of the Republican majority, Mitch McConnell, the president’s loyal ally, has already expressed himself on several occasions to reiterate his intention to conduct the matter smoothly, drawing inspiration from the previous Clinton.

The vote on the procedure, which will mark the real start of the trial, should take place Tuesday, January 21, this Monday being a holiday in the United States, because it is dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King.

► What are the challenges of the trial?

Barring revelation or major events, the outcome of the trial is hardly in doubt. The president is removed from office only if convicted of one of the charges by two-thirds of the Senators. The Senate today has 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats. 20 Republicans would therefore have to join their voices to those of the Democrats, a highly improbable scenario.

However, this trial, by its nature historic, can give rise to surprises, even to new revelations on the pressures exerted on Ukraine. Particularly if witnesses who have so far remained silent are called to the stand. The Democrats are calling for the convocation of four advisers or ex-advisers to the tenant of the White House, including Mick Mulvaney, current chief of staff of Donald Trump, and John Bolton, national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019, i.e. during the Ukrainian affair.

Since the start of the Congressional investigation, Donald Trump has opposed these accounts. But John Bolton, who no longer works at the White House and has since stepped up criticism of the Trump administration, has said he will speak if summoned. To have 51 votes, the Democrats must rally four elected Republicans to their cause. For the time being, three have said they are inclined to vote in favor of these testimonies …


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