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World Trump tried to cheat to win re-election, say Democrats at impeachment trial

07:50  23 january  2020
07:50  23 january  2020 Source:   france24.com

Republicans at odds over impeachment trial terms as Trump floats dismissal

  Republicans at odds over impeachment trial terms as Trump floats dismissal Washington is just days away from the start of the first impeachment trial in over two decades, but congressional leaders remain at odds over what exactly it will look like. Even after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended her unofficial filibuster of the process last Friday and committed to sending the impeachment articles to the Senate, Republican lawmakers are continuing to have discussions over whether the trial should feature a new round of witness testimony. Some GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, are aiming for a quick verdict and President Trump himself has started to publicly argue that the case simply should be dismissed.

Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial . Democrats began laying out a detailed case on Wednesday for the removal of President Donald Trump , accusing him at his historic Senate impeachment trial of seeking to cheat to ensure re - election in November.

Democrats began laying out a detailed case on Wednesday for the removal of President Donald Trump , accusing him at his historic Senate impeachment trial of seeking to cheat to ensure re - election in November.

a group of people sitting at a table in a room© REUTERS/U.S. Senate TV/Handout

Democrats Wednesday accused President Donald Trump at his historic Senate impeachment trial of seeking to "cheat" to ensure re-election in November, as they began laying out their detailed case for removing him from office.

Adam Schiff, head of the House of Representatives' prosecution team, took to the Senate floor to deliver hours of methodical arguments to a hushed chamber that was hearing only the third-ever impeachment trial of a US president.

The Democratic lawmaker described how Trump solicited foreign interference in US elections, "abusing the powers of his office to seek help from abroad to improve his re-election prospects at home."

No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial

  No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial Senators will not be permitted to use iPhones and will have to keep quiet during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, according to "decorum guidelines" sent out on Wednesday.They are not allowed to use their iPhones, they have to keep quiet, and they must remain seated during the process.

The House impeachment managers began presenting their oral arguments against President Trump in the Senate trial , arguing that his conduct warranted his The House impeachment managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff, speaking to reporters before the trial Wednesday on Capitol

Schiff said Trump was asking a foreign leader “to do his political dirty work” when he asked She said former National Security Adviser John Bolton was trying to send the American people a “very Trump Impeachment Trial Could Impact 2020 Election . Both parties seek advantage even though Senate

"And when he was caught, he used the powers of that office to obstruct the investigation into his own misconduct," said Schiff, who headed the probe that led to Trump's December 18 impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House.

Schiff shrugged off Republican arguments that American voters -- and not the Senate -- should decide whether Trump should remain in the White House.

"The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won," Schiff said.

Trump stands accused of withholding military aid from Ukraine to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to announce an investigation into Democrat Joe Biden, his potential election rival in November.

"President Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to a strategic partner at war with Russia to secure foreign help with his re-election," Schiff said at the nationally televised proceedings.

How Trump Has Kept Solid GOP Support Through Impeachment

  How Trump Has Kept Solid GOP Support Through Impeachment The unity is the byproduct not only of a White House charm offensive, but more broadly the president’s powers of persuasion and his raw political power over the party, fueled by an intensely loyal base of GOP voters . As has been the case since Mr. Trump ascended to the GOP throne, Republicans who dared step out of line faced his Twitter outrage, meeting the wrath of the president’s base.The stark tribalism has led those who want long-term futures in the party to get in line behind the president and those who have had enough to retire quietly without risking a noisy and disruptive exit.

Donald Trump was accused of abusing his office by launching a corrupt scheme to " cheat " in the 2020 US election as Democrats opened their case in his impeachment trial . In a hushed Senate chamber prosecutors said the president was "a man who would be king," believed he was "above the law

Trump was impeached last month by the Democratic -controlled House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power But the impact of the trial on his re - election bid in November is far from clear. The Senate trial is expected to continue Trump and his legal team say there was no pressure and that the Democrats ' case is based on hearsay. Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.

"In other words, to cheat. If this conduct is not impeachable, then nothing is."

Interspersing his remarks with video testimony from the House inquiry, graphics and references to the Constitution, Schiff appealed to the Senate's 100 members to put aside partisanship in deciding Trump's fate.

"These are politically charged times," he acknowledged. "Tempers can run high, particularly where this president is concerned."

Fellow House manager Hakeem Jeffries made the argument that a US president must distinguish himself from non-democratic world leaders.

"Vladimir Putin is above the law in Russia. (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan is above the law in Turkey," Jeffries said.

"But in the United States of America no one is above the law, not even the president," he added. "That is what this moment is all about."

'Fairly quickly'

Republicans, who hold a 53-47 edge, have shown little inclination, however, to break ranks with a president who has a history of lashing out ferociously at his perceived enemies.

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President Donald Trump ’s impeachment trial formally opens in the Senate on Tuesday, promising to shape his legacy, deepen the country’s political Trump , who remains deeply popular with his core voters and deeply loathed by Democrats , is trying to win re - election by stoking his supporters’

Democratic accusers say Trump was the one with the “corrupt scheme” to abuse his presidential power and then Democrats have 24 hours over the next three days to prosecute the charges against Trump , trying to win over The impeachment trial is set against the backdrop of the 2020 election .

"I didn't hear anything new at all," Republican Senator John Barrasso said during a trial break.

Sixty-seven senators, a two-thirds majority, are needed to remove Trump from office and a series of votes Tuesday on the trial's ground rules followed strict party lines.

Republicans shot down repeated efforts by Democrats to introduce White House witnesses and documents at the start of the trial.

Trump blasted the proceedings as a "witchhunt" and a "hoax" and said he expected the Senate to clear him "fairly quickly."

The president defended the Republicans' rejection of Democratic efforts to force former national security advisor John Bolton and others to testify at his trial saying of Bolton, for example, that it would present a "national security problem."

Trump then went on a Twitter tear, firing off a record number of tweets and retweets in a single day of his presidency -- 150 as of 8:30 pm.

With reports swirling that some Democrats were mulling pushing for Biden or his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company when his father was vice president, to testify in exchange for key administration officials being called as witnesses, the top Democrat waived it off.

How to watch Trump's historic impeachment trial in the Senate

  How to watch Trump's historic impeachment trial in the Senate On Tuesday, January 21, arguments in the historic impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will begin in earnest in the US Senate. Republican Senate leadership has been sharply criticised for the burdensome restrictions it set on press access to the trial. C-SPAN and TV networks will be barred from bringing their own cameras into the Senate chamber, meaning those networks will rely on the Senate's feed. While the trial is set to be broadcast on those major cable and broadcast networks, there are also multiple ways to watch it without a cable subscription or log-in.

A witness trade is "off the table," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

House impeachment managers have 24 hours over three days to make their case that Trump is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

White House lawyers then have 24 hours to present their defense.

Senators will then have an opportunity to ask written questions to be read out aloud by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.

Roberts' role is mostly ceremonial but he did warn both sides during heated exchanges Tuesday to watch their decorum.

"Those addressing the Senate should remember where they are," Roberts said.

Endurance test

Trump's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, said the White House will "challenge aggressively the case that they're putting forward."

"There's a lot of things to rebut and we'll do it in an orderly and systematic fashion," he told CNN.

The next few days are likely to be an endurance test for senators, 14 of whom are 75 or older.

Senators are barred from having electronics at their desks and they have been spending their time chatting quietly or scribbling on notepads when not listening intently.

Lawmakers did perk up when a protester made the first interruption of the trial, yelling from the Senate's public gallery before he was removed by police.

The four Democratic senators seeking to challenge Trump for the White House have been forced to take time off from campaigning ahead of the first state vote to choose their party's nominee in Iowa on February 3.

Murkowski comes out against impeachment witnesses, putting Trump on path to acquittal .
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski came out Friday against calling witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, all but assuring the Senate will move to wrap up proceedings with a likely acquittal in a matter of days, if not hours. “Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.

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