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US News Democrats face risks and limits in Trump's impeachment trial

09:00  23 january  2020
09:00  23 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Trump was impeached last month by the Democratic -controlled House of Representatives on charges of The Senate trial , the third presidential impeachment trial in U. S . history, will resume at 1 p.m. (1800 Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump ’ s impeachment trial formally opens in the Senate on Tuesday, promising to shape his legacy, deepen the country’s political divisions and influence control of power in the nation’s capital for years to come. While the president faces little risk of removal from

WASHINGTON (AP) — The challenge is becoming increasingly clear for House Democrats prosecuting President Donald Trump's impeachment case as the Senate convenes for a second day of arguments in the landmark trial.

No matter how overwhelming the evidence confronting Trump, it becomes less compelling when presented again and again, day after day, as Democrats try to convince not just fidgety senators but an American public deeply divided over the president in an election year.

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PHOTO: Democratic House Manager Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump , Jan. In about two hours, the Senate will begin to hear arguments in President Trump ’ s impeachment trial , following a marathon opening day of acrimonious debate over

The rare impeachment trial , unfolding in an election year, is testing whether Trump ' s actions toward Ukraine warrant removal at the same time that voters are forming their own verdict on his White House. Four senators who are presidential candidates are off the campaign trail, seated as jurors.

In this image from video, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this image from video, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

The team led by Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of House Intelligence Committee, constructed a gripping account of Trump's political pressure on Ukraine and attempt to cover up the “corrupt scheme” central to the charges. But the limits are apparent. Prosecutors must rely on the same loops of videotaped testimony — ambassadors, national security officials and even the president himself — after Trump's GOP Senate allies blocked new witnesses.

It's a political risky moment for Democrats, who were once reluctant to take on impeachment during an election year but are marching toward a decision by the Senate that the American public also will judge.

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US Democrats have ruled out a "witness swap" with Republicans in President Donald Trump ' s impeachment trial . Lawmakers who are seeking to remove the Republican president from office hope to hear testimony from his former National Security Adviser John Bolton. But Democrats refused any

“We're trying this case to two juries — the Senate and the American people,” Schiff acknowledged Wednesday ahead of opening arguments. “The American people are watching. The American people are listening. And they do have an open mind.”

Trump’s lawyers sat by, waiting their turn, while the president blasted the proceedings from afar, joking that he would face off with the Democrats by coming to “sit right in the front row and stare at their corrupt faces.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., accompanied by the impeachment managers House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. speaks to reporters, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) © Provided by Associated Press House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., accompanied by the impeachment managers House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. speaks to reporters, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House Democrats impeached Trump last month arguing he abused his office by asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden while withholding crucial military aid. They also charged him with obstructing Congress by refusing to turn over documents or allow officials to testify in the House probe. Republicans have defended Trump’s actions as appropriate and cast the process as a politically motivated effort to weaken the president in the midst of his reelection campaign.

US Senate leader abruptly eases impeachment trial limits

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Campaigning in Iowa, Biden stood by the effort to remove Trump from office.

In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

“People ask the question, ‘Isn’t the president going to be stronger and harder to beat if he survives this?’ Yes, probably. But Congress has no choice,” he said. Senators must cast their votes and "live with that in history.”

Each side has 24 hours over three days to present their case. After the House prosecutors finish Friday, the president's lawyers will follow. They are expected to take only Sunday off and push into next week.

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., pauses as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., pauses as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Then there will be 16 hours for senators, who must sit quietly at their desks, no speeches or cellphones, to ask written question, and another four hours for deliberations.

Senate approves rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in party-line vote

  Senate approves rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in party-line vote WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate approves rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in party-line vote.A marathon session of nearly 13 hours started Tuesday with a setback for Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and the president's legal team, exposing a crack in the GOP ranks and the growing political unease over the historic impeachment proceedings unfolding amid a watchful public in an election year. But it ended near 2 a.m. Wednesday with Republicans easily approving the new trial rules largely on their terms.

“There’s a lot of things I’d like to rebut,” said Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow at the Capitol, “and we will rebut.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pauses outside the Senate chamber during a break as the Senate continues with the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pauses outside the Senate chamber during a break as the Senate continues with the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On the first day of opening arguments, Schiff appealed to senators not to be “cynical” about politics, but to draw on the intent of the nation’s Founding Fathers in providing the remedy of impeachment and removal. He spoke directly to Republicans to join them in voting to oust Trump from office to “protect our democracy.”

Holding the room proved difficult. Most senators sat at their desks throughout, as the rules stipulate, though some stretched their legs, standing behind the desks or against the back wall of the chamber, passing the time. Sometimes they outwardly yawned. Republicans quietly smirked at the presentation from Schiff and the lesser-known House Democrats prosecuting the case.

In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Nearing nine long hours of arguments, the empty seats became glaringly apparent. Sen. Dianne Feinstein D-Calif., was under the weather and left early. Some lawmakers dashed down the hall to appear on television. Visitors thinned from the galleries, one briefly interrupting in protest and being removed by Capitol police.

The fight over the impeachment rules, briefly explained

  The fight over the impeachment rules, briefly explained One of the biggest disagreements between Democrats and Republicans: when senators will decide whether to call witnesses.Republicans have emphasized that they can wait to decide this question until after the two sides offer opening arguments, which are expected to start Wednesday — the same timing they say was used during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial. In 1999, the Senate unanimously passed a rules resolution at the start and considered witness testimony later in the trial, ultimately approving it via a partisan vote.

The impeachment trial is set against the backdrop of the 2020 election. All four senators who are Democratic presidential candidates are off the campaign trail, seated as jurors.

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Several GOP senators said Wednesday they’d seen no evidence to support the allegations against Trump even though, just 24 hours earlier, they had rejected subpoenas for additional witnesses as well as documents. Democrats, meanwhile, described the evidence against the president as overwhelming but said senators had a duty to gather more.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed the public slightly more likely to say the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office than to say it should not, 45% to 40%. But a sizable percentage, 14%, said they didn't know enough to have an opinion.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, left, gestures while standing with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, right, while arriving at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) © Provided by Associated Press President Donald Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, left, gestures while standing with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, right, while arriving at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

One issue with wide agreement: Trump should allow top aides to appear as witnesses at the trial. About 7 in 10 said so, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, according to the poll.

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The strategy of more witnesses, though, seemed all but settled. Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to get Trump aides including former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, to testify in back-to-back votes earlier this week.

This artist sketch depicts White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaking in the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.  (Dana Verkouteren via AP) © Provided by Associated Press This artist sketch depicts White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaking in the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Dana Verkouteren via AP)

Senators were likely to repeat that rejection next week, shutting out any chance of new testimony.

A long-shot idea to pair one of Trump's preferred witnesses — Biden's son Hunter Biden — with Bolton or another that Democrats want was swiftly rejected. “That's off the table,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

A copy of a Senate draft resolution to be offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., regarding the procedures during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate is photographed in Washington, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. McConnell is proposing a condensed, two-day calendar for opening arguments in Trump's impeachment trial, ground rules that are raising objections from Democrats on the eve of the landmark proceedings. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick) © Provided by Associated Press A copy of a Senate draft resolution to be offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., regarding the procedures during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate is photographed in Washington, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. McConnell is proposing a condensed, two-day calendar for opening arguments in Trump's impeachment trial, ground rules that are raising objections from Democrats on the eve of the landmark proceedings. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Biden also rejected having his son testify or even appearing himself. “I want no part of that,” he told voters in Iowa.

Some Republicans expressed disdain for it all. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa spoke sarcastically about how excited she was to hear the “overwhelming evidence" the House Democrats promised against Trump.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Trump's two-day stay in Davos is a test of his ability to balance anger over being impeached with a desire to project leadership on the world stage. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Trump's two-day stay in Davos is a test of his ability to balance anger over being impeached with a desire to project leadership on the world stage. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"And once we’ve heard that overwhelming evidence," she said, raising her voice mockingly, “I don’t know that we’ll need to see additional witnesses, but let’s hear about that overwhelming evidence.”

Schumer bemoaned the limits on witnesses, saying Wednesday the impeachment trial “begins with a cloud hanging over it, a cloud of unfairness.”

Anticipated events in connection with impeachment of President Donald Trump.; © Provided by Associated Press Anticipated events in connection with impeachment of President Donald Trump.;

Republicans remained eager for a swift trial. Yet Trump’s legal team passed on an opportunity to file a motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday, an acknowledgement that there were not enough Republican votes to support it.

The White House legal team, in its court filings and presentations, has not disputed Trump's actions. But the lawyers insist the president did nothing wrong. 

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