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Politics Democrats seize on report to press for key witnesses in Senate impeachment trial

03:10  03 january  2020
03:10  03 january  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

McConnell doesn't rule out witnesses in standoff over Trump impeachment trial

  McConnell doesn't rule out witnesses in standoff over Trump impeachment trial McConnell doesn't rule out witnesses in standoff over Trump impeachment trialThe standoff over President Trump’s impeachment trial continued Monday, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeating her demand for a “fair” trial before sending the two articles of impeachment to the Senate, while the two parties dug in on their conditions, including the question of whether to call witnesses and whom they should be.

Senate Democrats say new revelations about President Trump withholding military aid from Ukraine are a turning point in his impeachment saga. The president tweeted that the Democrats want to avoid a trial to protect former Vice President Joe Biden. Ben Tracy reports . Watch "CBS This Morning"

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate , which then holds a trial . The rules adopted by the Senate in the Clinton trial — including ones limiting the number of witnesses and the length of depositions — made it harder to prove a case compared with trials in federal court, said former

Democrats on Thursday seized on a new report citing unredacted emails that bolster the case that President Trump was directly involved in withholding military aid to Ukraine as he was seeking investigations that could benefit his reelection bid.

a close up of Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump speaks to the press outside the grand ballroom as he arrives for a New Year's celebration at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 31, 2019.© Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images President Trump speaks to the press outside the grand ballroom as he arrives for a New Year's celebration at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 31, 2019.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) joined Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in pressing for key witnesses and documents to be included in a Senate impeachment trial of Trump following the report.

2nd Senate Republican Questions Impartiality of Impeachment Trial

  2nd Senate Republican Questions Impartiality of Impeachment Trial Senator Susan Collins criticized some of her Senate colleagues, including the majority leader, for appearing to “prejudge the evidence.”Impeachment rules require a simple majority vote, meaning Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, can afford to lose only four members of his conference if he is to set the parameters of a trial. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska and another moderate with an independent streak, said last week that she was “disturbed” by Mr. McConnell’s promise to work with the White House counsel to set the terms of the trial.

"This new story shows all four witnesses that we Senate Democrats have requested" were "Simply put, in our fight to have key documents and witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial , these The trio met with Trump in the Oval Office in late August and pressed him to release the aid, with Bolton

'Can’t imagine any senator doing this': Lindsey Graham predicts no Senate votes for Bolton or Mulvaney testimony. Sen. Lindsey Graham does not believe any senators will vote to compel testimonies from current and former White House officials in President Trump's Senate impeachment

Senate leaders remained at an impasse Thursday over the scope of a trial, and aides to Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the two men had not spoken over the holidays about the standoff. Pelosi has held off sending the articles of impeachment — alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate as Democrats seek guarantees about witnesses and documents that will be subpoenaed regarding Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine.

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The report by Kate Brannen, published by Just Security, referenced an email from Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, to Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller, on Aug. 30, a little more than a month after Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for investigations during a phone call.

Schumer: New unredacted emails show need for impeachment witnesses

  Schumer: New unredacted emails show need for impeachment witnesses A new report exposing unredacted Defense Department emails is fueling a push by Democratic leaders to summon witnesses to the impeachment trial.“The American people deserve a fair trial that gets to the truth, not a rigged process that enables a cover-up,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Thursday.

Senate Democrats say new revelations about President Trump withholding military aid from Ukraine are a turning point in his impeachment saga. The president tweeted that the Democrats want to avoid a trial to protect former Vice President Joe Biden. Ben Tracy reports .

A Senate trial “will make it make it very difficult for them to choose,” added Stabenow, the No. 4 Senate Democrat . Most Democratic challengers to GOP senators also backed the House opening an impeachment inquiry against Trump but have been more cautious and measured in their statements

In the email, which followed a meeting with Trump that included senior administration officials, Duffey told McCusker, “Clear direction from POTUS to hold.”

A redacted version of that email — and several others cited in the report by Brannen, a veteran Pentagon reporter — had previously been made public as the result of Freedom of Information Act litigation.

“The newly-revealed unredacted emails are a devastating blow to Senator McConnell’s push to have a trial without the documents and witnesses we’ve requested,” Schumer said in a statement Thursday. “These emails further expose the serious concerns raised by Trump administration officials about the propriety and legality of the president’s decision to cut off aid to Ukraine to benefit himself.”

Schumer has sought guarantees from McConnell that several administration officials who declined to participate in House impeachment proceedings will be subpoenaed to testify in a Senate trial, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton and Duffey. McConnell has said the Senate should decide on what if any witnesses to call after hearing opening statements from House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers.

McConnell, Schumer address Iran policy, deadlock over impeachment

  McConnell, Schumer address Iran policy, deadlock over impeachment The two leaders spoke about impeachment and foreign policy as the Senate convened on Friday."The architect and chief engineer for the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism has been removed from the battlefield at the hand of the United States military," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "Now his terrorist leadership has been ended.

Pelosi presses Trump, McConnell for ‘fair trial ’ in wake of report on unredacted emails. Pelosi joined Schumer on Thursday in urging McConnell to heed Democrats ’ request for key witnesses and documents to be included in a Senate impeachment trial , following the publication of a new report

WASHINGTON — Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, criticized some of her Senate colleagues, including the majority leader, for Both Senators Murkowski and Collins also offered noncommittal positions on calling witnesses to an impeachment trial , which Democrats have

Schumer said the unredacted emails raise “questions that can only be answered by having the key Trump administration officials . . . testify under oath in a Senate trial.”

“The American people deserve a fair trial that gets to the truth, not a rigged process that enables a cover-up,” Schumer said.

At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and $391 million in congressionally appropriated military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential candidate, and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

In a tweet, Pelosi said, “Trump engaged in unprecedented, total obstruction of Congress, hiding these emails, all other documents, and his top aides from the American people. His excuse was a phony complaint about the House process. What’s the excuse now? Why won’t Trump & McConnell allow a fair trial?”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the messages show that the White House “cannot argue that the aid was held for any reason other than to pressure Ukraine into helping the President’s re-election efforts.”

john.wagner@washpost.com

felicia.sonmez@washpost.com

a close up of Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump speaks to the press outside the grand ballroom as he arrives for a New Year's celebration at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 31, 2019.© Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images President Trump speaks to the press outside the grand ballroom as he arrives for a New Year's celebration at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 31, 2019.

Analysis: What to expect when you’re expecting a Senate impeachment trial. .
Yes, there are some rules. The Senate can change them.While we’re waiting, here’s what to expect.

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