Today, January 21, the Senate began the trial in the case concerning the impeachment of the President of Donald trump. USA Today offers some questions and answers about what to expect from this process.
The Constitution gives the Senate exclusive authority to prosecute in the case of impeachment. Prior to the hearing the senators take an oath that to remove officials from office should be written in the two-thirds majority of the votes, and presides in the case of the head of the Supreme court.
The process began on 16 January with the oath of the post of chief judge John Roberts. He then gave the oath to the senators. Managers on impeachment and lawyers for the White house submitted a written argument on January 18 and 19. On January 21 the meeting resumed at 13:00.
The senators discussed how to conduct the process in detail.
The majority leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell has proposed to allocate 24 hours to each side to present the case within two days of the session. Then the senators will have 16 hours to ask written questions through the judge Roberts to both parties.
After the opening arguments and questions relating to the plan followed by a 4 hour discussion of whether to call witnesses or demand documents.
The minority leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said he will offer amendments that the Democrats of the house of representatives could not automatically take their evidence into the record and to argue the night to “hide information from the American people.”
“In accordance with this resolution, Senator McConnell says he doesn’t want to hear none of the existing and any new evidence,” said Schumer.
The majority of the Senate to 51 votes to determine the rules of the trial, which involved 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats.
Photo frame YouTube video/Fox News
Will the witnesses at the trial
One of the most contentious aspects of the discussion of whether to call witnesses. Democrats want to call at least four witnesses, including the former national security adviser John Bolton. But some Republicans said that the witnesses will be superfluous, otherwise they offer to call the informant who initiated the investigation, impeachment, and hunter Biden, the son of the former Vice-President Joe Biden.
Mitch McConnell said he has the votes to postpone a decision on the witnesses prior to the hearing opening arguments from the managers of the house of representatives and lawyers of the White house, and until such time as the senators will submit written questions to both sides.
“When you get to this question, I can’t imagine what it will be called only the witnesses, who wants to invite our fellow Democrats,” said McConnell.
Chuck Schumer initiated subpoenas for four witnesses and asked the three parties of the documents.
“As soon as Senator McConnell will offer this resolution, I will offer amendments to address many of the shortcomings in this grossly unfair proposal and to subpoena witnesses and documents which we have requested,” said Schumer.
But even the senators of the Republican party, exposed the issue of the invitation svideteley, said he will wait to make a decision before the opening statements and written questions, as suggested by McConnell.
“Despite the fact that I need to hear arguments in the case and to answer the questions, I’m inclined to believe that it would be useful to have more information,” said Senator Susan Collins, who supported the witnesses on the trial of former President bill Clinton in 1999.
Mitch McConnell opens the meeting. Photo frame YouTube video/Fox News
Who will present the case
7 Democrats in the House of representatives, called managers of the impeachment, will represent the case, accusing trump of the abuse of power: this applies pressure on Ukraine, the investigation into former us Vice-President Joe Biden, holds 391 million dollars in military aid. Trump also accused that he obstructed Congress, as Democrats, he tried to boycott the investigation.
The managers of the impeachment is the head of the intelligence Committee of the house of representatives Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the Legal Committee of the house of representatives Jerry Nadler, the head of the Democratic Caucus of the house of representatives Hakeem Jeffries, head of the Committee on administrative questions Zoe Lofgren, a member of the intelligence Committee Val Demings, a member of the armed services Committee Jason crow, member of the Legal Committee Sylvia Garcia.
The leading defenders of the trump will be the lawyer of the White house, Pat Cipollone and private attorney J. Sekulow. Other lawyers who defended the President on TV will help his team, are Alan Dershowitz, the famous Harvard Professor of law; Kenneth Starr, independent counsel investigating the case of Clinton; and Robert ray, who replaced Starr as independent counsel in the last year of Clinton’s presidency.
The white house announced that he supplemented his legal team of eight Republicans, who fought against impeachment in this Chamber. Officials said that they will not engage in debate on this matter during the trial in the Senate, but will provide legal advice and to appear in the media.
The Republicans of the Chamber, helping Trump is Doug Collins, Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan, Debbie Lesko, mark meadows, John Ratcliff, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin.
“Throughout this process, these members of Congress have instructed the team at the White house,” said press Secretary Stephanie Grisham trump.
Adam Schiff, the lead Manager of the impeachment. Photo frame YouTube video/Fox News
Whether a trial is public
The trial is public, but can sometimes be closed, as the senators discuss the rules or the verdict. The vote on the rules and the verdict will be public.
Access to the Senate wing of the Capitol limited, security measures, so employees and journalists need special powers to get inside. But the balconies overlooking the Chamber will remain open to the public and journalists, so that they could observe the process.
The process is broadcast on television and online, but with the help of cameras managed by the government.
The Senate can sometimes leave at a closed meeting. In accordance with the rules any Senator may request a private meeting and, if supported, the Senate will proceed to a closed meeting, having cleared the gallery and closed the door. Legislators and employees are prohibited to disclose what is discussed in closed meetings.
The Senate regularly met in secret in the past century, discussing treaties or destination. According to the report of the congressional Research service, in the last century, the senators had secretly met dozens of times about the debate on issues of national security and impeachment. The report States that during the trial of Clinton in 1999 there were six secret sessions.
Chuck Schumer said that there may be closed meetings, but he would prefer to leave most of the trial open.
How long will the process take
The deadline is not installed. Previously it was assumed that consideration of the arguments of the leaders of the house and the White house counsel written questions from senators may take 2 weeks. If senators will agree to call witnesses, all can take 3 or 4 weeks longer.
The trial of Clinton in 1999, took about 6 weeks with pauses for the filing of written arguments and the transfer of witnesses.
Speech By Chuck Schumer. Photo frame YouTube video/Fox News
How about address to the nation?
President Donald trump accepted the invitation of the house of representatives to deliver a speech “the state of the nation address” at a joint session of Congress on February 4. The speaker of the house of representatives Nancy Pelosi said that trump has several options. The President could give his speech, he would have to submit the printed statement, “which has been a tradition for a long time”, or he could have asked to postpone the speech until after the trial.
“It depends on the President,” said Pelosi.
Senator Roy blunt expects that trump will deliver a speech, even if the trial will continue.
“As I recall, President Clinton made an appeal to the nation in the middle of this process, and I would not expect any reason to believe that this will not happen,” said blunt.
But Senator Lindsey Graham said trump would prefer to finish the trial before the show.
“He’s determined to make his address to the nation, leaving it all behind, to talk about what he wants to do in the balance 2020 and over the next 4 years, said Graham. — He liked the idea that it will all be good for him.”