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Trump impeachment trial could begin as soon as next week

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Washington D.C. | January 15, 2020 3:41:24 AM IST
The United States House of Representatives is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss sending the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, triggering a trial early next week, Democrats said following a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a day before.

The Democratic-controlled House voted last month on two articles of impeachment -- abuse of power related to Trump's dealings with Ukraine and obstruction of the Congress -- but Pelosi has yet to deliver them to the Senate, according to New York Post.

Senator John Cornyn said it's "likely" that opening arguments could begin next Tuesday.

"Tuesday is what I'm what's what it's really like feeling like ... And so we'd actually be glued to our chair, starting Tuesday," he told reporters on Monday.

"That's what that's what it feels like right now and I realize things could change," he added.

Pelosi has held up the articles because she said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't revealed the framework of the proceedings. But the latter has said that Pelosi cannot dictate how the Senate will conduct the trial.

When the House voted on December 18 to impeach the President, the expectation was that the articles would be sent to the Senate right away. But Pelosi had surprised many by saying she would withhold sending the articles until Senate Republicans agreed to a "fair process" for the trial.

Meanwhile, the White House has been preparing for the trial to begin and have discussed with Republicans the option of an immediate vote to dismiss the articles in the Senate.

The motion would require 51 votes and Republicans who hold a 53-47 majority appear to be falling short of that number.

In addition, the House is also expected to name managers to act as prosecutors in what's expected to be a weeks-long trial that will likely end in an acquittal.

Notably, former National Security Advisor John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will be the key witnesses who could describe first-hand how Trump pressured Ukraine. Both were prevented by Trump from speaking to House impeachment investigators. Bolton has since said he would testify if the Senate issued a subpoena.

Since the very beginning, Trump has dismissed impeachment as a "witch-hunt". He refused to allow White House officials to testify during the inquiry and tried to block House investigators from obtaining government documents and emails. (ANI)

 
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