Warm-up arguments on Trump’s impeachment trial has been on the TV talk show after its ceremonial opening last week. It has been hot on if “conduct merits impeachment.” Notable Republicans and democrats had argued for and against. The Senate trial is expected to commence on Tuesday.
The third impeachment trial in U.S. history will start in earnest on Tuesday, after its ceremonial opening last week with the swearing-in of senators who will serve as jurors and of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. who will preside.
The House Democrats had earlier delivered the articles to the senate, initiating the process.
Article 1: Abuse of Power
Donald Trump is accused of using the power of the presidency for his own benefit. It alleged that Trump uses the federal government and taxpayers money for personal benefits. Democrats also said they have built an unassailable case that Trump improperly sought to trade congressionally mandated security aid to vulnerable U.S. ally-Ukraine in exchange for political favours, in what they allege was an abuse of power.
Trump stands accused of orchestrating an effort to press Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, a potential 2020 rival, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while Biden was vice president.
Article 2: Obstruction of Congress
Donald Trump is accused of blocking congress investigation into his alleged wrongdoings levelled after the White House blocked House requests for key witnesses and documents.
Proceedings for Previous Trials
In previous trials, Senators proceeded by taking an oath of impartiality and will work six days a week until they’ve voted on both articles of impeachment. If there are witnesses, senators can ask them questions in writing, and the presiding official, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is expected to read it out loud.
Trump’s Fate After the Trial
If Donald Trump is convicted on even one count, the Constitution says he has to be removed from office.
Trump’s lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, best known for defending celebrity clients like Mike Tyson and O.J Simpson said he will argue that even if Trump did everything Democrats say he did, that conduct does not merit impeachment and removal from office.
“You can’t charge a president with impeachable conduct if it doesn’t fit within the criteria for the Constitution,” Dershowitz said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“If the House charges do not include impeachable offences, that’s really the end of the matter,” Dershowitz said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Dershowitz also said his legal approach would render irrelevant the question of whether witnesses should be called. Democrats insist the Republican-controlled Senate should subpoena witnesses, while Republican leaders have refused to commit to doing so.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who had intended to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, argued on “This Week,” “this is preposterous that this would not be an impeachable offence — that the standard in America is now that presidents could abuse their power to help them in elections.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the Trump’s ardent backers and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was on the same page with Dershowitz. He said on “Fox News Sunday,” that is is so poorly defined that future presidents would not have a clear sense of pitfalls to be avoided.
Rep. Adam Schiff, who will essentially serve as prosecutors in the Senate trial, said the Trump team’s legal strategy, outlined in a six-page document released Saturday night, showed they could not refute the allegations House Democrats laid out against the president.
“The only thing really new about the president’s defence is that they’re now arguing — I think because they can’t contest the facts — that the president cannot be impeached for abusing the power of his office,” Schiff said on ABC. And he called that an “absurdist position.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries also said the president’s team would not be able to disprove the testimony given by witnesses in House hearings last year about Trump’s campaign to withhold the aid from Ukraine until President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate Bidens. “Our case is simple; the case is uncontested. Trump was overwhelming,” Jeffries told “Fox News Sunday.
Arguments on Witnesses
Recall that Democrats insist the Republican-controlled Senate should subpoena witnesses, while Republican leaders have refused to commit to doing so.
The Democrats has revived a threat that if the Democrats manage to secure the votes of four Republican senators and seek witness testimony from Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney or his former national security adviser John Bolton, Republicans will demand testimony from several people Democrats consider peripheral because they do not have direct knowledge of Trump’s actions.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been accused of abandon proposals to seek a peremptory dismissal of the case without hearing arguments.