News ID: 263205
Published: 0346 GMT December 20, 2019

Trump seeks rapid exoneration in Senate after impeachment

Trump seeks rapid exoneration in Senate after impeachment
AFP

US President Donald Trump pressed his Republican allies Thursday to exert rigid control of his Senate trial and ensure a swift exoneration, a day after he was impeached in a historic rebuke by the House of Representatives.

A bitter fight looms over the coming trial, expected to begin as early as the second week of January, with Senate leaders already drawing battle lines over the evidence that will be allowed, AFP reported.

But its fate was left in limbo late Thursday when the Senate's powerful majority leader, Mitch McConnell signaled the standoff with Democrats over trial particulars would continue into the New Year.

"We remain at an impasse on these logistics," McConnell said on the floor, as he announced the Senate had completed its business until January.

Trump seized on the uncertainty to attack House Democrats for seeking to demand key witnesses or dictate how McConnell should run the process.

"I want an immediate trial!" he boomed on Twitter.

Trump is charged with abuse of office and obstruction of Congress but Democrats, who led the three-month House investigation, are threatening to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate until they are reassured the process will be fair.

"I got Impeached last night without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history," Trump tweeted.

"Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it's Senate's call!"

Trump, the third president in US history to be impeached, suggested that the Democrats would "lose by default" if they decided not to show up at a date determined by the Senate.

The House voted along party lines Wednesday to charge Trump with abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate his potential White House challenger in 2020, the veteran Democrat Joe Biden.

Lawmakers also approved a second article of impeachment, obstruction of the congressional probe into his Ukraine dealings.

The vote leaves a permanent stain on Trump's legacy – one that he appeared determined to mask with acquittal by the Senate.

The Senate Republicans have a 53-47 majority that makes the math for clearing Trump straightforward – conviction and removal would require a two-thirds guilty vote on either charge.

The House must formally transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate for the case to be taken up there.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi balked at immediately transmitting them, saying she wants to understand what the parameters of the trial will be before naming House managers who will prosecute the case before the senators.

 

 

 

   
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