Sunday, 23 February, 2020

Trump tweets that impeachment 'going nowhere' as Senate trial looms

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. meets with reporters Thursday Jan. 9 2020 on Capitol Hill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. meets with reporters Thursday Jan. 9 2020 on Capitol Hill
Deanna Wagner | 12 January, 2020, 15:55

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she'll send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate next week, finally ending her always-absurd effort to leverage Majority Leader Mitch McConnell into adopting her preferred rules for President Trump's trial.

"I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate", Pelosi wrote in a letter to her colleagues Friday morning.

The assassination and subsequent conflict with Iran has pushed Trump's looming impeachment trial out of the headlines and gathered him strong support from some GOP senators who've criticized him in the past. The House worked through procedural steps to prepare for the impeachment trial for the rest of the week, and the Senate received the House impeachment managers the following Tuesday.

Even as some Democrats joined Republicans in calling for the articles to move, Pelosi coolly responded that she would do so only when she was good and ready. She is one of national Democrats' top targets in the 2020 election and voted against her party in 1999 to acquit President Bill Clinton during an impeachment trial.

When Congress reconvened earlier this week, Pelosi still didn't seem to have any intention of sending over the articles until McConnell agreed to play fair, which he was never going to do. In addition to coordinating a defense with the White House, he was also refusing to call witnesses-even the witnesses that refused to comply with congressional subpoenas in the House-and said he had enough votes among his fellow Republicans to move forward on his own terms.

In order for Hawley's resolution to be adopted, it would require a two-thirds majority vote, an unlikely prospect given Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's certain opposition.

Bolton, however, said this week that he would testify if called upon.

Responding to Pelosi's plans to send the articles next week, McConnell told reporters, "about time".

USA dismisses Iraq's troop withdrawal request - latest updates
In its initial readout of the call, the State Department made no mention of Abdul-Mahdi's request on the troops. On Tuesday, in retaliation, Iran fired missiles at military facilities in Iraq, which were housing USA troops.

But McConnell did say that what was good for Clinton is good for Trump. Bolton issued a statement Monday after the courts did not rule on whether he would be compelled to testify during the House's impeachment proceedings, saying he was trying to meet his "obligations both as a citizen and as former national security adviser".

Democrats are now focusing their attention on winning over Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski as potential allies during the trial, with the hope that capturing them could spur other Republicans to abandon Trump.

The House impeached Ms Trump in December on the charge that he abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine's new leader to investigate Democrats, using as leverage US$400 million in military assistance for the USA ally as it counters Russian Federation at its border.

The Davos World Economic Forum begins the week of January 20th and President Trump is expected to attend.

The result was mounting pressure on moderate or vulnerable Republicans to agree to allow new witnesses and other evidence introduced into the Senate trial.

Many on Capitol Hill expect the Senate impeachment trial to begin next week. At some point after the trial gets started, the Senate will take a vote on whether to allow witnesses and who those witnesses should be.

We don't yet know who those managers will be.

"There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure", he said.