24/09/2020

The Senate on Thursday officially opened the impeachment trial against President Trump,…

The Senate on Thursday officially opened the impeachment trial against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into BidensFive takeaways from Parnas’s Maddow interviewMORE, formally accepting a pair of articles presented by House Democrats just moments before.
Seven House Democrats serving as prosecutors handpicked a day earlier by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money Presented by Wells Fargo Trump signs first phase of US-China trade deal | Senate to vote Thursday on Canada, Mexico deal | IRS provides relief for those with discharged student loansHouse delivers impeachment articles to SenateSenate begins preparations for Trump trialMORE (D-Calif.) solemnly walked together from the House chamber over to the Senate to present the articles of impeachment, in a similar ceremonial display from the night before to deliver them to the upper chamber.
Stepping into the well of the Senate, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAdam Schiff was an answer on ‘Jeopardy!’ and none of the contestants knew who he wasHillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman’s phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won’t be ‘chess piece’ in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief McConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trialMORE (D-Calif.) read the resolution naming the seven House prosecutors or impeachment managers and informing the Senate that that his chamber had charged Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors.
Schiff, the lead manager, then read the two articles of impeachment abuse of power and obstruction of Congress pertaining to Trumps efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations into Democrat Joe BidenJoe Biden Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into BidensFive takeaways from Parnas’s Maddow interviewParnas: Trump threatened to withhold more than just military aid to UkraineMORE and other political rivals.
The ceremony, filled with pomp and circumstance, marked the official handoff of the months-long impeachment process from the House to the Senate, which in the coming weeks will vote on whether to end Trumps presidency.
Later Thursday afternoon, at 2 p.m. ET, the Senate will receive Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, so he can administer an oath to senators.
GOP leaders announced that Roberts will be escorted to the heavily secured chamber by a bipartisan quartet: Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGraham on impeachment trial: ‘End this crap as quickly as possible’New Parnas evidence escalates impeachment witnesses fightOn The Money Presented by Wells Fargo Trump signs first phase of US-China trade deal | Senate to vote Thursday on Canada, Mexico deal | IRS provides relief for those with discharged student loansMORE (R-Mo.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump’s border wallDemocrats vow to force third vote on Trump’s border wall emergency declarationOn The Money Presented by Wells Fargo Uncertainty clouds Trump’s China trade deal | Judge delays ruling in House lawsuit over Trump tax returns | Treasury blocks foreign investments in critical US firmsMORE (D-Vt.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham on impeachment trial: ‘End this crap as quickly as possible’Harris calls for judicial nominee freeze during impeachment trialTrump wants To ‘deescalate,’ but will his supporters let him?MORE (R-S.C.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats ask if US citizens were detained at border checkpoints due to Iranian national originPelosi set to send impeachment articles to the Senate next weekThe Hill’s Morning Report Impeachment tug-of-war expected to end soonMORE (D-Calif.).
The substance of the trial is expected to start on Tuesday following the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. 
The Senate will also have to pass a resolution, expected on Tuesday, that establishes rules and procedures for the trial. 
The Senate will then notify the presidents defense team, which must be given at least two days notice. 
That means opening arguments from the Democratic managers and Trumps defense team may not occur until later in the week.
The House voted largely along party lines on Wednesday to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, four weeks to the day after voting to impeach Trump.
Pelosi had declined to immediately send over the articles in an effort to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellNew Parnas evidence escalates impeachment witnesses fightOn The Money Presented by Wells Fargo Trump signs first phase of US-China trade deal | Senate to vote Thursday on Canada, Mexico deal | IRS provides relief for those with discharged student loansGOP senator: 2020 candidates must recuse themselves from impeachment trialMORE (R-Ky.) to agree to allow witness testimony during the trial.
But McConnell — with the backing of his Senate GOP conference — refused to budge and maintained that any decisions on witnesses should come after the opening arguments. 
Still, each day seems to bring new developments in the Ukraine scandal.
The presentation of the impeachment articles on Thursday came hours after the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan congressional watchdog, released a report concluding that the Trump administration violated the law by withholding military aid to Ukraine last year.
Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law, the GAO said.
It also came after Lev Parnas, an associate of Trumps personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into BidensFive takeaways from Parnas’s Maddow interviewMORE, provided new documents to House impeachment investigators this week showing efforts to convince Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden as well as apparent communications tracking the movements of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie Yovanovitch Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into BidensNew Parnas evidence escalates impeachment witnesses fightEngel demands State Department documents regarding ‘threats’ to Yovanovitch security after release of Parnas documentsMORE. 
One handwritten note from Parnas read: “get Zalensky [sic] to announce that the Biden case will be investigated.”
Parnas also conducted an interview with MSNBCs Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into BidensFive takeaways from Parnas’s Maddow interviewMORE that aired Wednesday night claiming that “President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” 
“He was aware of all of my movements. He- I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president, Parnas added.
GOP senators so far have been reluctant to say if Parnas should testify during the trial or if any of the new evidence should be considered.
They are afraid of the truth, Pelosi said of GOP senators. This is just another avoiding of the facts and the truth on their part.
McConnell, meanwhile, criticized Pelosi for holding a ceremony Wednesday evening to sign the articles of impeachment before the impeachment managers walked over to the Senate to deliver them. Pelosi used multiple pens — as is standard for such ceremonies to sign legislation — and handed them out to the impeachment managers.
Well, nothing says seriousness and sobriety like handing out souvenirs. As though this were a happy bill-signing instead of the gravest process in our Constitution, McConnell said from the Senate floor.