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Senate prepares for impeachment trial to start next week

Senate prepares for impeachment trial to start next week

McConnell's refusal to negotiate on the rules of a Senate trial, Tribe said, was a major break with precedent and a nakedly "partisan" attempt to protect the president and ensure his rapid acquittal.

Kaine said he expects the Senate to be able to act on the measure even though Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber plans to begin Trump's impeachment trial on Tuesday.

The original expectation was that the U.S. House would vote on articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, which would soon be followed by a trial in the U.S. Senate. Andrew Johnson and Clinton were impeached by the House, in 1868 and 1998 respectively, but not convicted by the Senate, while Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached in 1974.

Democrats say Trump abused his power by asking a foreign government to interfere in an American election for his own political benefit at the expense of US national security. The trial has been delayed long enough that it is quite likely Trump will still not have a Senate vote on his fate before he delivers the State of the Union on February 4.

Trump became only the third U.S. president to be impeached on December 18 when the House voted to formally charge him with illicitly seeking help from Ukraine for his reelection campaign this year.

Trump became only the third USA president to be impeached when the House last month approved charges that he abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden and obstructed Congress.

Republicans enjoy majority in the 100-member Senate.

House Democrats met Tuesday to discuss the timing and strategy to send the articles of impeachment, passed in December, to the Senate, where Republicans have rejected a call to dismiss the charges without holding a trial.

Democrats want new testimony, particularly from former White House national security adviser John Bolton, who has indicated he will defy Mr Trump's orders and appear if subpoenaed. Allowing new witness testimony could be a double-edged sword for Democrats, as some Republicans have said they want to call their own witnesses.

Lower-level officials from the departments of State and Defense will provide a classified briefing Wednesday to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"After that they came to me and we have been able to make amendments that earned the support first of Senators Lee and Paul, but now the support also of Senators Young and Collins", Kaine said.

And one of Trump's top allies in the Senate, Sen.

That trial included ten days of testimony from witnesses.

Laurence H. Tribe is university professor and professor of constitutional law at Harvard and coauthor, most recently, of "To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment".

"Democrats have called-have asked to call four fact witnesses and subpoena three specific sets of relevant documents related to the president's misconduct with Ukraine".

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said Sunday that her standoff produced results, noting the public is behind hearing from more witnesses. The Senate will then consider a resolution dealing with floor access and mechanical details, such as the placement of the furniture, for the Senate trial. It did contain motions for dismissal or calling new witnesses. That special oath, ever since the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868, has required every senator to commit, on pain of perjury, to "do impartial justice".