WASHINGTON – The removal of President Donald Trump is now the challenge of the Senate.
Headed by the Constitution, House officials and prosecutors darkly routed the articles through the dimly lit Capitol building Wednesday night, setting off an unprecedented trial since that of President Bill Clinton in 1999. He was acquitted.
Look for a series of landmark ceremonial questions on Thursday to make the Senate a court of dismissal. Oaths will be taken. An oath book will be signed. And the seven prosecutors of the House, called directors, appointed by the President Nancy Pelosi will make an appearance at the Senate well to present the articles.
Then senators will be ordered to turn in their phones, pay attention and not speak – a whole new level of challenge, especially for the four Democrats running for president before the Iowa caucuses of February 3.
To watch out for when the Senate opens its removal work:
MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE IN THE SENATE
Thursday at noon, the seven directors of the House will cross the Capitol again and will be escorted into the Senate well, this time to formally present the indictments. They accuse Trump of an abuse of power by pressuring Ukraine to help him politically and by obstructing the Congressional investigation into what happened.
The prosecution team is chaired by the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff of California, and the Chair of the Judicial Committee, Jerrold Nadler of New York, who oversaw the removal investigation and the hearings . The other representatives are Zoe Lofgren from California, Hakeem Jeffries from New York, Val Demings from Florida, Jason Crow from Colorado and Sylvia Garcia from Texas.
All of them have a background in law. Their challenge is to persuade four Republicans to join all of the Senate Democrats in demanding that the trial include new documents and witnesses that most GOP senators would like to avoid. Even this modest goal could prove difficult.
Watch managers to start dividing topics and arguments as the team prepares to present their case.
In another extraordinary visual, Chief Justice John Roberts will make an appearance in the bedroom. The Senate Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa will administer Roberts’ oath as president of the court. Roberts, in turn, will be sworn in before senators, said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
Senators will swear to administer “impartial justice” on the articles or charges. But already, senator-jurors are wondering if it is possible.
McConnell gave his categorical answer.
“I am not an impartial juror,” he said last month. The process is inherently political.
He also said he closely coordinates his activities with the White House, a statement the Democrats said was evidence of McConnell’s bias. The Republicans, meanwhile, pointed out that Democrats have spoken widely of their disdain for Trump and questioned his ability to perform his duties.
On Wednesday evening, McConnell explained how he saw the challenge for senators.
“We are committed to rising above petty factionalism and doing justice to our institutions, our states and the nation,” he said.
THE MATH SENATE
100: The total number of senators.
53: The Republican majority.
51: The number of senators who must agree on almost everything for this to happen during an indictment trial.
Four: the number of Republican senators who must join the Democrats to reach the magic 51.
2/3: The proportion of senators required to convict and remove a president. Thus, 67 members of the Senate should vote to condemn if each senator votes.
Watch the moderates for an emerging band of three to four who could influence the outcome on issues such as whether to summon former National Security Advisor John Bolton. This vote will not be taken for days or even weeks.
Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine met with a small number of GOP colleagues who wish to consider testimony and documents that were not part of the investigation into the removal of the House. Look at the Meaning Republicans. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to find out if this group can stay together and force the Senate to consider other elements.
Senators love to talk. Thus, the rule of the dismissal process prohibiting to speak or consult their phones on the floor of the Senate has the potential to gnaw.
Nothing more, however, than the four Democratic senators forced to leave Iowa less than three weeks before the start of the election caucus. Look for Senators Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders from Vermont, Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota and Michael Bennet from Colorado to send surrogates to Iowa or make short trips.
“I told them that this trial is your responsibility as senators and that the timetable will not affect what we should do,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told The Associated Press in an interview this month. latest. He said that none of them objected. “There are advantages to running as a senator,” added Schumer, “and there are responsibilities.”
AT HIS BEST
The Senate Pauses for Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend
The arguments start on Tuesday.
The Trump team will be led by White House lawyer Pat Cippolone.
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