Members of the full US House of Representatives are likely to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump this week, moving the impeachment process forward to the Republican-controlled Senate for a trial.
As attention moves to the Senate trial ahead of the historic House vote, Democrats have been quick to argue that Republicans in the upper chamber aren’t taking their duty as jurors who are to render judgment on President Trump seriously.
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, who oversaw the final phase of the impeachment process in the House, told ABC’s This Week that Republican senators who have said they are coordinating the trial process — which has yet to be rigorously defined — with the White House are “in violation of the oath that they’re about to take, and it’s a complete subversion of the constitutional scheme.”
Senators must take an oath that they plan to do “impartial justice” when taking up an impeachment trial. But Republicans have made it clear that their interpretation of what that oath means differs from Nadler’s.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will hold a trial following the House vote, but it may be bare bones: a short hearing with no witness testimony, leading quickly to acquittal. He’s also said he’s working in “total coordination” with the Trump administration.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CBS’s Face the Nation, “I’ve clearly made up my mind, I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have disdain for the accusations and the process.”
On ABC’s This Week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) defended coming to a conclusion on a verdict ahead of the trial, arguing that there are fundamental differences between jurors in a criminal trial and those in an impeachment proceeding, which is an “inherently political exercise.”
Read More (...)