Questions About Hunter Biden Testimony Loom Over Senate Impeachment Trial

Questions About Hunter Biden Testimony Loom Over Senate Impeachment Trial

It was the first time Trump formally responded to the two articles of impeachment - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - that the Democratic-led House approved late past year.

"This whole controversy about whether there should be witnesses is really a question of does the Senate want to have a fair trial or are they part of the coverup of the president?"

"The Senate should convict and remove President Trump to avoid serious and long-term damage to our democratic values and the nation's security", the lawmakers said, for the first time formally calling for the Senate to convict the president and remove him from office.

The White House legal team has slammed House Democrats' impeachment effort against US President Donald Trump as "brazen and unlawful" in its first formal response.

In the House of Representatives, the vote to approve the articles of impeachment had fallen along party lines.

In a call with reporters earlier Saturday, a source close to Trump's legal team said the articles violate the Constitution because they are "the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the president any due process rights".

The effort derailed the career - and may have threatened the personal security of - a respected U.S. ambassador at the wishes of corrupt Ukrainian elements; used the promise of a White House meeting to extract the "deliverable" Trump wanted; and escalated to the suspension by Trump of security aid for Ukraine appropriated by Congress, the evidence indicates.

Unless four Republican senators break ranks, at the end of the arguments McConnell can defeat any motion to subpoena witnesses, and then can easily hold a vote to acquit Trump - meeting the White House timeframe.

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Outlined in the Constitution high crimes and misdemeanors, which are grounds for impeachment, are detailed as treason and bribery.

If the White House and Republicans have their way, President Donald Trump's trial will be over in two weeks, just in time for him to celebrate his expected acquittal in the February 4 State of the Union Address. Schiff noted that along with several administration officials, Trump himself has already admitted to the conduct at the core of his impeachment.

The President's legal team will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Mr Trump's private attorney Jay Sekulow. "President Trump acted with extraordinary and unprecedented transparency by declassifying and releasing the transcript of the July 25 call that is at the heart of this matter", Trump's lawyers added.

Republicans have said they would call Biden's son Hunter, whose association with a Ukraine energy firm was part of what Trump wanted Kiev to investigate. "That view is erroneous and exceptionally unsafe". Simpson, said he will argue that even if Trump did everything Democrats say he did, that conduct does not merit impeachment and removal from office.

Although the articles of impeachment don't rely on evidence from Mueller's report, the House managers drew parallels between Trump's behavior in the two episodes.

"Did the president, as the evidence shows that he did, betray his country by conspiring with a foreign country to try and rig the election?"

"President Trump repeatedly used his powers of office to undermine and derail the Mueller investigation, particularly after learning that he was personally under investigation for obstruction of justice", the brief says.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is leading the Democrat's impeachment team with six colleagues. All of them will be back in Washington on Sunday, and they'll do a walk-through of the Senate chamber Monday on the eve of the trial, the officials said.

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