The trial of President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction could open within days as House of Representatives leader Nancy Pelosi convenes Democrats early Tuesday to discuss sending impeachment charges to the Senate. House democrats' case can not simultaneously be so robust that it was enough to impeach in the first place but also so weak that the Senate needs to go fishing.
The House passed legislation known as a concurrent resolution last week, which called for an end to military action against Iran unless Trump obtained Congress' approval. After holding the impeachment articles for almost a month, Pelosi allowed investigations to continue and more incriminating information to come to light, which wasn't yet available when her chamber voted on December 18. Fiona Hill, the White House's former top Russian Federation adviser, said Bolton told her he wasn't getting involved in what he called the "drug deal" being cooked up by the administration.
© J. Scott Applewhite, AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., shown speaking to reporters January 9, 2020, meets with the Democratic Caucus Tuesday to discuss next steps in the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
After the articles of impeachment are transmitted, the Senate formally informs the president there will be a trial and what day it will start.
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump over a whistle-blower complaint claiming that the president pressed on his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate business activities of the former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.
The Democratic Caucus meeting comes after Pelosi said Friday she would send the impeachment articles to the Senate this week, which would trigger a Senate trial over whether to convict Trump and remove him from office.
McConnell, who is a member of the president's Republican party, pushed back suggestions that he would try and prevent the trial from going ahead.
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. Republican allies led by Senator McConnell are ready to deliver swift acquittal without new testimony.
"We don't really care who comes forward because the president has done nothing wrong", said Gidley. Trump has said he expects to be exonerated in the Senate trial. Graham and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. are leading the effort to dismiss the charges against Trump. He added, "if the existing case is weak, House Democrats should not have impeached in the first place".
Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said Sunday that her standoff produced results, noting the public is behind hearing from more witnesses.
Once the Republican-led Senate receives the charges, the trial is expected to begin swiftly.
The reason is that we can not afford to leave any stone unturned when dealing with as lawless and fickle a presidential administration and its Senate accomplices as the Trump/McConnell cabal has shown itself to be.
Kaine said the resolution is eligible for floor consideration next Tuesday though it could get a vote earlier if a deal is reached with leadership.
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".
The legal defense the White House will present is significant.