Sen. Murkowski Wants to Hear Impeachment Case Before Deciding on Witnesses

Sen. Susan Collins R-Maine talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. In the dawn of what may be her toughest

Democrats: Trump endangers national security, Latest World News - The New Paper

Sen. Lindsey Graham lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday and argued for a quick end to the Senate impeachment trial because the California Democrat has "orchestrated the church of holy hell" against President Trump.

The House last month voted largely along party lines to impeach Trump on two counts: abuse of power for withholding military aid to Ukraine and a coveted White House meeting unless the newly elected president of Ukraine opened investigations into Trump's political rivals; and obstruction of Congress for blocking current and former federal employees from producing documents or testifying as part of the House investigation.

White House lawyers are due to submit Monday a brief detailing their arguments in the impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump, a day before the proceedings begin in earnest.

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.

The legal team defending Trump against the second impeachment article, Congress's disability, claimed that the government "adequately responded to these summonses and found their constitutional errors".

Democrat strategists believe calling fresh witnesses in the House will heap pressure on a handful of Republican senators - including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Maine's Susan Collins - to break ranks. While a few Democrats voted against the articles of impeachment or voted present, conservative Representative Justin Amash of MI, who was elected as a Republican but then declared his independence last July, voted in favor of the measures.

Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday evening that if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not call for witnesses in his proposal for trial procedures, he would force votes on the issue at the start of the trial. "[My responsibility is] not to focus on the politics of where we are, but a recognition that we are in the midst of an infrequent and in many ways extraordinary process that the Constitution allows for, and I'm going to take my constitutional obligations very, very seriously".

Trump is publicly, at least, showing little concern as he thinks he knows what is going to happen. The Missouri senator added that if he right to dismiss was absent, he might not support the resolution.

MSNBC legal analyst Benjamin Wittes followed up by saying Dershowitz and Starr carry a lot of "baggage" against their own legal arguments.

He continued, "What we do this week and what we hear, and the facts we hear will probably meet the test and determine whether we get additional witnesses". I have those witnesses. Senate Republicans have so far declined the requests. "So let's have that fair trial", said Democratic Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, one of the seven impeachment prosecutors.

Another possible Republican crossover, Senator Mitt Romney, told journalists: "Barring some sort of surprise I'll vote in favor of hearing witnesses".

If four Republicans do cross over, that could add weeks to the trial - three in the Clinton case.

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.

"I think this is going to be a stark contrast to what happened over in the House, where you literally witnessed the most rushed, most partisan, and unprepared impeachment proceedings in the House in US history", Sullivan said.

Following Biden's April campaign announcement, Trump's inner circle, led by personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, intensified efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of the Bidens.

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Trump impeachment trial likely to play out like this