Back on Dec. 18, 2019, the House of Representatives approved articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The articles of impeachment included abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Over the past month and a half, the impeachment proceedings have moved from the House of Representatives’ initial vote to impeach the president to the Senate’s formal impeachment trial. Here’s what’s happened in the impeachment trial thus far, and here’s what coming up in the trial.
The impeachment trial of the 45th president began on Jan. 16 of the current year with Democrats and Republicans going back and forth over how the trial should proceed. Democrats and Republicans debated over changes to the proceedings. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York offered amendments to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s organizing resolution. The organizing resolution in the beginning of the impeachment trial was how the trial would proceed. One of the first amendments proposed, which was to allow the Senate to subpoena White House records, was defeated by Republicans 53–47. The other amendments that Schumer proposed in the beginning of the trial were to subpoena State Department documents related to the charges against the president, to subpoena documents from the White House Office of Management and Budget, and to subpoena acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, all of which failed. Schumer saved the rest of amendments to be voted on Jan. 22 but proposed another amendment to subpoena Defense Department documents and records, which was also defeated. Throughout the impeachment trial, numerous amendments proposed by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that would subpoena records from various advisors and departments which have been tabled in the Senate with a vote of 53–47.
Democrats during the trial had three days of presentations making a case against the president before the president’s defense team began its arguments. On Saturday, Jan. 25, the president’s defense team began with arguments against the House of Representatives Democrats posing that they had not shown a full picture of the case to senators. An Al Jazeera report on the Trump impeachment published on Jan. 28 stated, “In just two hours of arguments, Trump’s lawyers maintained that Democratic House of Representative managers prosecuting the case had not presented a full picture to senators while framing the impeachment as an attempt to undermine US democracy.”
On Monday, Jan. 27, drafts of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s book were released. According to a New York Times report, “President Trump told his national security advisor in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former advisor, John R. Bolton.” The release of the manuscripts and Bolton’s own statements could possibly postpone Trump’s acquittal. Democrats are calling for Bolton to be called in as a key witness in the Senate trial. His book presents an outline of the case against President Trump and his actions with Ukraine and the investigations into the Bidens. The impeachment trial continues as the arguments from House Democrats and Trump’s defense team have concluded, now turning towards the Senate beginning their questioning. Senators will submit their questions in writing to Chief Justice John Roberts, the presiding judge over the case, and Roberts will then address the questions to one of the legal teams. Questions from the senators will be written and discussed between Jan. 29 and 30, with the sessions being split between two eight-hour days and alternate between both parties, and questions alternating between Democrats and Republicans.
Sites used: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/trump-s-senate-impeachment-trial-what-happened-day-1-n1119691 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/trump-impeachment-trial-day-latest-updates-200127131825716.html