What happens next at Trump's political trial? The

Lula Sharp
January 29, 2020

At only the third ever presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, Trump's lawyers closed out their three-day defense in the Senate by calling for a speedy acquittal of Trump and accusing Democrats of bringing politically motivated charges in an attempt to reverse his 2016 election victory.

The Democratic-led House on December 18 impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress arising from his request that Ukraine investigate Biden, the former vice president, setting the stage for the trial to determine if he should be removed from office.

"What they are asking you to do is to throw out a successful president, on the eve of an election, with no basis and in violation of the constitution", Trump's lead counsel Pat Cipollone said.

After watching the Trump defense team addressing John Bolton's upcoming book, Chuck Todd said today they sound a little concerned about what he could say if called as a witness.

The argument was aimed at Republicans who are considering witnesses including Bolton, who writes that Trump told him that he wanted to withhold military aid from Ukraine until it helped with investigations into Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The Senate trial now moves into a two-day period of questioning, during which each party will alternate questioning for up to 16 hours throughout Wednesday and Thursday.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and congressional correspondents Susan Davis and Kelsey Snell.

The ideas appear to be losing steam as quickly as they emerge.

Democrats want to call Bolton, former White House interim cabinet chief Mick Mulvaney, chief advisor to the White House interim cabinet chief Robert Blair, and the Office and Administration Office official, Michael Duffey.

On Monday, Republican Senator James Lankford proposed that lawmakers receive a copy of the manuscript of Mr Bolton's book "to see what they're actually saying".

"We are not negotiating with them".

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Some Republicans including Senator Pat Toomey want reciprocity - bring in Bolton or another Democratic witness in exchange for one from the GOP side. And on Tuesday afternoon, the news broke that the majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), had declared at his conference that he did not have the votes to reject a request for a witness. "We want four witnesses. then the truth will come out".

McConnell speaks during the political trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the US Capitol. UU. The Republican leader is encouraging senators not to get entangled in such questions that could delay things.

"What it's done is take an already hot topic and added fuel to the fire", stated Senator Mike Braun, a Republican politician who wishes to acquit Trump of your home impeachment charges of abuse of power and blockage of justice.

Fifty-one senators are needed to call more witnesses or include more documents.

If the Senate quotes witnesses, they would be deposed privately before the Senate decides on public testimony.

That would mean a vote on whether to condemn the president could be weeks away.

If no witnesses or additional documents are subpoenaed, senators could entertain other motions or proceed to vote on each article of impeachment.

Regardless of the vote of the witnesses, the acquittal still seems likely given that the Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate and the conviction would require a two-thirds majority.

"The president's lawyers ... really did not, cannot, defend the president on the facts", he said.

Trump is also scheduled to give his State of the Union Address on February 4.

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