The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday to send formal impeachment charges against President Donald Trump to the Senate, lawmakers said on Tuesday, clearing the way for a trial that could begin next Tuesday.
The Republican president is giving mixed messages ahead of the House's landmark vote that will launch the Senate proceedings in a matter of days, only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.
Trump became only the third U.S. president to be impeached on December 18 when the House voted to formally charge him with illicitly seeking help from Ukraine for his reelection campaign this year. The first article charges Trump with abusing the power of his office for attempting to pressure Ukraine to investigate a potential political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden; the second charges Trump obstructed Congress' investigation of his actions.
After that vote, Blunt said, the House will inform the secretary of the Senate that it's ready to send its impeachment managers over.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaks on the Senate floor at the Capitol in Washington on December 19, 2019.
Trump told Fox News in an interview last week that he had "no problem" with Bolton and other officials providing testimony but that he'd likely invoke executive privilege if the situation were to arise. Trump has said he expects to be exonerated in the Senate trial.
Senators say if witnesses are allowed, some Republicans may also try to subpoena Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company in Ukraine while his father was vice president.
Bolton is believed to have firsthand knowledge of Trump's dealings with Ukraine and why the administration temporarily withheld almost $400 million in military assistance from the US ally. Lindsey Graham of SC, has already predicted that the trial would end "in a matter of days".
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has led some of the only efforts from Republican lawmakers to push back on Trump's policy priorities in the last three years. McConnell asked. He rejected Pelosi's recent suggestions that whatever the Senate verdict, Trump will be "impeached forever". "It would seem to me that as his national security adviser he would have spoken to Trump about exactly what was going on in Ukraine and why the money was being withheld". "If the existing case is weak, House Democrats should not have impeached in the first place", he added.
Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said Sunday that her standoff produced results, noting the public is behind hearing from more witnesses. Then, the Senate responds saying they are prepared to receive them.
"If he testifies, all bets are off on what it means for the president", Bradley Moss, a national security law expert, told Newsweek.
Meanwhile, a USA cybersecurity firm said on Monday that Russian military hackers tried to steal emails from Burisma around the same time as the House was holding impeachment hearings. If that succeeds, he said Republicans likely will want to call witnesses of their own.
The legal defense the White House will present is significant.