Impeachment trial will kick off with battle over witnesses

Source: Politico | January 16, 2020 | Marianne Levine

Schumer says he’ll likely force votes on witnesses on Tuesday.

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is now underway. And it’s going to move fast.

Just an hour after senators were sworn in, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will likely force votes on witnesses on Tuesday — setting up a contentious fight when the Senate returns from the three-day weekend. Senate Democrats have called for subpoenaing four witnesses, including former Trump national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

“We expect that we will have votes on these witnesses on Tuesday but can’t be sure until we see the resolution that McConnell has put together,” said Schumer on Thursday, who lambasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not sharing the text of the trial procedures with Democrats.

“It’s amazing that at this moment we still haven’t seen it,” he said.

But their calls for agreeing to hear witnesses at the outset of the trial have been rebuffed by McConnell. The GOP majority’s trial blueprint kicks the question of whether to hear witnesses until after House managers and the president’s defense present their case.

The Senate trial officially began Thursday, when the seven Democratic House managers who will argue the case for removing Trump from office presented the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

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