The White House lawyer warns that it will last “months” if witnesses are cited
MADRID, 30 Jan. –
The impeachment trial against the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has advanced this Wednesday towards the phase of questions of the senators, who exercise the jury role in the process, both to the Democratic congressmen appointed to exercise the accusation as the legal team of the American president, with the debate on the citation of witnesses in the center.
This Thursday's view is also reserved for senators' questions. After this, the rules of the 'impeachment' approved by the Senate stipulate four hours of debate, after which a vote will be held on the summons of witnesses to testify and the provision of documents.
Jay Sekulow, the White House lawyer and Trump's personal lawyer, has warned Wednesday during the impeachment hearing that the process will continue for “months” if witnesses are cited to testify, in part because the legal team President will quote “anyone” they consider.
“I want Adam Schiff. I want Hunter Biden. I want Joe Biden. I want the whistleblower. I also want to understand that there may be other people within the House Intelligence Committee who have had conversations with that whistleblower,” Sekulow said, according to He has picked up the CNN television network.
“If we get someone we want, we will be here for a long time. The fact is that we are not here to discuss witnesses tonight, but obviously it is an undercurrent,” he added, while referring to the importance of the precedent that would call to witnesses in future political trials.
The reluctance of the Republican senators to allow the declaration of various witnesses in the context of the political trial, as well as the contribution of documents, is marking the process against Trump.
At least 51 senators, a simple majority, must vote in favor of citing witnesses and providing documents. Therefore, four Republican senators would have to join the 47 Democrats in order for the motion to pass.
An alleged draft of a book by former US National Security advisor John Bolton, confirmed on Monday to 'The New York Times' by several people who have been able to read it, says Trump told Bolton in August that he wanted to continue blocking the delivery of the 391 million dollars of military aid to Ukraine until the Kiev authorities pledged to investigate the former vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. The statement of objections of the Trump political trial contains the crimes of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Bolton's manuscript has sharpened the cracks in the Republican majority, to the point that it is no longer ruled out that Democrats can quote a key witness during the Senate trial. Republicans have asserted their majority in the Upper House so far to control the timing and format of the process. Democrats have tried in vain to call key witnesses, including Bolton himself, to determine if the president abused his power.
The US media speculates that Senators critical of Trump, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander take a turn and change the balance. The Senate is already prepared to discuss whether to summon witnesses or not, which is expected to occur presumably on Friday. If the vote gets more votes against, the Upper House could already vote for Trump's acquittal. If, on the contrary, the vote yields a positive result, the impeachment will continue.
The political trial is chaired by the president of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, and the seven deputies appointed by the House of Representatives will act as 'prosecutors' of a process in which all senators must act as jurors, regardless of the party in which they militate.
The impeachment process encompasses the investigation and voting in the House of Representatives, where Trump was officially disapproved in December, thus becoming the third censored US president, and the political trial in the Upper House, in which, to date , no president has become dismissed.
The process began following a complaint lodged by an Intelligence officer who considered that Trump's call to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, on July 25 was an attempt to pressure him to force him to open an investigation into the Biden, paralyzing until then the delivery of more than 300 million dollars of military aid to Kiev and postponing the invitation for a meeting at the White House.
Trump maintains that he is the victim of a “witch hunt” and that his call was “perfect”, despite the contradictions that have been observed in the Government since the complaint of the anonymous official for the alleged campaign of pressure on Ukraine.