Republicans reject the 11 Democratic amendments and the Senate approves the rules proposed by McConnell
MADRID, 22 (EUROPE PRESS)
The first day of the political trial or 'impeachment' against the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has started on Tuesday with the vote on a series of amendments presented by the leader of the Senate Democratic minority, Chuck Schumer, to quote witnesses and present evidence.
The Senate was scheduled to vote on the approval of the rules proposed on Monday by the leader of the Republican majority in the upper house, Mitch McConnell, for the celebration of the process, but the senator has decided to change the resolution presented after criticism of the Democrats and some Republicans, as reported by the CNN television network.
Thus, each of the parties will have 24 hours to present their arguments, which will be distributed in three days, instead of the two 12-hour days proposed by McConnell at first. In addition, the evidence presented by the House of Representatives will be admitted unless there is a vote against.
In this context, Schumer had already informed that he would present a series of amendments to the Republican norms, since McConnell's resolution would delay voting to cite witnesses and provide evidence until both parties finished presenting their initial arguments, although he did not enter detail regarding them,
The Democratic senator has submitted eleven amendments, which have been rejected by the Senate in a very partisan vote in all but one, the tenth. The 53 Republicans that make up the Upper House have voted against ten of them, while the 47 Democrats have done so in favor.
The first amendment submitted by Schumer called for the presentation of White House documents; the second has referred to the presentation of documents of the United States Department of State; the third, to documents of the Office of Budget and Management of the White House; the fourth, to the summons to testify of the interim chief of the White House, Mick Mulvaney; and fifth, requested the submission of documents from the Department of Defense.
The sixth amendment submitted by the Democratic senator requested the testimony of one of Mulvaney's advisers, Robert Blair, and the associate director of the Office of Budget and Management for National Security Programs, Michael Duffey.
Regarding the seventh and eighth amendments, they have referred to a measure to prevent the selective admission of evidence and provide adequate handling of classified and confidential material and the testimony of former US National Security advisor John Bolton.
Bolton refused to appear at the impeachment in the House of Representatives, but has now said he would agree to go to the political trial to clarify everything he knows.
Representative of the most conservative wing of the Republican Party, the 'falcon' Bolton was one of Trump's most fervent defenders in the campaign and in his first months at the White House but in 2019 he was relieved of his position for his discrepancies with Trump on international issues openwork like Venezuela or Afghanistan.
The ninth amendment, meanwhile, would have forced a Senate vote on any motion filed to cite witnesses and documents.
The tenth amendment referred to the amount of time allocated to motions and the responses written during the trial. One of the Republican senators has voted in favor of it, so the result of the vote has been 52 votes against 48 in favor.
Finally, the eleventh amendment would have allowed the president of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, who acts as a judge in the process, to decide whether motions for witnesses and documents are allowed.
Following the submission and rejection of the eleven amendments, the Senate has proceeded to vote on the resolution presented by the leader of the Republican majority with the rules for the Trump impeachment process. A simple majority, 51 votes, was necessary to pass the resolution proposed by McConnell. Finally, it has been approved with 53 votes in favor, those of the Republicans that make up the Upper House, compared to 47 against the Democrats.
Schumer planned to submit “multiple” amendments, although he had not specified the specific number, on a day that has developed slowly and has lasted almost 13 hours. In fact, McConnell has proposed the idea of ”stacking” the votes on the amendments in the hope of “speeding up” the debate, but Schumer has refused, claiming that he wants “senators to vote on each and every one of his amendments. “.
For their part, the Democrats have insisted that “a fair trial requires witnesses.” Democratic Congressman and 'manager' Hakeem Jeffries has stressed that “the Constitution, democracy, the Senate, the president and, above all, the American people, deserve a fair trial.”
“A fair trial requires witnesses to be able to provide the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That is why this amendment has to be adopted,” he said before the vote on the fourth amendment, the reference to the citation from Mulvaney. In addition, he said Trump is “personally responsible for depriving the Senate of important information to consider in this trial.”
THE CASE AGAINST TRUMP
The political trial will be chaired by the president of the Supreme Court of the United States 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 filed by an Intelligence officer who considered that the call made by Donald Trump to the President of Ukraine, 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.