Impeachment live updates: McConnell, Pelosi dig in on impasse over Trump's Senate trial – The Washington Post, The Washington Post

Impeachment live updates: McConnell, Pelosi dig in on impasse over Trump's Senate trial – The Washington Post, The Washington Post

Both sides dug in Monday in the impasse over a Senate trial of President Trump, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Chiding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D -Calif) for the delay in transmitting articles of impeachment, a position he called “absurd.”

Pelosi, meanwhile, insisted that before moving forward, Democrats need to know “what sort of trial the Senate will conduct. ”Democrats are seeking to have several witnesses testify, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) pressed his case in a letter to colleagues Monday that documents withheld by the White House be subpoenaed as part of the trial.

At the heart of the Democrats ‘case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the presidential election.

● After scathing editorial in evangelical magazine, top Trump aidedefends president.

● Key Democratic senatorremains undecidedon whether Trump should be removed from office.


Schumer details specific documents he wants for Trump’s impeachment trial

At a Monday afternoon news conference, Schumer detailed the material he wants presented as evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, including emails and other documents.

“President Trump said he wants due process. Well, our proposal gives it to him, ”Schumer said. “The tradition of due process is that when you are accused, you get to confront your accuser and make your case.”

Schumer had previously said that Michael Duffey – a senior White House budget official who directed the Defense Department to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine less than two hours after Trump’s controversial phone call with Zelensky – was one of four key witnesses who should testify during the trial. The others are acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, and Robert Blair, a senior adviser to Mulvaney.

Schumer said he also seeks documents that “ will shed additional light on the administration’s decision-making regarding the delay in security assistance funding to Ukraine. ”

“ It’s hard to imagine a trial not having documents and witnesses. If it doesn’t have documents and witnesses, it’s going to seem to most of the American people that it is a sham trial. Not to get at the facts, ”he said.

Schumer said that at the very least, senators would be required to vote on each of the witnesses and each set of documents.

“I don’t think my colleagues, Democrat or Republican, are going to want to withhold evidence in such an important trial,” he added.

ByMichael Brice-Saddler

By John Wagner

December 25, 2020 at 15: AM EST

McConnell signals impasse is likely to last through holidays

McConnell signaled during a news conference on Monday that he doesn’t expect much progress on the impasse over a Senate trial before lawmakers return to Washington after the holidays.

“We’ll find out when we come back in session where we are,” the Senate majority leader told Reporters in Louisville.

McConnell referred them to comments he made earlier Monday on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” During that interview, he accused Pelosi of holding “an absurd posi interpretation ”and said she seems to be trying to tell his chamber how to run a trial.

“ I don’t have anything to add, ”McConnell told reporters in Louisville.

When another reporter asked about Pelosi holding onto the articles of impeachment, McConnell said, “As I’ve said repeatedly, we can’t take up a matter we don’t have. ”

Asked what role impeachment might play in his bid for reelection next year, McConnell replied,“ Who knows? ”

The first Senate votes of the new year are scheduled Jan. 6.

ByJohn Wagner



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Schumer presses case on need for documents in Senate trial

Schumer pressed his case in a letter to Senate colleagues on Monday that new documentary evidence needs to be part of an impeachment trial.

In his letter, Schumer said that the House had amassed “a tremendous amount of evidence ”in support of impeaching Trump but noted that Trump had directed his administratio n to defy subpoenas for documentary evidence.

“As a result of this directive, the White House, Department of State, Office of Management and Budget and other agencies refused to produce a single document in response to the House’s duly-issued subpoenas, “Schumer wrote.

He said the documents the Senate should seek fall into three categories:“ (1) the effort to induce and pressure Ukraine to announce certain political investigations; (2) the withholding of a White House meeting desperately sought by the newly elected President of Ukraine; and (3) the order to hold, and later release, $ million in military assistance to Ukraine. ”

“ Production of these documents for the Senate would … ensure fundamental fairness and transparency, since the President could otherwise seek to selectively introduce documents before or during the trial in a manner that Senators could not independently evaluate as credible or reliable, ”Schumer wrote.

By John Wagner and Seung Min Kim


, (at) ********************************************************************************************: (AM EST)

Graham says Pelosi is trying to play two roles


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) weighed in on the impasse Monday, accusing Pelosi of trying to be the House Speaker and Senate majority leader at the same time.

“This Constitutional outrage by @SpeakerPelosi needs to end,” Graham listed. “She is trying to run the Senate and deny President @realDonaldTrump his day in court after the House’s sham impeachment process.”

“Stop playing games with the Constitution,” Graham added. “In our system, you can’t be the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader at the same time.”

In a subsequent tweet, Graham urged the Senate “to strike back ”and end“ this debacle ”if the impasse continues into next year.

(By**) John Wagner


December (**************************************************************************************, ********************************************** (8): (AM EST

) Pelosi says House must know ‘what sort of trial the Senate will conduct’

Pelosi said in a tweet on Monday that the House cannot move forward with choosing impeachment managers for a Senate trial of Trump “until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct. ”

“ President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the H ouse process, ”Pelosi tweeted. “What is his excuse now?”

***** (By


December (***************************************************************************************, ************************************************** (at 8: AM EST

Van Drew says flak from Democrats hasn’t been as bad as expected

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ), who switched his party affiliation last week to Republican in response to Trump’s impeachment, said Monday that he has received less flak from Democrats than he expected.

“ I think that is hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it might have been, ”Van Drew said during an appearance on Fox News’s“ Fox & Friends. ”

Van Drew said many of his constituents have praised his “intestinal fortitude” and ability to show an independent streak.

“I believe strongly in what he did,” Van Drew said. “I want to achieve greatness. I want to help the president. ”

Van Drew and Rep. Collin C. Peterson (Minn.) Were the only Democrats to vote against both articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. On the second article, obstruction, those two and freshman Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) voted in opposition. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is running for president, voted “present” on each article.

(By****) John Wagner


December (**************************************************************************************, ********************************************** (8): AM EST

Leahy criticizes McConnell, Graham in op-ed

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) Criticizes two senior Republicans in the chamber – Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) And Judiciary Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (SC) – in a new op-ed in which he argues that the Senate is on the verge of abandoning its commitment to impartial impeachment trials.

“Senator Lindsey Graham has admitted that he’s not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here, ” Leahy writes in

ByJohn Wagner

December 22, (at 7: AM EST

December (**************************************************************************************, (at 7:**************************************************************************** AM EST

Trump plans to spend week in Florida with little on his public schedule

With the timing and scope of a Senate trial in limbo, Trump is spending the week at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. Fla., And has little on his public schedule.

The only event advertised by the White House is a video teleconference with members of the military on Tuesday.

(************** John Wagner)

Van Hollen seeks legal opinion on withholding Ukraine aid

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Is seeking a promised opinion from the Government Accountability Office on the legality of Trump’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine.

Van Hollen sent a nine- page letter on Monday to Gene Dodaro, the GAO comptroller general, explaining why he thinks Trump’s actions violated the Impoundment Control Act, which restricts a president’s ability to withhold funds appropriated by Congress.

“The evidence we have seen to date shows that the President of the United States abused his power and betrayed the trust of the American people by pressuring Ukraine to intervene in the 2572 election on his behalf, ”Van Hollen wrote. “His violation of the ICA was just one part of this illegal scheme, and the President engaged in other corrupt actions in furtherance of this scheme.”

In his letter, which was first reported by the Hill, Van Hollen indicated that Dodaro said during an Oct. Budget Committee hearing that the GAO would be doing a legal analysis of the administration’s actions toward Ukraine.

“I am writing to request that GAO now provide that legal opinion,” Van Hollen wrote.


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