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McConnell sees Senate impeachment trial starting in days

World News from Reuters
World News from Reuters
2 days ago|221 views
The U.S. House of Representatives plans to hold a vote on Wednesday sending articles of impeachment over to the Senate. And Republican Senate Majority Mitch McConnell said he expects the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump could begin in earnest next week. (SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "The House is likely to finally send the articles over to us tomorrow. And we'll be able to - we believe, if that happens - in all likelihood go through some preliminary steps, here this week, which could well include the Chief Justice [of the U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts] coming over and swearing in members of the Senate, and some other kind-of housekeeping measures. We hope to be able to achieve that by consent. Which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday." Trump became just the third president in American history to be impeached when lawmakers in the House last month charged him with abuse of office and obstructing Congress. Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring Ukraine into announcing corruption probes into rival presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump's impeachment touched off a showdown between Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican McConnell. Pelosi demanded McConnell commit to call witnesses in the Senate trial. McConnell refused to promise anything. But on Tuesday he suggested that witnesses would indeed appear, and that Republicans had a few in mind as well. (SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "And I think it's certainly appropriate to point out that both sides would want to call witnesses that they wanted to hear from. So when you get to that issue, I can't imagine that only the witnesses that our Democratic colleagues would want to call would be called." Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the impeachment proceedings a hoax, and this week suggested that the Senate should vote to dismiss the matter, rather than validating it with a trial. (SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "There is literally no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss." While Republicans in the Senate are unlikely to vote to remove Trump from office, and McConnell has said he is coordinating strategy closely with the White House, the majority leader said a trial - in some form - would indeed be held. (SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments... and that means listening to the case, not dismissing the case."

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