Published: Sat, February 01, 2020
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Democrats' bid for new Trump impeachment witnesses set to fall short

Democrats' bid for new Trump impeachment witnesses set to fall short

A U.S. Republican senator says there is no need to call witnesses about impeachable offenses against President Donald Trump because in his view Democrats have proved their case against the president and the offense is not impeachable, but is instead "inappropriate".

Susan Collins of ME said in a statement late Thursday she would vote to allow witnesses in the impeachment trial, briefly raising Democrats' hopes for a breakthrough.

The U.S. Senate, Nation and Republican Party are missing and needing late Senator John McCain more than ever during the Trump Impeachment trial.

We'll have more on the impeachment trial after headlines.

"President Trump must be removed from office because his ongoing abuse of power threatens the integrity of the next election", said Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, conductor of the Democrats' impeachment effort.

The president has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, calling the entire process a politically driven "witch hunt" and a "disgrace".

On Friday, each side is expected to present closing arguments before the Senate moves to the question of whether to call witnesses, which could inflict political damage on the president as he seeks re-election.

White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 30 2020.

The Democrats accuse Trump of "pressuring" President Volodymyr Zelensky to stage a criminal inquiry into alleged corrupt activities of Biden's son Hunter in Ukraine, now calling for more witnesses to testify against POTUS in the Senate trial. Trump, himself, has said the Constitution gives him the power "to do whatever I want as president", an attitude similar to Richard Nixon's before he resigned his presidency. Two others, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander, are pondering it. Chief Justice John Roberts, in the rare role presiding over the impeachment trial, could break a tie, but that seems unlikely.

"We trust the American people to decide who should be our president", Herschmann said. Susan Collins of ME said late Thursday she would vote to allow witnesses in the impeachment trial, briefly raising Democrats' hopes for a breakthrough.

"If the American people decide, if they're allowed to vote, if the American people decide that they don't like what's happened here, that they don't like the constitutional violations that happened, that they don't like the attack on a successful president for purely partisan political purposes, then they can do something about it". Twenty-six witnesses testified in the 2010 trial of Judge Thomas Porteous, the most recent impeachment trial, including 17 who did not testify before the House. But ultimately Democrats are not expected to garner the two-thirds majority needed to convict and remove the president.

Pompeo, the highest-ranking US official to travel to Ukraine since the impeachment began, also denied suggestions that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would be granted a visit to the White House to meet Trump only if Ukraine agreed to announce investigations into Hunter Biden.

The Senate was headed toward a late afternoon vote on the witness question, with little doubt about the outcome. "This case is not over", he said after the Senate wrapped up work Thursday.

Vox's Ezra Klein wrote the other day, "We're not arguing over what Trump did".

Democratic votes for acquittal would add bipartisan legitimacy to the verdict.

Asked about it in the trial Thursday, Democrat Schiff, said, "Have we learned nothing in the last half century?"

Trump's Republican allies have sought to keep the trial on a fast track and minimize any damage to the president, who is seeking re-election on November 3.

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