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Sunday, March 7, 2021

What a Senate impeachment trial could look like

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What a Senate impeachment trial could look like
What a Senate impeachment trial could look like

U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to engage with the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry but is expected to adopt a very different strategy in the likely event of a trial in the Senate.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

As the House deliberates on what charges to bring against President Donald Trump... he's setting his sights on the Republican-led Senate, where he thinks he can lay out his case on impeachment.

(SOUNDBITE) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "It's a hoax.

Big fat hoax." The push to remove the president accelerated this week with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying the facts are uncontested, that Trump abused his power for his own personal political benefit.

(SOUNDBITE) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: "Today, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment." Reuters' Jan Wolfe explains what those articles could be.

(SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT JAN WOLFE: "So the impeachment investigation has focused on Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

At its core, the idea that there was leverage put on Ukraine for investigations that would benefit him politically.

And so some Democrats have framed that as bribery and have really honed in on military aid that was temporarily held up.

And so we might see bribery as the article impeachment.

That's one of two along with treason that's specifically in the Constitution.

So that's a big rhetorical thing for Democrats.

It's in the Constitution.

It's easy to understand.

And I think that's why you saw a shift toward bribery from quid pro quo... But there is also talk of framing it as abuse of power." Democrats hope to hold a vote in the House before the Christmas holiday and if passed as expected it would lead to a trial in the Senate... where the president will be represented by defense lawyers and Chief Justice John Roberts will oversee the proceedings.

Senators will listen to evidence presented by House members.

As for who will testify, President Trump has called for Former Vice President Joe Biden to take the witness stand, something Biden says he would not do voluntarily.

(SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT JAN WOLFE: "Ultimately, Republicans have the upper hand here in terms of calling witnesses.

If 51 Republicans want to hear from somebody, well, they will.

But it's not clear to me that 51 Republicans would go along with bringing Joe Biden in as someone who is in the Senate for a long time, has a lot of allies and the Senate has prided itself on decorum.

Some people might think that that's really devolving into a distraction at that point, even a show trial to bring Joe Biden." Trump has accused the Bidens of corruption, without providing evidence, and pushed Ukraine's president to investigate them in a call that triggered the impeachment inquiry.

Trump has said he did nothing wrong.

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