Who Will Be Prosecuting And Defending
The nine Democratic House lawmakers who will serve as prosecutors, or “managers,” in the Senate trial represent a mix of seasoned hands and newer faces.
The team of managers will be led by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who was a constitutional law professor at American University before elected to Congress in 2016. Also on the team: David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Diana DeGette of Colorado, Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, Ted Lieu of California, Joe Neguse of Colorado, Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Eric Swalwell of California.
“For us to heal as a nation, we must remember,” Dean said Friday on MSNBC. “And that is what I believe the trial will represent, some of the very first steps toward this nation healing.”
None of the nine were managers in last year’s impeachment trial against Trump.
Trump has has hired South Carolina attorney Butch Bowers to represent him at the upcoming impeachment trial, aides said. Bowers worked for the Justice Department during President George W. Bush’s administration but is better known as for his government work in South Carolina. He has served as counsel to Republican governors Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford, and did a stint as chairman pf South Carolina’s election commission.
Trump political adviser Jason Miller confirmed Bowers’ hiring on social media, retweeting praise of the South Carolina attorney.
“He’s good,” Miller tweeted Thursday. “Very good.”
Contributing: David Jackson
Trump Celebrates His Acquittal Says The Impeachment Was Part Of A ‘witch Hunt’
The safety of Pence, and the assertion that Trump willfully did not act swiftly and decisively enough to protect his own vice president, was a point that was repeated throughout the closing arguments.
“When the vice president of the United States escaped a violent mob that entered this Capitol building, seeking to hang him and calling out ‘traitor, traitor, traitor,’ when they shut down the counting of the electoral college votes, is this the future you imagine for our kids?” Raskin asked.
Raskin used the closing argument to push back against the defense’s claim that Trump’s actions after the insurrection began aren’t relevant.
Impeachment manager Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., played a video montage of Trump repeating the false claim that the election had been rigged.
“This was not one speech. This was a deliberate, purposeful effort by Donald Trump over many months that resulted in the well-organized mob attack on Jan. 6,” she said.
Kupperman V House Of Representatives
On October 25, 2019, Charles Kupperman, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, filed an advisory lawsuit, asking a D.C. federal judge to rule on whether he is lawfully obliged to comply with a subpoena he received from the House of Representatives. He said he will follow whatever the judge says. He was scheduled to testify on October 28 but did not appear. On October 31, Judge Richard J. Leon scheduled a hearing for December 10. On November 6, the House joint investigating committees dropped their subpoena of Kupperman, asking that the parties abide by the ruling in a similar lawsuit pending against Don McGahn. Judge Leon indicated that the suit will go on anyway.
On November 9, former national security advisor John Bolton, who had joined in the Kupperman lawsuit, had his lawyer send a proffer to the committees, saying he could supply much additional pertinent information the committee did not have. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also attempted to join in the Kupperman lawsuit. On November 11, Bolton’s attorney filed a motion to block Mulvaney from joining the suit, arguing that Mulvaney had effectively waived immunity by acknowledging a quid pro quo in the Ukraine matter during an October 17 press briefing. Kupperman also objected to Mulvaney’s participation and the judge said he was inclined not to allow it, whereupon Mulvaney withdrew his request.
There were oral arguments on December 10, and the case was dismissed on December 30, 2019.
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Trump’s Lawyer Suggests Pelosi Harris Be Deposed In Philadelphia
Michael van der Veen elicited laughter from senators when he suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris should be among those deposed as part of the impeachment trial, and they should have to appear in-person at his office in Philadelphia.
“None of these depositions should be done by Zoom,” he said. “We didn’t do this hearing by Zoom.”
As laughter rang out in the chamber in response to his suggestion Pelosi and Harris have their depositions taken in Pennsylvania, van der Veen grew more incredulous.
“I don’t know how many civil lawyers are here, but that’s the way it works, folks. When you want somebody’s deposition you send a notice of deposition and they appear at the place where the notice says. That’s civil process,” he said. “I don’t know why you’re laughing.”
WATCH: Laughter breaks out in the Senate Chamber after Trump attorney Michael van der Veen insists that any impeachment trial depositions should be done in person in his office in Philadelphia
“I don’t know why you’re laughing,” he says
Whats Crowdstrike And The Server And What Is Its Role In The Ukraine Scandal
A subplot to both Trumps call with Zelensky and his broader approach to Ukraine is his apparent belief that a company called Crowdstrike has ties to Ukraine and that it possibly stashed a Democratic National Committee server that was hacked during the 2016 elections. Trump would like the Ukrainians to hand this over to the US government.
This is a reference to a conspiracy theory that rolls together a couple of misperceptions.
That starts with the fact that Crowdstrike has nothing to do with Ukraine. Its an American company whose co-founder was born in Russia but emigrated to the US as a kid. Crowdstrike was hired by the Democratic National Committee to help investigate the hacking of their email during the 2016 campaign, and Trump is disturbed by the fact that the DNC did not turn a physical server over to the FBI or anyone else. Critically, there is no server that could be hidden in Ukraine because the DNC used a modern cloud-based distributed email setup.
But the notion Trump is alluding to is the idea that the DNC was not really hacked by Russian actors at all. Instead, that attribution was faked by the allegedly Ukraine-linked Crowdstrike, which then hid the evidence as part of a larger plot to frame both Trump and the Russian government. Trump has time and again sought to exonerate Russia of culpability for computer crimes in 2016, and his interest in Crowdstrike seems to be part of that larger agenda.
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House Of Representatives Investigations
Maguire, who had delayed the whistleblower complaint from reaching Congress, testified publicly before the House Intelligence Committee on September 26. Maguire defended his decision not to immediately forward the whistleblower complaint to Congress and explained that he had consulted the White House Counsel and the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department , but was unable to determine whether the document was protected by executive privilege. Democrats on the committee questioned his actions, arguing that the law demands the forwarding of such complaints to the committee. Maguire countered that the situation was unique since the complaint involves communications of the president. Members of the House Intelligence Committee also asked Maguire why he chose to consult with White House lawyers when he was not required to do so by law, to which he responded that he believed “it would be prudent to have another opinion.”
How Does The Impeachment Process Work
For the most recent precedents , the House Judiciary Committee took the leading role, holding hearings and gathering witness testimony, and eventually drafting their formal accusations against the president as articles of impeachment. The Judiciary Committee then voted to approve those articles and send them on to the full chamber. The Trump impeachment inquiry featured a hybrid process in which the Intelligence Committee did primary fact-finding, wrote a report, and then kicked the report to the Judiciary Committee, which drafted the actual articles of impeachment.
But the endpointin the House is a vote of the full chamber on each article of impeachment. If even one article is approved by a majority, the president has been impeached.
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What Is Trump Charged With
On 13 January, the US House of Representatives voted by 232 to 197 to impeach Trump over incitement of insurrection after his supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn Novembers election result. 10 Republican representatives voted to impeach him, making it the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in US history.
Prosecutors place the blame for the violence squarely on the former president. Five died, hundreds were injured, members of Congress and staff were terrorized and the seat of US government building was left with bullet marks in the walls, looted art, smeared faeces in hallways all in a bid to prevent the certification of Joe Bidens election victory. President Trumps responsibility for the events of 6 January is unmistakable, the prosecutors charge in an 80-page memorandum submitted last week.
They opened their case with a chilling video of events on the day, and will argue that his actions in whipping up the crowd with unfounded accusations of election fraud endangered the life of every single member of Congress and jeopardized the peaceful transition of power and line of succession.
How Long Could The Trial Last
Lawmakers and experts agree it’s likely this trial will be shorter than Trump’s last year, which went on for nearly three weeks.
The case against Trump is considered more open-and-shut than the charges he faced a year ago where he was accused of abusing his power and obstructing Congress after allegations he improperly sought Ukraine’s help to investigate then-candidate Joe Biden’s family.
Biden said Friday that he wouldn’t mind if the impeachment trial started after the Senate was able to confirm more of his Cabinet nominees, given the coronavirus pandemic and other challenges his new administration faces, a position some Democratic senators have backed.
“The more time we have to get up and running to meet theses crises, the better,” he said.
House impeachment managers, who will act as prosecutors arguing the case before the Senate, have largely kept their plans close to the vest, refusing to say whether witnesses might be called, which could extend the trial.
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Overview Of Impeachment Process
- See also: Impeachment of federal officials
The United States Congress has the constitutional authority to impeach and remove a federal official from officeincluding the presidentif he or she has committed an impeachable offense. Impeaching and removing an official has two stages. First, articles of impeachment against the official must be passed by a majority vote of the U.S. House of Representatives. Then, a trial is conducted in the United States Senate potentially leading to the conviction and removal of the official.
In most impeachment trials, the vice president presides over the trial. However, in impeachment trials of the president, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court presides. In order to remove the person from office, two-thirds of senators that are present to vote must vote to convict on the articles of impeachment.
Stacey Plaskett: Trump Trial Needed ‘more Senators With Spines Not More Witnesses’
Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett, another impeachment manager, told NPR’s Weekend Edition that they didn’t “reverse course” on witnesses but instead succeeded in adding Herrera Beutler’s statement describing a conversation between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump as the attack was ongoing.
“I know that people have a lot of angst and they can’t believe that the Senate did what they did . But what we needed were senators, more senators with spines, not more witnesses,” Plaskett said.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a close ally of President Biden, reportedly urged House managers to relent on witnesses. He told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that spending “months fighting over witnesses” wouldn’t have been worth it.
“What the House managers needed wasn’t more witnesses or more evidence, what we all needed was more Republican courage,” he said. “This was the most bipartisan verdict in American history, a strong rebuke to President Trump, but frankly at the end of the day, the trial had reached its natural conclusion.”
Seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump, after 10 GOP House members voted to impeach Trump for inciting the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol.
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Trump After Acquittal: Movement To Make America Great Again Has Only Just Begun
After Mr. Trump was acquitted on the impeachment charge, he issued a statement thanking his legal team, as well as the Republicans in the Senate who found him not guilty and GOP House members who voted against the article of impeachment last month.
“It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree,” he said.
The former president claimed the impeachment proceedings mounted by Democrats was “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.”
Mr. Trump also teased future plans, saying “soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant, and limitless American future.”
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” he said. “In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people.”
A vote by the Senate finding the former president guilty would have paved the way for the chamber to disqualify Mr. Trump from holding office again. The option for Mr. Trump to seek the presidency in 2024 now remains, though the former president has not yet said whether he will run again.
Trump Lawyer: His Call To Georgia Officials To ‘find’ Votes Was Taken Out Of Context
Trump’s lawyers largely sidestepped Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked during the question-and-answer session: “Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a big lie, or in your judgment did Trump actually win the election?”
Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen shot back, “My judgment? Who asked that?”
“I did,” Sanders replied.
“My judgment is irrelevant,” van der Veen said.
“You represent the president of the United States!” Sanders yelled back before Sen. Patrick Leahy, the presiding officer, gaveled the chamber back to order.
Trump’s rhetoric about widespread fraud and a stolen election was false, dismissed by many courts stemming from dozens of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and allies across several key states.
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