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What to watch as impeachment heads to Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The articles of impeachment in opposition to President Donald Trump don’t transfer to the Senate by themselves.

They are escorted by particular political stars alongside a tightly choreographed path from the House via the Capitol rotunda to the Senate for trial. There waits extra historical past, pageantry and custom of a kind that’s solely been seen on tv as soon as, and never because the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton.

Like Clinton, Trump is anticipated to be acquitted. But the nation has by no means seen Chief Justice John Roberts cross the road from the Supreme Court and preside over a Senate trial. Or witnessed 4 Democratic presidential candidates sitting in silence, with out their telephones, forward of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.

Also, Twitter was not a factor the final time this occurred. It’s now the accused president’s favourite bullhorn to proclaim his innocence and his fury in actual time.

What to watch Wednesday as the House transmits the impeachment articles to the Senate:

AT ISSUE

Under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House voted Dec. 18 to impeach Trump on costs of abuse of energy and obstruction of Congress stemming from his conduct towards Ukraine. Trump is the third president to be impeached in U.S. historical past. The others are Clinton and, in 1868, Andrew Johnson. President Richard Nixon resigned earlier than the House might impeach him.

Pelosi delayed the transmission of the articles to the Senate, holding out for extra particular phrases of the trial.

THE CROSSING

Pelosi Wednesday morning named he seven House “managers” who will make the case to senators that Trump abused his workplace by pressuring Ukraine to examine the son of political rival Joe Biden, after which obstructed Congress’ seek for what occurred. The House formally signed off on the managers and the transmission to the Senate, voting 228-193.

The group is led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who led the impeachment investigation and hearings. The others are Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Val Demings of Florida, Jason Crow of Colorado and Sylvia Garcia of Texas.

Pelosi’s decisions suggests an emphasis on skilled expertise (many are legal professionals) and material experience. She nodded to the 2020 elections, selecting what House members mentioned was “geographic diversity” by appointing managers from past Democrat-dominated states.

And in selecting Garcia and Crow, she acknowledged the category of freshmen lawmakers who helped flip the House within the 2018 elections. Crow’s appointment, too, is a nod to the seven nationwide safety freshmen who had resisted impeaching Trump, however then wrote an op-ed calling for it after the Ukraine scheme broke.

A Democrat conversant in how most managers had been chosen mentioned they had been notified in a two-step course of. First, they had been instructed they had been being thought of. Then they had been summoned to Pelosi’s workplace to meet with the speaker one-on-one. Inside, Pelosi instructed them she had chosen them for the excessive visibility position. The particular person spoke on situation of anonymity to convey the order of developments.

Later Wednesday, the entire prosecution group will line up behind House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and House Clerk Cheryl Johnson, who might be holding the articles in folders. The procession will stroll via National Statuary Hall, previous Pelosi’s workplace, throughout the Rotunda and to the doorways of the Senate.

The managers will return to the House till the Senate admits them.

FURNITURE AND OATHS

The Senate then considers some mundane-sounding particulars, as properly as some historic ones, in accordance to the precedent of Clinton’s impeachment trial.

First, they’ll contemplate resolutions on such issues as how to prepare the chamber to accommodate the prosecution and protection groups, and who can watch from the galleries. Then, in accordance to a memo circulated amongst senators, comes a collection of formalities, together with the reception of the House managers.

By the tip of the week, the managers are anticipated to exhibit the articles of impeachment. Roberts and the senators will take their oaths. And the senators will signal an oath guide used since 1986 for presidential and judicial impeachment trials that has been saved on the National Archives.

THE SENATE CONVENES AS A COURT

“Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment.”

So proclaimed James Ziglar, then the Senate sergeant-at-arms, at Clinton’s trial in 1999.

Senate guidelines say the trial then begins, and runs six days every week — not on Sunday — till it’s resolved. But senators might vote to change the schedule.

Arguments in Trump’s trial start subsequent Tuesday, in accordance to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

NO DISMISSAL

Trump has mentioned he needs a full trial with witnesses whereas additionally suggesting he’d favor a dismissal.

But it takes 51 of 100 senators to do virtually something throughout a trial, and even Republican senators have rejected the concept of a dismissal.

WITNESSES?

The jury is out on whether or not the Senate calls witnesses, however it’s attainable.

Former nationwide safety adviser John Bolton has agreed to testify if subpoenaed, and a few Republicans have been assembly privately to assure that witnesses may be referred to as. With a 53-seat Republican majority, 4 GOP senators would have to vote with all Democrats to attain the 51-vote threshold.

On this, watch GOP reasonable Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

Any plan for witnesses would seemingly contain depositions and testimony from folks referred to as by Republicans and Democrats.

Trump has mentioned he needs the Senate to name Pelosi and Schiff, however that’s extremely unlikely.

During the Clinton trial, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was deposed privately however not referred to as to testify. She and Clinton had had an extramarital relationship, they each mentioned.

THE FOUR

Senators are keen on speaking and any politician needs to keep related to constituents. So the impeachment trial rule in opposition to talking or consulting their telephones on the Senate flooring has the potential to make all of them cranky.

None moreso, nonetheless, than the 4 Democratic senators pressured to decamp from Iowa lower than three weeks earlier than the election’s leadoff caucuses. Look for Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Michael Bennet of Colorado to ship surrogates to Iowa or make quick journeys backwards and forwards.

“I’ve told them this trial is your responsibility as senators and scheduling is not going to influence what we should do,” Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer instructed The Associated Press in an interview final month. He mentioned none of them objected. “There are benefits of running as a senator,” Schumer added, “and there are liabilities.”

This story has been corrected to present Johnson, not Jackson, was impeached.

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