U.S. Democrats in the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to send articles of impeachment to the Senate that will put President Donald Trump on trial.
CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.
The U.S. president is expected to face charges related to his dealings with Ukraine. The Senate trial is expected to begin next week.
But how this trial of just the third sitting U.S. president plays out is still in dispute – frustrating the seven Democrats tasked with leading the prosecution.
One of them, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, told a news conference earlier in the day: “The Senate is intended by the Constitution to conduct a fair trial.
“If the Senate doesn’t permit the introduction of all relevant witnesses and of all documents that the House wants to introduce because the House is the prosecutor here, then the Senate is engaging in an unconstitutional and disgusting cover up.”
Republicans haven’t budged on refusing to allow new witnesses – essentially White House staff who defied subpoenas to appear at the initial impeachment inquiry.
And if Democrats say they’re acting in the best interests of the constitution and the country, their opponents are also determined to stake the moral high ground.
“House Democrats may have descended into pure factionalism, but the United States Senate must not,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“This is the only body that can consider all factors presented by the House, decide what has or has not been proven, and choose what outcome best serves the nation.”
Trump faces charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
They relate to his efforts to make Ukranian military aid contingent upon its president investigating Joe Biden, a front runner to challenge Trump in this year’s presidential election.
Trump denies any wrongdoing and before hosting Chinese leaders to sign off on a trade deal, he was combative – despite the prospect of standing trial live on TV before millions of voters as he seeks re-election.
“Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats,” the president tweeted.
Democrats need a two-thirds majority in a Republican-controlled Senate to convict and remove Trump from office.
And so far Republicans haven’t shown any inclination to turn on him.