The Senate is an interesting body. At first glance, many of its procedures and protocols appear unwieldy. Yet, at a second look each piece of the whole comes together to create a tapestry of historical importance. This is what will happen in Donald Trump’s impeachment hearing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-NY) tightly controlled the hearings and investigations, pulling together a number of committees’ findings and maintaining the direction toward Trump’s impeachment. This was where things stood on Tuesday until the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made an important announcement.
There had been some question about whether or not the Kentucky senator would refuse to hear from witnesses or dismiss the hearing altogether. Then, his good friend Senator Lama Alexander (R-TN) stepped forward and said he would vote for witnesses. That started to unclog McConnell’s dammed-up rejection of the entire process. The majority leader announced before reporters’ cameras the news that the House was “likely to finally send the articles over:”
‘NEW: Sen. Mitch McConnell says “the House is likely to finally send the articles over to us tomorrow,” allowing Senate to take steps “which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday.” https://t.co/fdEcqTc9du pic.twitter.com/Nzi67s5Zj8’
NEW: Sen. Mitch McConnell says “the House is likely to finally send the articles over to us tomorrow,” allowing Senate to take steps “which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday.” https://t.co/fdEcqTc9du pic.twitter.com/Nzi67s5Zj8
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) January 14, 2020
The president has been fighting the impeachment trial tooth and nail. If he is innocent, people wonder surely witnesses and documents would further prove that innocence. McConnell turned that phrase upside down and backward, wondering why the evidence was necessary.
Pelosi’s strategy has been brilliant. There have been no codified rules regarding how the articles were handled. She held them back as more evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing surface, more people stepped forward, and a stressed president dug himself deeper into lawlessness and near WW III.
After Pelosi gives the Senate one or more articles, McConnell said his Senate would start debating an organizing resolution next Tuesday. He said that the Senate would move through a series of “preliminary steps and housekeeping measures:”
‘We hope to achieve that by consent, which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday.’
Pelosi can keep one of the articles back awaiting further evidence from the ongoing committee investigations or even announce another article of impeachment.
McConnell said a debate and vote on the organizing resolution sets up the time for appointing the House impeachment managers, aka prosecutors. Trump also sets up his defense team. At that point, Chief Justice John Roberts swears in the senators for their roles in this historical even.
Each side will make his or her opening arguments. Senators can ask questions but only in writing. No phones or electronic devices are permitted.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.