The articles of political trial that accuse the president of the United States, Donald Trump, of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress were handed over to the Senate on Wednesday, launching a historic trial that threatens his dismissal.
The Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, announced that the articles would be formally read to the camera on Thursday at noon (5:00 p.m. GMT), after which Supreme Court President John Roberts will swear to preside over the trial.
The senators will swear as jurors on Thursday and preparations will begin for a trial trial that will begin on Tuesday, January 21.
“This is a difficult time for our country, but this is precisely the kind of time for which the editors created the Senate,” McConnell said, referring to the authors of the United States Constitution.
The two articles of political trial, one for abuse of power and the other for obstructing the House’s investigation, were handed out in blue folders in a solemn procession by the newly appointed managers of the House, seven Democrats who will process the case against the president .
“So sad, so tragic for our country, that the actions taken by the president to undermine our national security, violate his oath and endanger the security of our elections, have led us to this place,” said Nancy, president of the House of Representatives. Pelosi said while signing the articles.
“This president will be responsible,” he said, adding: “No one is above the law.”
The solemn formalities underlined the seriousness of the occasion, as Trump became the third president in the history of the United States to be tried in the Senate.
“We feel that we are carrying out the will of the editors of our constitution, and that is a rather serious burden,” said Adam Schiff, the Democratic legislator who will lead the prosecution team.
Trump is accused of secretly retaining $ 391 million in aid to Ukraine between July and September to pressure Kiev to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the favorite Democrat in this year’s White House race.
The president is also accused of obstruction for retaining witnesses and documents of the House’s political trial investigation in defiance of Congressional subpoenas.
He was indicted on December 18.
“President Trump put his own personal interests above national interests … and if he doesn’t stop, he will do it again,” Schiff said.
“The appropriate remedy, in fact the only remedy, is the condemnation and dismissal of President Donald Trump.”
Pelosi was restrained by handing over the articles to the Senate while pressing McConnell to agree to cite witnesses and documents that the White House blocked from the House investigation.
McConnell has refused to compromise, saying the problem will only be decided after the initial arguments and questions of the trial, which could take two weeks.
A Trump administration official told reporters on Wednesday they expected the trial to continue for no more than two weeks, suggesting that McConnell could use his 53-47 Republican majority in the Senate to quell witness calls and quickly bring charges. to vote.
Since the rules of political judgment require a two-thirds majority to condemn and dismiss a president, Trump is expected to be acquitted.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump ridiculed the investigation and trial, as he has done for months.
Underlining the policy surrounding the trial, Pelosi was immediately attacked during the ceremony to sign the articles, in which he used several pens to distribute to key legislators as memories of the occasion.
In addition to Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, the prosecution team will include the chairman of the Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler; President of the Democratic Chamber of the Hakeem Jeffries Chamber; Zoe Lofgren, a veteran of two previous political trial investigations; and three others.
Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said elected lawmakers stood out for their background in the U.S. legal system, several of them former federal attorneys.
Democrats “point out that they intend to do this as a criminal trial and not as a political show,” said Honig.