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House Prepares to Send Articles of Impeachment to Senate, Trump Seeks Dismissal

01-14-2020
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The report from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is photographed in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

The long wait is almost over as the House prepares to approve sending articles of impeachment to the Senate Wednesday.

That's also when Speaker Nancy Pelosi will move to appoint the House managers in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.

It's been nearly a month since the House approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress involving foreign interference in the 2020 election. 

The President is looking for an outright dismissal, a move that seems unlikely even in the Republican-led Senate. 

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fought to call more witnesses, he's keeping the door open by following rules of President Clinton's Impeachment proceeding.

"If the existing case is strong, there's no need for the judge and the jury to reopen the investigation," said McConnell, speaking Tuesday on the Senate floor. 

With stances like that from some Senate Republicans, the 51 votes needed for a motion to dismiss are unlikely. 

"Every Senate impeachment trial in history has included witnesses," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

"You want precedent?" Schumer asked on the Senate floor Tuesday. "Precedent says witnesses," he said.  

The big fish would be John Bolton, whose willingness to testify could lead the president to exert executive privilege to limit his former national security adviser as a witness. 

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the Senate will debate whether to call witnesses after the House managers make their case. 

"I feel very confident he'll be acquitted in the end," added Graham, in regards to the President. 

Before his own acquittal in 1999, when he told Americans in a Rose Garden address "how profoundly sorry I am," President Clinton faced 13 impeachment managers during his Senate trial. 

"I believe that the impeachment managers set the tone," said Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat from California. 

Met with cheers at Monday's college football championship in Louisiana, President Trump has said he doesn't feel like he's being impeached. 

Sen. Graham said to the President at the game, "there's a process, once we start we're going to try to plow ahead and get it done, and hopefully by the time of the State of the Union."

There are some procedural steps ahead of an impeachment trial in the Senate, including the swearing-in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and all senators, and debate on a resolution on the trial guidelines. 

Leader McConnell said the third Senate trial of an American president could begin next Tuesday.

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