Trump’s impeachment trial began with a debate on the rules.
The Republican-controlled Senate blocked democratic initiatives to call witnesses and present evidence in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, which is the first sign that events will develop in a positive way for Trump.
Senators blocked three different proposals by Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to request a subpoena from the White House, the State Department, and the office of Administration and budget for documents and information related to trump’s contacts with Ukraine.
At the same time, lawmakers voted following their party affiliation: 53 votes “for” and 47 “against.”
With the same result, senators rejected a request to send a subpoena to the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to testify.
During the first discussions, the head of trump’s legal team criticized the case as baseless. In turn, a leading Democratic lawmaker said the evidence of wrongdoing is “compelling.”
At gunpoint, Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts declared the session open, and the parties began to argue over the rules of procedure proposed by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
White House adviser Pat Cipollone, who is leading trump’s defense, criticized the basis of the accusations against the Republican President and said that Democrats did not come close to the standards set by the Constitution for impeachment.
“The only conclusion that can be reached is that the President did absolutely nothing wrong,” Cipollone said. “There’s just no business here.”
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, who was one of the initiators of the House investigation, summarized the charges against Trump, saying that the President committed “a constitutional misdemeanor justifying impeachment.”
According to Schiff, although the evidence collected against Trump is “already compelling,” further witness testimony is needed to demonstrate the scale of the offense that the President and his entourage committed.”
Democrats said they demanded several votes on presenting evidence and calling witnesses to fix the Republicans ‘ position on the issue.
“Today may be our only chance to get a fair trial. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the White House does not have answers to questions about why it is not possible to request these documents and call these witnesses,” Senator Chris Murphy told reporters.