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Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump officially begins

In a press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the report the Government Accounting office released proves the need for documents and witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial.

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 4:50 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2020 4:50 PM

The third Senate impeachment trial of a US president in history convened on Thursday with the swearing in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as well as all present members of the US Senate.

Earlier Thursday, the seven House impeachment managers who will prosecute the case against the President marched the articles from the House to the Senate, beginning the ceremonial functions of the impeachment trial in which senators will decide whether Trump should be removed from office.

LIVE UPDATES: The latest on President Trump's impeachment

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the lead impeachment manager, read the articles in the chamber shortly after noon ET. Roberts was sworn in shortly after 2 p.m. ET. After Roberts swore in the senators, each member of the chamber came forward and signed the oath book on the floor of the Senate.

The outcome of the trial is all but determined, as the two-thirds vote required to remove the President would need 20 Republican senators to break ranks. But that doesn't mean the trial itself won't have twists and turns — and potentially some surprises — as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell navigates the demands of his Senate conference, pressures from Democrats and the whims of Trump and his Twitter account.

Already this week, indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas has upended the impeachment conversation by providing the House Intelligence Committee with a trove of evidence about his work with Giuliani's efforts to oust former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch last spring and then pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

And the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog, said Thursday that the Trump administration violated the law when it withheld Ukraine security aid that Congress has appropriated.

That evidence is likely to be incorporated into the House Democratic case against the President, which they will begin presenting next Tuesday when the substance of the trial gets underway. Democrats charge that Trump withheld the security aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine while pushing for an investigation into the Bidens.

On Thursday, the Senate dispensed with the ceremonial functions of the impeachment trial.

The House impeachment managers began the proceedings by reading aloud the two articles of impeachment on the floor of the Senate. It was the second time they took the articles from the House to the Senate — the managers took the same walk on Wednesday to notify the Senate of the articles, in an odd bit of ceremonial flair that comes with an impeachment trial of the President.

Next Tuesday, the Senate is expected to vote on a resolution setting the rules of the trial, and then arguments will get underway.

The trial is only beginning this week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withheld the formal sending of the articles for four weeks while Democrats pushed for Republicans to agree to calling witnesses and obtaining new documents for the trial.

Pelosi said at her weekly press conference Thursday that Senate Republicans are "afraid of the truth," when asked what her response is to Senate Republicans who say they shouldn't have to consider new evidence like the Parnas material because it wasn't included in the House investigation.

"They don't want to see documents, they don't want to hear from eyewitnesses," Pelosi said. "They want to ignore anything new that comes up."

McConnell has rejected the Democratic demands, saying the question of witnesses should be taken up after the House and the President's legal team make their opening arguments. Republicans are expected to pass the rules to put off the question of witnesses without Democratic votes.

McConnell on Thursday criticized Pelosi on the Senate floor for distributing souvenir pens while signing the impeachment articles on Wednesday.

"Nothing says seriousness and sobriety like handing out souvenirs, as though this were a happy bill-signing instead of the gravest process in our Constitution," he said.

This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
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Jefferson470092
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Scott405865
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Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
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Spencer317835
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Sullivan307449
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Starke280064
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Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
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Brown135346
Martin128217
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Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
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