Trump about-turn on impeachment trial
Publish date: 14 January 2020
Issue Number: 4853
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Within hours of demanding the US Senate call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff as witnesses at his upcoming impeachment trial, President Donald Trump reversed course and suggested the Senate should dismiss the charges against him without hearing any evidence. According to a report in The Independent, Trump tweeted: ‘Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have.’ This was three hours after writing that Pelosi and Schiff ‘must’ testify at his trial, which could happen later this week. Senate rules do not currently allow for the dismissal articles of impeachment prior to a trial, although some Republican senators have signed on to support a measure introduced by Missouri’s Josh Hawley, which would amend the law to allow such a move. However, it is unlikely anything of the sort could muster the 67 votes such a change would require. Trump became the third American President to face a Senate impeachment trial last month when the House of Representatives voted on 18 December to approve two articles of impeachment against him. Pelosi has announced that the House would vote on a resolution to appoint managers and transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate as early as tomorrow.