Trump impeachment trial delayed, Dems push for witness reports

Autumn Page, Marketing Director

Finally after what seems like weeks of waiting, we have an update on the impeachment trial, but it’s not what most people were hoping for. Nancy Pelosi decided to delay the process as the House transfers the two articles. Once it actually happens, it’s going to be entertaining, to say the least. 

“What we did want, though, and we think we accomplished in the past few weeks, is that we wanted the public to see the need for witnesses, witnesses with firsthand knowledge of what happened, documentation, which the President has prevented from coming out to the Congress, as we review this,” Pelosi said in an interview with ABC.  

Where we go from here — after the House votes, as part of the opening of the trial, the Senate will send a summons to Trump asking him to appear, which Trump’s legal team will answer as a formality, according to a source close to the team.

In response, the legal team is likely, to argue that the impeachment charges do not rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The president is not expected to appear (shocking), but can be represented by his attorneys.

“We’ve been prepared since before Christmas, and we remain prepared,” a White House official said, noting that the White House has done all it can to prepare for the Senate trial while waiting for the House to name its impeachment managers. The White House is still deciding who is going to make up the legal team that will defend Trump during the trial.

The majority of Trump’s defense will come in the form of a trial brief, which will address key legal arguments of the president’s defense and the legal issues at stake, the official said. That document is already mostly completed and will likely be submitted within two days of the House vote to transmit the articles. 

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is still expected to lead Trump’s defense with Jay Sekulow on the Senate floor. Those are the only two officials we know will be defending Trump on the Senate floor. 

On Jan. 12, Pelosi said in the same ABC interview there’s no “mystery” surrounding her intention with the impeachment articles.

“I’ve always said I would send them over. There shouldn’t be any mystery to that,” she said. 

She continued saying she didn’t have second thoughts about withholding the articles and is confident the move achieved a “very positive result.” Uh, OK, that only sounds a tiny bit ominous. 

The positive result is that John Bolton, a former White House national security adviser, is willing to testify in a Senate trial if subpoenaed. 

Democrats have pushed for the Senate to agree to hear from witnesses as part of the trial before accusing McConnell of a cover-up for coordinating with the White House.

The House needs to pass a resolution naming impeachment managers before the articles are formally sent to the Senate, and the chamber will also have to take procedural steps before the trial gets underway.