U.S. Senate minority leader outlines Democrats’ framework for impeachment trial

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer outlined Democrats’ framework of an impeachment trial expected to start next month in the upper chamber in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday.

Schumer called for at least four witnesses to testify, including former national security adviser John Bolton; acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; Robert Blair, Mulvaney’s senior adviser; and Michael Duffey, associate director for national security at the Office of Management and Budget.

“Senate Democrats believe strongly, and I trust Senate Republicans agree, that this trial must be one that is fair, that considers all of the relevant facts, and that exercises the Senate’s ‘sole power of impeachment’ under the Constitution with integrity and dignity,” Schumer wrote.

“I also propose that the Senate issue subpoenas for a limited set of documents that we believe will shed additional light on the administration’s decision-making regarding the delay in security assistance funding to Ukraine and its requests for certain investigations to be announced by the government of Ukraine,” Schumer wrote.

“This will be a narrowly drawn request limited to electronic communications, memoranda and related records of the relevant senior officials in the White House, Office of Management and Budget, and Department of State,” he said.

McConnell said Thursday that he will be “in total coordination” with the White House in determining the Republican strategy for a looming impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

“Everything I do during this I’m coordinating with the White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this,” McConnell said. “There’s no chance the President will be removed from office.”

The Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee on Friday passed two articles of impeachment, accusing Trump of abusing power and obstruction of Congress. Trump will be impeached if the House approves either of the two articles by a simple majority vote.

Under the U.S. constitution, the House shall have the sole power of impeachment while the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.

Conviction can only happen in the Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members, or 67 senators, to vote in favor after a trial. Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents.

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