After an hour-long session, senators decided when the verdict in the case of the impeachment of US President Donald Trump will be delivered. Lawmakers will determine the President's guilt or innocence on Wednesday, February 5. The head of state's party members was able to keep the process within the framework that was beneficial to them and the owner of the White House-an acquittal is now almost guaranteed.
Republicans and President of the Trump won the case on impeachment is strong, although not yet final. The trial will be completed in the next few days and will take place without calling additional witnesses: neither former national security adviser John Bolton nor other officials who could shed light on the President's Ukrainian policy and his possible abuse of power will come to lawmakers.
Given that the President's acquittal is almost guaranteed вЂ” party members have closely rallied around the him-the issue of calling witnesses was the main intrigue of the ongoing process in Washington. Democrats argued that eyewitnesses will be able to reveal information discrediting the head of state. Republicans objected: from their point of view, the picture is already clear, so there is no need for new testimony. In addition, they said, the President forbade officials of his administration to come to the Senate, citing the need to protect state secrets: litigation over the legality of calling witnesses threatened to drag on for many months.
As a result, 49 senators voted in favor of calling witnesses, and 51 voted against. This was made possible by the fact that Mitch McConnell вЂ” the leader of the Senate majority, a determined and tough politician вЂ” was able to maintain party unity. Only two Republicans who defend the reputation of independent politicians вЂ” Mitt Romney and Susan Collins joined the Democrats.
The testimony of witnesses would help deliver a more informed verdict on the President's guilt or innocence. Senators who voted now will be asked to explain themselves. They decided to allow a dangerous precedent that will have long-term consequences for US Congress, the separation of powers, and our entire democracy, вЂњ said the impeachment managers (who serve as prosecutors in the process).
However, the senators themselves, who did not want to call witnesses, clearly indicated their position. вЂњI always knew that the requirement to call witnesses will not be voted for. It didn't make any sense to me. Why would we do the work of the House of representatives? This is their job, not ours!вЂќ- Senator Rick Scott of Florida commented on the results of the vote. It reflected the General position of Republicans who strongly support the President: if the House of representatives could not gather enough evidence, it should not have taken the question to the Senate at all.
In addition toвЂќ wavering вЂњRepublicans who hinted that they might support calling witnesses, there were alsoвЂќ wavering вЂњ Democrats in the Senate. Their point of view was expressed by Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. вЂњI think that what he (the President) did is not at all like a bribe, a serious crime or a misdemeanor (for which the Constitution requires removal from power). I do not think that this is an act that, according to the founding fathers, should have led to the fact that the decision on the fate of the President was made by the Senate, not the people, вЂњ he said on NBC.
According to the Senator, new elections are very soon and the fate of the head of state should be decided by ordinary Americans, and removal from power would close the way for Donald Trump to a second term, regardless of the will of the people.
After further consultation, the senators decided that on Monday, February 3, both sides will make a final statement, then allow individual senators to speak, and on Wednesday, February 5, the question of the President's guilt will be put to the vote on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. There is almost no chance that the head of state will be found guilty.