The Senate began consideration of the rules that will govern the trial of U.S. President Donald Trump, and his possible, if unlikely, removal from office.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled a set of draft rules late Monday that stoked the ire of congressional Democrats who say they are tantamount to a “cover-up.” He abruptly backed off from some key components amid pushback that reportedly included some Republicans.
“This basic four-part structure aligns with the first steps of the Clinton impeachment trial,” he said. “There’s no reason other than base partisanship to say this particular president deserves a radically different rulebook than what was good enough for a past president of your own party.”
As the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history began in earnest, Trump’s chief legal defender described the case as a baseless effort to overturn the 2016 election and a top Democratic lawmaker said there was “overwhelming” evidence of wrongdoing. Trump was impeached in December by the House of Representatives.
The two articles of impeachment against Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress –– related to his repeated effort to have Ukraine declare criminal investigations into leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter and his subsequent refusal to cooperate with the House’s investigation of the matter and his directive that top officials do the same.
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