Laurence Tribe: Mitch McConnell has no right to "dismiss" articles of impeachment

Laurence Tribe: Mitch McConnell has no right to

"Tomorrow, we will transmit those articles & name impeachment managers".

Ms Pelosi said the House vote last month means Mr Trump will be "impeached forever" and "for life".

As many have observed, senators sitting in an impeachment trial are required by Article I, section 3 of the Constitution to "be on Oath or Affirmation", which is separate from the oath they took upon assuming their office. He, along with the other senators running for president in 2020, will be stuck in Washington for a six-days-a-week trial instead of campaigning for the nation's first presidential caucus, to be held February 3.

"The president's opponents are afraid of having the Senate judge the case they actually are going to send us", McConnell said Monday from the Senate floor.

"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", Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

But both parties were girding for a tense two weeks or more of hearings that could bare the U.S. leader's alleged wrongdoing to the American public on live television.

Trump has called for the GOP-held Senate to dismiss the impeachment articles, but Senate Republican leaders said on Monday that there weren't enough votes for the move. Kaine said under Senate rules the measure can get an expedited vote and only needs a simple majority to pass. But McConnell has said he has the votes to begin the trial without deciding on whether to call witnesses until after both sides have presented opening statements. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be removed, while Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House, respectively in 1868 and 1998, but not convicted by the Senate.

There's no shortage of questions about how the process is likely to unfold in the coming days - we don't yet know who the impeachment managers will be, for example, or whether GOP senators will bother pushing a "motion to dismiss" - but it's also worth pausing to consider what Pelosi has to show for her efforts.

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The articles accuse Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but the president has said he expects to be exonerated in the Senate trial.

Trump "pressured a foreign government to target an American citizen for political gain, and at the same time withheld without justification $391 million in military aid to a vulnerable Ukraine as part of a geopolitical shakedown scheme", Democratic caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries said.

"That is why Donald Trump has been impeached, because he abused his power. In America no one is above the law, not even the president".

Democrats want at least four current and former top Trump aides to appear at the trial, after Trump barred them from testifying in the House impeachment investigation.

Former national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a media conference in Kiev, Ukraine.

Once it became clear that McConnell wouldn't budge on witnesses, Pelosi demanded that McConnell first release the text of the rules before she would release the articles. After that, the president pro tempore of the Senate will swear in Chief Justice John Roberts, and then Roberts will swear in the senators.

On the first day, senators will decide the rules of the historic trial.

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