A key day in history: Donald Trump's impeachment goes to Senate
Amidst strict protocols and full of symbolism, the process of removing the American president from office has reached a decisive stage.
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A couple of days ago, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said without hesitation, "the president is impeached for life," referring to the process of passing articles of impeachment in Congress.
Despite the Republican Party's political maneuvers to downplay and qualify the House process, history will always remember Trump as the third president to be removed from office in American history.
What many questioned was the procedure to be followed after a substantial Democratic majority in the House approved the articles on the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Pelosi was to approve its move to the Republican-majority Senate, led by Senator Mitch McConnell.
McConnell assured the media that he would be "working hand in hand with the White House" to prepare for the trial that is due to take place once the articles are delivered to him.
This would imply that the Republican majority leader was admitting his bias on the issue, making the impeachment process a partisan struggle.
This forced Pelosi to delay sending the articles to the Senate, pending the determination of "fair" circumstances for the process.
Finally, last Wednesday, the House approved sending the documents, following the protocol of signature and procession of the articles, in what CNN has called "a pompous" moment.
After signing the decision, Pelosi appointed the legislators who, once in the Senate, will have to "persuade 67 senators to condemn Trump and remove him from office on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress," according to the Washington Post.
The so-called "managers" chosen by the Democratic leadership are Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and senior manager; Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Zoe Lofgren, chairman of the House Administration Committee; Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus; Val Demings, member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees; Jason Crow, member of the Armed Services Committee; and Sylvia Garcia, member of the Judiciary Committee.
Supreme Court Justice John Roberts is expected to swear the senators on Thursday, laying the groundwork for the trial that is expected to begin as early as next Tuesday.
As the trial begins, the White House issued a statement on Wednesday saying that "President Trump has done nothing wrong" and "expects to be completely exonerated.”
The Guardian reported that the second member of the Senate, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, will swear Roberts in on Thursday, under the next oath:
“I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the constitution and laws: so help me God.”
For her part, Pelosi told her colleagues from the floor of the House that she strongly rejected the Republicans' criticism of the time it took to send the articles.
"Don't talk to me about timing," she said bluntly, reiterating that the president "gave us no choice.”
But the issue does not stop there.
In recent weeks, new evidence made public by judges involved in proceedings against former colleagues of the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has brought to light enough material to speak to the second part of this impeachment.
We are now talking not only about the possible testimony of former White House aide Don McGahn, a key player in Trump's alleged obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation but also about the extent of Giuliani's skirmishes in Ukraine.
Lev Parnas, one of the lawyer's associates, has decided to collaborate with the investigators after being accused of illegally funneling foreign money in favor of Republican political campaigns.
Some of the documentation Parnas has offered includes a text message conversation suggesting that former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was the victim of "some kind of surveillance" while Giuliani was working to force Ukraine to forge an investigation against former Vice President Joe Biden, which triggered the entire political process against Trump.
In short, and while the impeachment protocol is being carried out in the Senate, the information seems to be unrestrained and the president is increasingly drowned in evidence.
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