After three months of frantic activity in Congress, a carousel of testimonies, voting and frustrated dilatory maneuvers that culminated in the approval of the charges against Donald Trump two weeks ago, the process to judge the president has been temporarily stranded. The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has frozen the sending of the charges to the Senate, the indispensable requirement for the trial to be held.
Nancy Pelosi's party maintains that she will not move token until the Republicans, who control the Senate, guarantee them a "fair" and "impartial" trial. The negotiations, for the moment, have not yielded results. And Trump is furious to see how the threat that hangs over his presidency could continue 'sine die'.
The battle to set the parameters of the trial will not resume until next January 3, when the congressmen return to work after two weeks of vacation. Democrats want to call to testify to several witnesses that the White House denied them during the first phase of the process, senior officials such as the chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and former National Security advisor, John Bolton.RELATED
But they also want the Administration to make public the documents related to the case, from emails to memoranda, which would help to understand why the military aid to Ukraine was frozen or its president's visit to the White House was postponed, the tools used by Trump to force the Slavic country to investigate its political rival, Joe Biden.
A secret order
Only a few days ago it was learned that the deputy director of the Office of Budgets, Michael Duffey, commissioned the Pentagon to freeze the aid granted to Kiev to deal with the Russian aggression less than two hours after Trump asked his president " a favor "in the famous phone call of July 25. When issuing the order, Duffey asked that it be kept secret because of "the sensitive nature of the request" & rdquor ;, as stated in the mails published by the Pentagon after losing a freedom of information litigation.
Nothing indicates for the moment that the Republicans will give their arm to twist. Initially Trump wanted a long trial that not only acquitted him, but allowed him to claim. He wanted Biden and his son Hunter to declare, as well as the intelligence services confidant who uncovered the president's alleged abuse of power. But his party believes it would be suicide and prefers an expedited trial to turn the page as soon as possible.
The problem is that Republicans are not even keeping the forms. Although the law requires senators to act as an "impartial jury" during the process, their leader in the Upper House has bluntly claimed that their co-religionists will not be impartial and that they are "fully coordinating" their strategy with the White House. That attitude has opened the first cracks in the game. Lisa Mukovsky, one of her most moderate senators, said Wednesday that she is "worried" about coordination with the White House. "I think we should distance ourselves from the defense," he said in an interview.
His words open a way of hope for the Democrats, since, if the parties do not agree on the parameters of the trial, they will have to be adopted by simple majority in the Senate. Republicans control 53 of the 100 seats, but a few defections would be enough for Democrats to impose their list of witnesses. These calculations will begin when they transfer the reins of the process to the Senate, a letter that is currently stored to try to extract concessions.
Trump is most worried about the delay, annoyed at the distraction generated by the ‘impeachment’. "The Democrats said they wanted to hurry up to the Senate because 'Trump is a threat to national security' (for using his ruthless words), but now they have changed their minds and want to go slow. Liars," he protested Thursday in Twitter