Washington, Jan 22: As the impeachment of US President Donald Trump begins, the battle lines are drawn strictly along the party lines as the Republicans and the Democrats hardened their respective stands regarding impeachment.
On Tuesday, the Republican controlled US Senate rejected 53-47 Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer’s calls for bringing amendments to the subpoena the State Department and the Office of Management and Budget, calling for it to hand over certain documents and records relating to the Trump-Ukraine deal, in an effort to get new evidence regarding President Trump’s alleged misuse of office by pressurizing the Ukrainian President to investigate Trump’s potential Democratic rival and former Vice-President Joe Biden and obstructing justice.
Schumer had called for amending Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s resolution that has set the rules on how Trumps’ impeachment trial is to be carried out.
After the Democrat’s demands were rejected, Schumer offered to amend the rules and subpoena White House’s acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney as a witness. This too was blocked by the Republicans. It is however believed that Mulvaney could be summoned later.
The democrats are calling this an alleged cover-up.
Mr Trump who is attending the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, called the allegations made by Democrats as “just a hoax”.
He is the third US President in the country’s history to be impeached. However, the Republican controlled Senate is unlikely to convict Trump and vote for his removal from office.
According to a report from BBC, Adam Schiff, the House Democrat who is leading the impeachment case, said most Americans "do not believe there will be a fair trial". "They don't believe the Senate will be impartial," he added. "They believe the result is pre-cooked."
Senators have taken an oath to be impartial jurors, hearing arguments for six hours a day, six days a week in a trial which will be presided over by the US Chief Justice, John Roberts. It is still not clear how long the trial is expected to last. (UNI)