Sen. Warner, VA political analysts lay out impeachment next steps

Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 5:14 PM EST
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President Trump has been impeached on charges of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.

Ordinarily these articles of impeachment would move from the Democrat-led House to the Republican-led Senate for a trial which could either exonerate the President or remove him from office.

“Every Senator, including myself, will serve as a juror in the President’s trial," said Senator Mark Warner (D-VA).

The details of a potential trial in the Senate -- when, how long, and to what extent – remain unclear, according to WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton.

“The Democrat and Republican leadership will come up with some kind of rules: short trial? Long trial? More evidence? More people? More testimony? So there are critical decisions and political decisions in terms of how they conduct that trial.”

If that trial even takes place has come into question too, as top House Democrats ponder how a likely acquittal by the Republican-led Senate impacts the 2020 election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she might not even deliver the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.

“Whether they go forward with the articles or not, they made their point, the evidence is there, they do not want to give President Trump the satisfaction of saying that he was acquitted,” said Denton.

Larry Sabato, the Director of UVA Center for Politics, explained: “What Pelosi is trying to do is to force Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader in the Senate, to negotiate with the Democrats a set of trial rules that would be perceived as fair.”

Senator Warner said he will approach any future trial without bias, and hopes all 99 other Senators follow suit.

“My responsibility to the American people means I must do everything I can to make sure this trial is fair and honest.”

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