After a month of delaying, Democrats in the House of Representatives have finally delivered their articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate where a trial will now take place.
On Thursday, Trump accuser Rep. Adam Schiff read the articles of impeachment aloud on the floor of the US Senate. The Democrats' impeachment effort now moves into a trial phase where they will try to prosecute the president while President Trump will finally get the chance to defend himself and present his case.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named the House prosecutors who will handle the Senate impeachment trial against Trump - all her top cohorts in the effort to remove the president. They include Democrats Adam Schiff of California and Jerrold Nadler of New York, who both led the House impeachment probe.
President Trump has dismissed the impeachment effort during an event at the White House calling it a "hoax". Pelosi believes the impeachment vote by House Democrats on December 18th will stand because she claims there's even more evidence since then.
"Time has been our friend in all of this," Pelosi said. Over the weekend she gloated that no matter what happens next, President Trump has been "impeached for life" and it can never be undone.
Here Are the Charges
The impeachment charges against Trump include abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and it's all linked to claims he allegedly withheld funding from Ukraine to pressure them to investigate whether Joe Biden's son was given a job he wasn't qualified for as part of an Obama administration scheme.
The newly appointed lead manager on impeachment, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, said a fair trial demands the consideration of more evidence. That evidence could include newly released documents from an associate of Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney.
What About Witnesses?
In regards to calling witnesses, Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun said: "if we feel that we do not have enough information, I'm fine with it."
Braun told CBN News that calling witnesses goes both ways, citing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as a potential witness due to his son Hunter's role with Ukrainian gas company Burisma. "How that can't be relevant to the discussion when there was corruption in Ukraine and are you immune from any kind of scrutiny because you're a potential political rival?" asked Braun, in reference to former Vice President Biden.
After months of closed-door meetings and public hearings, Republican senators see the trial on their side of the Hill as an opportunity to hear the rest of the story. "There's a significant desire on our side for the President to be heard," said Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt.
During the mandatory trial, strict rules are in place on the Senate floor. Cell phones are prohibited and senators are restricted from talking amongst themselves. Senators on Capitol Hill have been told to prepare for six-hour sessions.
President Trump's Reaction
The President wasted no time responding to Democrats Wednesday, taking to Twitter during Speaker Pelosi's announcement to call the trial "another con job," exclaiming that "all of this work was supposed to be done by the House, not the Senate!"
Trump says the whole thing is a witch hunt and he was simply asking the Ukrainian president to make sure there wasn't corruption in the government's business before releasing US funding.