President Donald Trump does not mind the House impeaching him, setting the stage for a Senate trial, where witnesses – including the Ukrainegate whistleblower and both Bidens – would be called to testify, the White House said.
“President Trump wants to have a trial in the Senate because it’s clearly the only chamber where he can expect fairness and receive due process under the Constitution,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement on Thursday.
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If Trump is impeached by the Democrat-controlled House, it would be up to the Republican-controlled Senate to set up a trial and ultimately decide his fate. The US leader apparently does not mind that at all, with Gidley saying that Trump believes that only the Senate is capable of ensuring his rights and providing him a chance to confront his “accusers.” Those include the House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff – who has been busy overseeing the ongoing impeachment hearings – Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as the whistleblower, an alleged CIA operator. The whistleblower’s report on Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky kick-started the current impeachment saga.
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“We would expect to finally hear from witnesses who actually witnessed, and possibly participated in corruption – like Adam Schiff, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the so-called Whistleblower, to name a few,” Gidley said.
Politico reported earlier on Thursday that high-ranking Trump administration officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Kellyanne Conway and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner have discussed the possibility of holding a full impeachment trial in the Senate with a group of GOP lawmakers instead of just shooting down the articles of impeachment.
The report claims that lawmakers present at the meeting told Trump administration officials that there is no guarantee that no Republicans will break ranks if a Senate vote is held to dismiss the impeachment articles. However, a White House official, cited by the outlet, said the motive behind Trump’s desire to have a full-fledged trial is rather to prove “just how weak it [the Democrats’ case] is.”
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