As the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump gears up to kick off this week, Trump suggested in a Sunday morning tweet that two of the most prominent House Democrats should appear as witnesses at the trial.
“Why did Nervous Nancy allow corrupt politician Shifty Schiff to lie before Congress? He must be a Witness, and so should she!” Trump tweeted.
Why did Nervous Nancy allow corrupt politician Shifty Schiff to lie before Congress? He must be a Witness, and so should she!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
It was only revealed late last week that Speaker Pelosi made the decision to finally transmit the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate chamber in order to begin the official trial proceedings. Her surprise decision to stall the trial triggered growing backlash from both Republicans and a number of Senate Democrats, in recent days.
Pelosi’s hold-up of the trial, she says, was based on a lack of transparency of the rules for the Senate trial — rules that would be largely dictated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham — both of whom are some of Trump’s strongest allies in Congress.
Trump and his top Republican allies have also heavily criticized House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, especially in the early stages of the impeachment inquiry. Schiff went above and beyond to prevent Republicans from calling their desired witnesses during the House portion of the impeachment inquiry, which caused many to raise doubts about the so-called “whistleblower’s” existence.
Should Pelosi finally and formally transmit the impeachment articles this week, as she pledged to do last week, the trial will be presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. His role in the trial is dictated by the U.S. Constitution. However, the Republican senators will essentially have the first and last word for the rules of the trial process, including which witnesses are and are not called to testify.
Given that Trump has such strong support in the Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats’ hopes of nabbing a guilty verdict for Trump are remarkably slim, meaning the president’s removal from office is all but a non-existent chance — leaving many to wonder why they pursued the idea in the first place.