|President Trump's impeachment trial is officially underway. But there are a lot of moving parts.|
Word of the Day: January 20, 2020
verb | in-TER-kuh-layt
Definitionto insert between existing elements
|Last month, the House impeached Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine. That made him the third US president to be impeached. Earlier this week, the House sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Now, the trial can kick off. Well, kind of.|
|Why kind of?|
|There's a process. Yesterday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead impeachment manager, read the articles of impeachment on the Senate floor. Then, Chief Justice John Roberts – who'll preside over the trial – swore in the senators to act as impartial jurors. On Tuesday, the senators are expected to debate and vote on a resolution to set the trial rules. Then comes opening arguments. But what's a trial without some last-minute developments, like...|
|A federal watchdog report…It says the Trump admin broke the law by freezing military aid to Ukraine. Reminder: Lawmakers accused Trump of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine into announcing investigations, including one tied to former VP Joe Biden...all while withholding nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine. Now, this report says the admin violated the law by delaying the aid for "policy reasons." There are no immediate repercussions. But Dems say this underscores their point – and want the Senate to subpoena more witnesses.|
|A Ukraine investigation...The country announced yesterday that it's looking into whether people tied to Trump illegally surveilled US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. This would have been while she was in Kyiv, before she was removed from her post last year and would later testify in the House impeachment investigation. The announcement comes after House Democrats released texts seeming to show a Trump ally tracking and discussing her location.|
|Another Ukraine investigation...The country's also looking into the alleged hacking of a Ukrainian gas company – Burisma. Sound familiar? It's the company Biden's son was on the board of, and the one Trump pushed Ukraine to open an investigation into. Turns out, Russia may have hacked the company in early November, while impeachment hearings were underway.|
|That's a lot.|
|It is. Now add a former Trump associate's claims that the president "knew exactly what was going on" with the alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine. Trump maintains he didn't do anything wrong. And the White House says its actions were "consistent with the president's priorities and with the law."|
|These new developments could build up Democrats' arguments in Trump's impeachment trial. But as history has shown, not a single US president has been removed from office from a Senate trial. And with a Republican-majority Senate, it doesn't look like Trump will be either.|This week, Prince Harry and Dutchess Meghan shook up the world, by announcing that they would be officially stepping back from their duties as members of the royal family.
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