The trial of President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction could open within days as House of Representatives leader Nancy Pelosi convenes Democrats early Tuesday to discuss sending impeachment charges to the Senate. During that process, the House impeachment managers presented their case for impeachment and the president's legal team responded before the issue of witnesses was debated.
The Democratic-controlled House passed a separate war powers resolution last week.
Democrats say Trump abused his power by asking a foreign government to interfere in an American election for his own political benefit at the expense of USA national security.
Trump has branded the case a "hoax" and a "witch hunt" but the White House is girding for a trial that could present damaging evidence against the USA leader on national television over two weeks or more.
The 435-member US House of Representatives, where Democrats enjoy a majority, last month charged Trump with "high crimes and misdemeanours" and impeached him for pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival.
Pelosi could name up to 10 lawmakers as managers to argue the case against Trump, including House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff and House judiciary chair Jerrold Nadler.
Though Democrats hoped to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) into adopting trial rules that would mandate the role of witnesses, that's nearly certainly not going to happen.
Trump told Fox News in an interview last week that he had "no problem" with Bolton and other officials providing testimony but that he'd likely invoke executive privilege if the situation were to arise. Republican allies led by Senator McConnell are ready to deliver swift acquittal without new testimony.
Senators say if witnesses are allowed, some Republicans may also try to subpoena Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company in Ukraine while his father was vice president.
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However, popular support for witness testimony could pressure Republican senators to vote in favor, especially lawmakers who are up for re-election in swing districts this year. Graham and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. are leading the effort to dismiss the charges against Trump.
Mr Trump delayed almost $400 million in aide as Ukraine battled Russian Federation on its border while he pushed the country's new president to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
"It's certainly been revealing to see House Democrats first claim impeachment was so urgent they could not even wait to fill out the factual record and then subsequently delay it for weeks".
Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said Sunday that her standoff produced results, noting the public is behind hearing from more witnesses.
A new Quinnipiac University poll released Monday supports Mrs. Pelosi's analysis, with 66% of respondents saying they think Mr. Bolton should testify in the Senate impeachment proceedings. "And it's wrong. And I hope and expect that they will show more deference to their limited power in the future".
"If he testifies, all bets are off on what it means for the president", Bradley Moss, a national security law expert, told Newsweek.
"Let's be optimistic about the future ... a future that will not have Donald Trump in the White House, one way or another".