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Trump impeachment trial to be set in motion next week

Trump impeachment trial to be set in motion next weekSenate trial to begin as US Speaker Nancy Pelosi relents
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An impeachment trial against Donald Trump will be set in motion in the Senate next week, according to a letter sent on Friday by US Speaker Nancy...

New York: An impeachment trial against Donald Trump will be set in motion in the Senate next week, according to a letter sent on Friday by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi to colleagues.

A two-thirds majority of senators voting to convict Trump on either of two articles of impeachment would result in his removal from office, although that is considered a long shot given the Republicans' firm control of the Senate.

"I have asked judiciary committee chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate," Pelosi wrote in the letter.

Impeachment "managers" will prosecute the case against Trump in the Senate. Last month the House approved two articles of impeachment against Trump, one for abuse of power and one for obstruction of Congress.

While Trump's survival seemed assured, new signs of potential hazards in the process for Trump emerged on Friday, with the revelation by the Maine senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican locked in a tough re-election fight, that she had been working all week with a "fairly small group" of fellow Republican senators to allow for witnesses at the trial.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and other leading Republicans have stated categorically that no witnesses should be called in the trial, framing the impeachment as a "sham" and defending Trump's conduct as irreproachable.

But just four Republicans would be needed to create a simple majority, with the 47-member Democratic caucus, to force the appearance of witnesses and the inclusion of documents and other evidence in the trial.

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