Senate, White House, Mitch Mcconnell discussed on Here & Now

Here & Now
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From NPR WBZ. I'm Robin Young. I'm Tanya Moseley. It's here now and right now. We go to Washington where house impeachment. Managers are formerly presenting articles rules of impeachment to the Senate. Today after which Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in all one hundred senators to act as jurors in the trial which is expected to begin next sues day but even as the impeachment trial approaches. There's a decision out today from a government watchdog agency that the White House broke the law in freezing. Hey to Ukraine. Last year president trump's decision to freeze that aid as we know is at the center of the impeachment proceedings. NPR political reporter. Tim Mack joins us now and Tim. Let's start with the impeachment procedures. There's been a lot of pomp and ceremony. We've also heard from Senator speaking today on the floor of the with the vote of the. US Mexico Saco Canada Trade Agreement which has passed How have they weighed in on the impeachment so far well it's been pretty testy and one observation I would make is that? It's pretty evident that the Senate is kind of locked down mode. You know. There's a much higher police presence in the capital than usual ahead of these impeachment proceedings and that's led to much much more limited access by the press two senators and asking them what their feelings are. What their views are as this impeachment? Trial start so what are the major ways that congressional reporters like myself do. Dr Work is to Walk and talk with senators that they come to and from votes and that access has been limited so one of the big takeaways for me this morning and this afternoon is is is kind of how we have had a much more restricted ability to talk and ask senators to weigh in on impeachment and to get their unfiltered views on how this is all coming along Okay as I mentioned a chief justice John Roberts will swear in senators jurors. Today the oath he reads asked senators to quote do impartial harshly justice according to the Constitution and laws many Republicans and Democrats have already said which way they vote on impeachment. I mean that seems to directly Be In conflict with this oath right. Well senators are technically not even allowed to speak during the trial itself right so as jurors they are asked to sit in the Senate Chamber without asking verbal questions or making any comments and of course as you may know that it's very unusual for senators But they can't speak to the press outside the Chamber Knbr as you mentioned some have done. So Senate Majority Leader Mitch. McConnell for example has said that he's working closely with the White House and defense counsel in this trial and Democrats Marquette's seized on this to say that this is an unfair trial already taking shape McConnell said though I in response that the impeachment process is outlined in the Constitution Futian And as it takes place always kind of been a political process with political players that lawmakers elected officials are the ones that That impeach and the the ones that are asked whether or not to convict yeah Let's let's go to this report that just came out this decision and the Government Accountability Office which is a non-partisan group that reports to Congress released a decision this morning determining that the White House broke the law and withholding aid to Ukraine. Here's house speaker. Nancy Pelosi at her press conference. This morning the O.. N. B. The White House the administration broke on saying that broke the wall. This reinforces again. The need for documents and eye witnesses in the Senate could this report put pressure on Mitch McConnell to allow AH witnesses in this trial right well. So this is a legal brief by this nonpartisan Group that does reports for Congress Chris and for Congressional oversight and so Democrats are certainly hoping that this report will put pressure on Republicans who have been on the fence on the issue. Witnesses Mrs There are a number of Republican senators. WHO said that they might be open to it after opening arguments in the trial perhaps in two weeks or so that they might be open to witnesses and this is just the latest kind of argument that Democrats are employing that there is this report saying that this issue at the core of the impeachment process us whether or not the president could pause this eight or withhold? This aid This is just new evidence for Democrats to use to increase that pressure so much to watch watch for today and the weeks to come thank you so much that's NPR political reporter. Tim Mack thank you well today. White House Press Secretary Stephanie. Grisham downplayed explosive new interviews from Rudy. Giuliani's associate left parties in which Parner said. He was part of a campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Biden's and that it was laughable. I think it had anything to do with corruption. Grisham told The Washington Post. She wasn't too concerned and that the president has said he did not know Parnis but there are photos of them together together and pictures of Donald Trump with Robert Hide. The Republican candidate for Congress partners has documents he says show. Hi Discussing the physical location. Shen of the ambassador to Ukraine Ukraine has opened an investigation into whether she was being surveilled and Parnes told. MSNBC's Rachel maddow trump knew about Ukrainian pressure campaign. What do you think is the main inaccuracy or the main lie? That's being told that you feel like you can correct that.

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