U.S. Senate prepares for impeachment trial of President Trump

U.S. Senate prepares for impeachment trial of President Trump

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - U.S. Senators are expected to begin impeachment proceedings for President Donald Trump.

Republicans are still against the idea, claiming evidence is lacking and Democrats have a weak case. But analysts say it’s still subjective at this point and argue the Democrats’ motives may be more complicated than just removing the president from office.

State chambers will feel more like a courtroom Tuesday than a place where laws are passed.

“It’ll be similar to a team of attorneys and a criminal prosecution putting on their case and then of course the president’s attorneys will have a chance to put on their defense,” says Dr. Robert Collins.

House Majority Leader chose impeachment managers who will act as prosecutors and senators will be sworn jurors.

“A fair trial, everyone understands, involves evidence. Evidence would be documents and witnesses,” says Senator Dick Durbin.

But leaders like Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy say they’re not interested in hearing testimony.

“We could turn this into a total circus but I’m absolutely not going to do is establish a precedent that is a jury is to our democracy,” says Senator Bill Cassidy.

Cassidy told Greta Van Susteran in an interview Sunday he’s more focused on whether the case the House presented upholds the articles of impeachment.

“If we lower the bar for that which the house is supposed to produce, in the future, any president of one party with the speaker of the other world be vulnerable to the speaker doing a slap dash job of, ‘Ok. We just want to before the election takes place, put a smear on his record. Hopefully voters turn against him,’”

“Does the Senate want to have a fair trial or are they part of the coverup of the president,” says Representative Jerry Nadler.

Though Democrats are adamant the evidence is there.

“Abuse of power is at the center of what the framers intended an impeachable offense to be,” says Representative Adam Schiff.

Political analysts like Robert Collins say there’s some truth to Republican’s claims. He believes Democrats are trying to influence the public, especially when he says a two-thirds majority for a conviction would be nearly impossible in a Republican controlled Senate.

“They’re making an argument to the American people the president is unfit to hold office and he should be removed from office. If not now, through conviction in the Senate, then through the general election in nine months,” says Dr. Collins.

But Collins says it’s not all about ousting the president. He believes Democrats may also be using the trial as a way to get rid of Trump supporting Republican incumbents in blue states.

“They think that will hurt them in their re-election campaigns and then perhaps they will lose those campaigns and then the Democrats hope they can take a majority of the senate.”

Collins says this impeachment process is not a judicial or a legal one. It’s political. A complicated chess match in a polarized and partisan country.

“People have picked their sides and once people pick their sides, they’re really not interested in hearing facts or law.”

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