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tv   Inside Story 2020 Ep 21  Al Jazeera  January 21, 2020 8:32pm-9:01pm +03

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the government denies the accusations against the party's leaders are politically motivated but this legal victory for the opposition has done little to reassure many times who are concerned about the prospect of political turmoil victoria gates and be. 1730 g.m.t. 38 pm eastern time and we're going back to washington d.c. now where preparations are happening this hour in the lead up to president pietschmann trial in the u.s. senate shortly we're expecting to hear from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and also the minority leader democrat chuck schumer and within half an hour the senate will start debating the rules that will govern this impeachment trial the chamber is taking up
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a resolution which was proposed by the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell that is seeking basically a swift trial and the democrats including senate minority leader chuck schumer have criticized this proposal that it's part of an effort to cover up president. we're watching again live pictures from inside the senate chamber where preparations are underway for the 1st process in president trump's impeachment trial let's bring in heidi is will cost 0 in washington d.c. on capitol hill heidi tell us what the 1st order of business is going to be as this gets on the way in washington. charm on just minutes time the senate will gavel and be in session but we won't see any impeachment related proceedings until just after the top of the hour when the u.s. senate once again becomes its new persona of impeachment courts that's when you'll
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see the supreme court chief justice john roberts yes just take the gavel and we're going to go inside the chamber and listen to mitch mcconnell. all of the senate could handle i was founders trusted the senate to rise above short term passions and factionalism they trusted the senate to soberly consider what has actually been proven and which outcome best serves the nation that's a pretty high bar bush president and you might say that later today this body will take our entrance exam today we will consider and pass an organizing resolution that will structure the 1st phase of the trial of this initial stop we'll offer an early signal to our country can the senate still serve our founding purpose can we still put fairness
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even headedness and historical precedent ahead of the partisan passions of the day today's vote will contain from answers the organizing resolution will put forward already has the support of a majority of the senate. that's because it sets up a structure that is fair even handed and trucks closely with past presidents that were established unanimously after pretrial business the resolution establishes the 4 things that need to happen next 1st the senate will hear an opening presentation from the house managers 2nd we will hear from the president's council 3rd senators will be able to stick further
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information about posing written questions to either side through the chief justice and forth with all that information and i and the senate will consider whether we feel any additional evidence or witness witnesses are necessary to evaluate whether the house case has cleared or failed to clear the hot bar of overcoming the presumption of innocence and on doing a democratic election the senate's fair process will draw sharp contrast with the unfair and precedent breaking inquiry that was carried on by the house of representatives the house broke with precedent by denying members of the republican minority the psion rights that democrats had received when they were in the minority back in 1998 here in the senate every single senator will have exactly the same rights and exactly the same ability to ask questions
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the house broke with fairness by cutting president trump's counsel out of their inquiry to an unprecedented degree here in the senate the president's lawyers will finally receive a level playing field with the house democrats and will finally be able to present the president's case finally some fairness on every point are straightforward resolution will bring the clarity and fairness. that everyone deserves the president of the united states the house of representatives and the american people this is the fair roadmap for our trial we need it in place before we can move forward so the senate should prepare to remain in session today until we complete this resolution and adopted this basic 4 part structure
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a lot of the 1st steps of the clinton impeachment trial and 99921 years ago 100 senators agreed unanimously that this road map was the right way to begin the trial all 100 senators agreed the proper time to consider the question of potential witnesses was after after opening arguments and senators questions now some outside voices have been urging the senate to break with precedent on this question loud voices and clued in the leadership of the house majority colluded with senate democrats and tried to force the senate to pray commit ourselves to 6 pacific witnesses and documents before senators had even heard opening arguments or even to ask questions these are potential
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witnesses mr president own the house managers themselves themselves declined to hear from him the house itself declined to pursued through the legal system during its own inquiry the house is not facing any deadline they were free to run whatever investigation they wanted to run if they wanted witnesses who would trigger legal battles over presidential privilege they could have had those 5 but the chairman of the house intelligence committee and the charm of the house judiciary committee decided not to. they decided their inquiry was finished and mode right ahead shows not to pursue the same witnesses they apparently would now like would nala the senate to precommit to pursue an arson. as i've been saying for weeks nobody nobody will dictate senate procedure to not
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state senators a majority of us are committed to upholding the unanimous bipartisan clinton president against outside influences with respect to the proper timing of these mid trial questions and so if any amendments are brought forward to force premature decisions on meant trial questions will move to table such amendments and protect our bipartisan president it was sen moves to amend the resolution or to subpoena specific witnesses or documents will move to table such motions because the senate will decide those questions later in the trial just like we did back in 1999 now mr president today may present a curious situation we may hear house managers themselves
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agitate for such a menace we may hear a team of managers led by the house intelligence and judiciary committee chairman argue that the senate must pre-commit ourselves to reopen the very investigation they themselves oversaw and voluntarily shut down it would be curious to hear these 2 house sharman argue that the senate must print commit ourselves to supplementing their on evidentiary record to enforce things the pain is they refuse to enforce to supplementing a case they in themselves have recently described as overwhelming overwhelming and beyond. any reasonable doubt so mr president these minute trial questions could potentially take goes even deeper into even more complex constitutional waters for
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example many senators including me have serious concerns about blurring blurring the traditional role between the house and the senate within the impeachment process the constitution divides the power to impeach from the power to try the 1st of a long sold it to the house and with the power to impeach comes the responsibility to investigate the senate are going to pick up and carry on the house as an adequate investigation would set a new precedent that could incentivize frequent and hasty impeachment from future house majority it could dramatically change the supper ration of powers between the house and the senate if the senate agrees we will conduct both the investigation and the trial of an impeachment what's more some of the proposed new witnesses include executive branch officials whose communications with
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the president and with other executive branch officials lies the very core of the president's constitutional privilege pursuing those witnesses could indefinitely delay the senate trial and draw our body enjoy a protracted and complex legal fight over presidential privilege such litigation could potentially have permanent repercussions but the separation of powers and the a situation of the presidency that senators would need to consider very very carefully so much credit the senate is not about to rush into these waiting questions without discussion and without deliberation without even hearing opening arguments 1st. there were good reason which while 100 out of a 100 senators are agreed to decade you go to cross these bridges when we came to them that is what we will do this time as well fair is
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fair the process was good enough for president clinton and basic fairness dick i git oughta be good enough with this president as well so yeah as or own the set up the country is watching to see if we going to rise to the occasion it's 21 years ago on 100 senators including a number of us who said in a tribe or today i did just that the body approved a fair commonsense process to god to beginning of a presidential impeachment trial today to decade later this senate will retake that entrance exam the basic structure we're proposing is just as eminently fair an even to haddad as it was
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back down it's a question as weather center is are themselves ready to be as fire and as even and it the senate night a statement 21 years ago we said it presidents of a the parted deserve basic just as and affair a process a challenging political moment like today does not make such statements last necessary but all the more necessary in fact show i would set of my college across the aisle there is no reason why the vote on this resolution ought to be remotely part of them there's no reason other than based partisanship to say this particular president deserves a radically different rule book than what was good enough for a past president of your own party so i would urge every single center or
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support our fair resolution urging everyone to vote to of poll the senate unanimous bipartisan precedent of up fair prussia all rights that is the senate majority leader republican mitch mcconnell and mound seeing their vote map for president trams trial in the senate it will begin with the opening presentation of new democratic house manages who've been extremely critical about the proposals for the conduct of this trial and they'd doubt by the republicans let's listen now to the fan it's minority leader than the democrat chuck schumer one or sure everyone in the press that i will vociferous leopold rules any attempt to begin the trial unless the reporters trying to enter the gallery are seeded the press is here to inform the american public about these
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pivotal events in our nation's history we must make sure they are able to some may not want what happens here to be public we do now mr president after the conclusion of my remarks the senate will proceed to the impeachment trial of president donal john trump for committing a high crimes and misdemeanors president trump is accused of coercing a foreign leader into interfering in our elections to benefit himself and then doing everything in his power to cover it up if proved the president's actions are crimes against democracy itself it's hard to imagine a graders subversion of our democracy then for powers outside our borders to determine the elections from within for a foreign country you attempt such a thing on it zone is bad enough for an american president to deliberately solicit
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such a thing to blackmail of foreign country with military assistance to help him win an election is unimaginably worse i can't imagine any other president doing this the on that for then the president to deny the right of congress could conduct oversight deny the right to investigate any of his activities to say article 2 of the constitution gives him the right to quote do what ever he wants we are staring down in the rosen of the sacred democratic principles for which our founders for a bloody war of independence such is the gravity of this historic moment now one senator inhofe is sworn in at 1 pm the ceremonial functions at the beginning of a presidential trial will be complete the senate then must determine the rules of
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the trial the republican leader will offer an organizing resolution that outlines his plan his plan for the rules of the trial it is completely partisan it was kept secret until the very eve of the trial and now that it's public it's very easy to see why the mcconnell rules seem to be designed by president trump for president trump it asks the senate to rush through as fast as possible and makes getting evidence as hard as possible it could force presentations to take place at 2 or 3 in the morning so the american people won't see them in short the republican mcconnell resolution will result in a rush trial with little evidence in the dark of night literally the dark of
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night if the president is so confident in his case if leader mcconnell is so confident the president did nothing wrong why don't they want the case to be presented in broad daylight. on something as important as impeachment the mcconnell resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace this will go down this resolution as one of the darker moments in the senate history perhaps one of the even the darkest now leader mcconnell has just said he wants to go by the clinton rules and why did he change them in 4 important ways that minimum to all make the trial less transparent less clear and with less evidence he said he wanted to get started in exactly the same way it turns out contrary to what the leader said i'm amazed he could say it with
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a straight face that the rules are the same as the clinton rules the rules are not even close to the clinton rules unlike the clinton rules the mcconnell resolution does not admit the record of the house impeachment proceedings into evidence so leader mcconnell wants a trial with no existing evidence and no new evidence a trial without evidence is not a trial it's a coverup 2nd unlike the clinton rules the mcconnell resolution limits presentation by the parties to 24 hours per side over only 2 days we start it 112 hours a day where 1 am and that's without breaks it will be later leader mcconnell wants to force the managers to make important parts of their case in the dark of night number 3 unlike the clinton rules the mcconnell resolution
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places an additional hurdle to get witnesses in documents by requiring a vote on whether such motions are even in order if that vote fails then no motions to subpoena witnesses and documents will be in order i don't want anyone on the other side to say i'm going to vote no 1st on witnesses. but then later all determinate if they vote for mcconnell's resolution they're making it far more difficult to vote in the future later on in the trial and finally unlike the clinton rules the mcconnell resolution allows a motion to dismiss at any time any time in the trial so in short contrary to what the leaders said the mcconnell rules are not at all like the clinton rules the republican leaders resolution is based neither in president nor in principle it is driven by politics partisanship and the politics of the moment
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today i'll be offering amendments to fix the many flaws in leader mcconnell's deeply unfair resolution and seek the witnesses in documents we've requested beginning with an amendment to have the senate subpoena white house documents let me be clear these amendments are not dilatory they only seek one thing the truth that means relevant documents that means relevant witnesses that's the only way to get a fair trial and everyone in this body knows each senate impeachment trial in our history all 15 that were brought to completion feature witnesses every single one the witnesses we request are not dep democrats they are the president's own men the documents are not democratic documents they're documents period we don't know if the evidence of the witnesses or the documents will be exculpatory to the president
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or incriminating but we have an obligation a solemn obligation particularly now during this most deep and solemn part of our constitution to seek the truth and then let the chips fall where they may. my republican colleagues have offered several explanations for opposing witnesses and documents at the start of the trial none of them has much merit republicans have said we should deal with the question of witnesses later in the trial of course it makes no sense to hear both sides present their case 1st and then afterward decide if the senate should hear evidence the evidence is supposed to inform arguments not come after they're completed some republicans have said the senate should not go beyond the house record by calling any witnesses but the constitution gives the senate the sole power to try impeachments not the sole power to review not the sole power to rehash but to try republicans have called our request for witnesses and
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documents political seeking the truth is political and the republican party is in serious trouble. the white house has said that the articles of impeachment are brazen and wrong well if the president believes his impeachment is so and brazen is so brazen and wrong why won't he show us why why is the president so insistent that no one come forward that no documents be released if the president's case is so weak that none of the president's men can defend him under oath shame on him and those who allow it to happen what is the president hiding what are our republican colleagues hiding because if they weren't afraid of the truth they'd so you go right ahead get at the truth get witnesses get documents in fact over the at the no point over the last few months have i heard
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a single solitary argument on the merits of why witnesses and documents should not be part of the trial. no republicans explained why less evidence is better than more evidence nevertheless leader mcconnell is poised to ask the senate to begin the 1st impeachment trial of a president in history without witnesses that rushes through the arguments as quickly as possible that in ways both shameless and subtle will conceal the truth the truth from the american people leader mcconnell claim that the house has run had ran the most rushed least storrow and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history the truth is leader mcconnell is plotting the most rushed least storrow and most unfair impeachment trial in modern history and it begins today the senate has before a very straightforward question the president is accused of coercing
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a foreign power to interfere in our elections to help himself it's the job of the senate to determine if these very serious charges are true the very least we can do is examine the facts review the documents hear the witnesses try the case not run from it not hide it try because if the president commits high crimes and misdemeanors and congress refuses to act refuses even to conduct a fair trial of his conduct then presidents this president and future presidents can commit impeachable crimes with impunity and the order and rigor of our democracy will dramatically decline the fail safe the final failsafe of our democracy will be rendered moot the most powerful check on the executive the one designed to protect the people from tyranny will be
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a race in short time my colleagues each of us will face a choice. about whether to begin this trial in search of the truth or in service of the president's desire to cover it up whether the senate will conduct a fair trial and a fully airing of the facts or a rush to a pre-determined political outcome my colleagues the our eyes of the nation the eyes of history the eyes of the founding fathers are upon us history will be our final judge will senators rise to the occasion i yield the floor. under the previous order the leadership time is reserved only have it's a historic day in washington d.c. the senate about to determine the rules of the trial of president donald trump the
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trial we've just heard the opening remarks of mitch mcconnell the senate majority leader and chuck schumer the democratic minority leader the senate majority leader urging both republicans and democratic senators to vote in favor of his trial resolution saying it closely follows the rules that we use in the clinton impeachment trial in 1999 but chuck schumer disagree says the rules unfair and that the resolution put forward by the republicans is nothing short of a national disgrace to republicans he says want to cover up for the president for president and if they weren't afraid of the truth he says they would say get witnesses and documents of the trials so what we are expecting today is for senators to vote on a resolution that will set the rules for this trial and then we expect the opening arguments to begin on wednesday tomorrow it is coming up to almost
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1800 g.m.t. 1 pm eastern time you're watching al-jazeera has extended coverage of the senate impeachment trial of president donald trump the senate's beginning to decide on rules governing how this trial will work the chamber as you know is controlled by the republican party republican party and the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has proposed as we've said rules that would trigger a quick child take a listen to house break with furnished by cutting president trump council out of their inquiry to an unprecedented degree here in the senate the president's lawyers will follow who have a level playing field with the house democrats and will finally be able to present the president's case. finally some fairness or every point are straight forward resolution will bring the clarity and fairness
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that everyone deserves. all the democratic parties accusing the republicans of rigging team pietschmann.

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