Trump impeachment trial begins in Senate Jan 17, 2020 0 1643 12345 AFPWashingtonAmid a solemn silence, articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were read aloud on the Senate floor on Thursday as the bitterly divided chamber began a historic trial of the US president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.Senate Sergeant of Arms Michael Stenger opened just the third impeachment trial of a US president in history with a warning to the 100 senators.“Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,” Stenger said after the seven members of the House of Representatives who will serve as prosecutors gathered in the well of the Senate chamber.“All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States, articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump, President of the United States,” the sergeant at arms said.Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who will serve as lead prosecutor for the trial, then read out the two articles of impeachment passed by the House on December 18.“I will now read the articles of impeachment,” Schiff said, “impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.” US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is to be sworn in to preside over the trial.Impeachment rules require a two-thirds Senate majority to convict and remove a president and Trump’s acquittal is widely expected in the Republican-dominated Senate.Trump is accused of abuse of power for withholding military aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting for the country’s president in exchange for an investigation into his potential presidential election rival Democrat Joe Biden.The Government Accountability Office concluded in a report released Thursday that the White House violated federal law by putting a hold on the congressionally-approved funds for Ukraine.“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” according to the GAO, a congressional watchdog.The second article of impeachment -- for obstruction of Congress -- relates to Trump’s refusal to provide witnesses and documents to House impeachment investigators in defiance of congressional subpoenas.McConnell has been extremely critical of Trump’s impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House and pledged on Thursday that things would be different in the Senate. “It was a transparently partisan performance from beginning to end,” McConnell said. “But it’s not what this process will be going forward.“This chamber exists precisely so that we can look past the daily drama,” the Republican senator from Kentucky said. “The House’s hour is over. The Senate’s time is at hand.” RELATED ARTICLES French unions march, vow to stand firm as pension strike softens Jan 17, 2020 0 214 Ukraine launches investigation into ‘surveillance’ of former US envoy Jan 17, 2020 0 228 Prince Harry resurfaces but stays silent on royal rumpus Jan 17, 2020 0 209 Trump’s impeachment articles read out on US Senate floor “In his conduct, and in violation of his constitutional oath... Donald J Trump has abused the powers of the presidency,” Representative Adam Schiff, one of the House managers who will lead the prosecution of the .. Greece to elect first woman president on January 22 Athens: Greece will elect its first woman president on January 22 after leading opposition parties on Thursday approved the government’s nomination of top judge Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou. Main opposition leftist .. Millennials fear nuclear attack in next decade: Red Cross survey Geneva: More than half of millennials fear there will be a nuclear attack somewhere in the world within the next decade, according to a survey by the Red Cross released on Thursday. Some 47 percent of respondents to the poll .. Govt appeals ‘unduly lenient’ sentence for UK’s most prolific rapist London: Britain’s attorney-general on Thursday appealed against a minimum 30-year prison term given to an Indonesian man described as the country’s worst-known sex offender, calling it “unduly lenient”. Geoffrey .. US Senate approves new North American trade deal AFP Washington The US Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to approve a new North American trade pact, handing President Donald Trump a second back-to-back trade win just as his impeachment trial was beginning in ..