House Democrats deliver Trump impeachment articles to Senate
UNTV News • January 16, 2020 • 560
Washington – Articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were transmitted to the US Senate on Wednesday nearly a month after the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted to charge the Republican president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The seven “impeachment managers” appointed earlier Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to prosecute the case carried the documents across the Capitol to the Senate.
The Senate majority leader, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, invited the managers to return to the chamber at 12.00 pm Thursday to read the articles of impeachment aloud.
Following the reading of the articles, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is to be sworn-in as the temporary president of the Senate for the duration of the impeachment proceedings.
Roberts will then swear-in the 100 senators as jurors in preparation for the trial, set to begin Tuesday, when the Senate will re-convene after the Jan. 20 holiday honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
“This is a difficult time for our country – but this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate. I’m confident this body can rise above short-termism and factional fever, and serve the long-term best interests of our nation,” McConnell said.
“We can do this. And we must,” the majority leader said.
During an earlier signing ceremony, Pelosi said that the House was acting in accord with its “constitutional duty.”
“Today, we will make history, when we walk down – when the managers walk the hall, they will cross a threshold in history, delivering articles of impeachment against the president of the United States for abuse of power and obstruction of the House,” she said.
“This president will be held accountable,” the California Democrat said hours after the House voted 224-190 vote to send the impeachment articles to the Senate.
Pelosi selected Democrats Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Zoe Lofgren, Val Demings, Jason Crow and Silvia Garcia as the impeachment managers.
“The emphasis is on litigators,” Pelosi told reporters. “The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom.”
Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority would be required to convict Trump and remove him from office.
Pelosi held back on sending the articles to the Senate because she wanted Republicans there to guarantee that they would allow new witnesses to be called in the trial, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Trump’s current acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.
McConnell, however, wants an expedited process culminating in an all but inevitable acquittal.
Trump is only the third president in history to be impeached after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998-99, both of whom were acquitted.
The case against Trump unfolded after a complaint by a whistleblower from the intelligence community regarding a telephone call in July 2019 between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the US leader – in exchange for releasing some $400 million in military aid to Ukraine and setting up a coveted White House meeting for Zelensky – pressured the Ukrainian to investigate Biden for corruption although no evidence seems to exist on that score.
Trump, however, has consistently claimed that he did nothing wrong and virtually all Republican lawmakers have toed the party line that insufficient evidence of wrongdoing to justify impeachment and removal from office was gathered by House Democrats in their impeachment investigation.
Meanwhile, Trump prohibited administration officials who have inside knowledge of the activities and motivations surrounding the phone call with Zelensky from testifying before the House and also denied Democrats access to documents that might shed light on the matter, and this stonewalling resulted in the passage of the impeachment article regarding obstruction of Congress in its oversight responsibility. EFE
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon is recommending the formation of a committee that will look into the funds of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The Senator laments that even the Department of Finance cannot determine PhilHealth’s state in as fas as its budget is concerned due to the agency’s weak information system.
Drilon wants an Ad hoc committee composed of financial experts from the Social Security System (SSS), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and other insurance corporations that will verify PhilHealth’s financial status.
This is to determine how much subsidy the agency can provide for next year.
One of PhilHealth’s officials previously revealed that the agency’s reserve funds will not be enough if the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues. The official also revealed the agency will only last until 2022 which was questioned by several lawmakers.
“How much really does it need in order to continue its operation? Is P71 billion the correct amount? Is it more? Is it less? This [the committee] will also give us the opportunity to review how much should be due to our health system in general,” Drilon said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III supports this recommendation. Sotto agrees that there is a need to review PhilHealth’s financial situation.
“We suggested yesterday that there should be an urgent and extensive review and inspection of the corporation’s financial life,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – The United States on Friday donated 100 ventilators and associated supplies to the Philippines in support of its fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, its embassy in Manila said.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III led the turnover of the medical supplies at the Malacañang on Friday.
“These ventilators are part of the continued partnership between the American people and our Philippine friends, partners, and allies. We will continue to work together to overcome COVID-19,” Ambassador Kim said in a statement.
In addition to the ventilators, the embassy said the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide clinical training and technical assistance to support health facilities to operate ventilators.
This donation brings the total U.S. contribution to the Philippines’ COVID-19 response to more than Php1 billion ($22.6 million), provided through the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The embassy said the DOH will facilitate the delivery of the ventilators to hospitals located across the Philippines in coordination with USAID and the Office of Civil Defense.
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday (August 16) expressed its heartfelt sympathies to US President Donald Trump and Anne Marie Pallan on the passing of Trump’s younger brother Robert.
“It is with heavy heart that I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace,” Trump said in the statement.
Robert Trump was three years younger than the 74-year-old president.
Unlike his celebrity older brother, Donald, Robert silently prospered as a business executive and real estate developer.
He died a day after President Trump paid an emotional visit on Friday (August 14) at a New York hospital before leaving for New Jersey.
There was no information about the cause of Robert’s passing but speaking before the press on Friday, Trump said his brother was “having a hard time” with an undisclosed illness.
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