Senate braces for bitter fight over impeachment rules | TheHill


The Senate is barreling toward a bitter, potentially lengthy fight Tuesday over the rules governing President Trump’s impeachment trial.

After two days of pomp and bipartisanship last week, the battle over the trial proceedings is now expected to descend into raucous partisanship that threatens to hang over the rest of the trial.

Source: Senate braces for bitter fight over impeachment rules | TheHill

Trump impeachment: What happens next? | Reuters


Here is what to look out for next as the proceedings advance in U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate …

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Source: Trump impeachment: What happens next? – Reuters

Five Questions About the Senate Impeachment Trial Answered | Council on Foreign Relations


The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began today as the House trial managers read the articles of impeachment on the Senate floor and Chief Justice John Roberts swore in ninety-nine U.S. senators. (Senator James Inhofe was back home in Oklahoma attending to a family emergency; he will be sworn in next Tuesday.)

Each senator pledged to “do impartial justice according the Constitution and the laws.” The Senate then sent a writ of summons to the White House formally notifying the president that he will be tried for abuse of office and obstruction of justice, and inviting him to mount a defense. He has until Saturday evening to respond.

The impeachment trial will likely dominate the news for the rest of the month, if not longer. In doing so, it could potentially affect the conduct of U.S. foreign policy and the rhythms of the Democratic presidential campaign.

Source: Five Questions About the Senate Impeachment Trial Answered | Council on Foreign Relations

Trump Impeachment: Constitutional Question at Heart of Senate Trial | Time


.. beneath the heated partisan language is a fundamental constitutional question.

House Democrats say Trump used America’s economic and military might to try to stay in power, withholding defense and diplomatic aid to Ukraine to get the country to announce investigations into his political rival Joe Biden.

Even if he did, Trump’s lawyers contend, there is no law saying that is illegal.

So a key question for the Senate as it begins its formal trial in earnest on Tuesday is: Can a president be removed from office even if he hasn’t committed a crime? The fate of Trump’s presidency and the carefully calibrated balance of power between the White House and Congress hang on the answer.

Source: Trump Impeachment: Constitutional Question at Heart of Senate Trial | Time

The US Space Force Is Not a Joke | Defense One


Last month, not long before boarding a plane to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas, President Trump signed legislation that created the newest military branch in the United States in more than 70 years: the Space Force.

Between the holiday season and more pressing military news, the creation of the Space Force did not initially make a big impression. But the president seems pleased with his newest armed service. “Everybody’s excited about that,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Ohio last week. The crowd responded with boisterous chants of “U-S-A.” Vice President Mike Pence celebrated “America’s heritage as the world’s greatest spacefaring nation” yesterday, as he swore in General Jay Raymond as chief of space operations.

The new organization even has its first controversy: Over the weekend, military officials brought a Bible to the Washington National Cathedral to be blessed for swearing-in ceremonies of Space Force officers, raising objections about the coziness of church and state.

But what will the Space Force actually do?

Source: The US Space Force Is Not a Joke – Defense One

Poll shows Collins displaces McConnell as most unpopular senator | TheHill


Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has come under mounting pressure as President Trump’s impeachment trial starts, is now the Senate’s most unpopular member, displacing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the rankings, according to a new tracking poll.

A quarterly Morning Consult tracking poll finds that Collins’s net approval rating has dropped 10 points in her state since the end of September, a sign of the intense fire she has taken from critics since the House launched its impeachment inquiry.

Source: Poll shows Collins displaces McConnell as most unpopular senator | TheHill

GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff | TheHill


Republicans are threatening to weaponize a fight on Senate impeachment witnesses amid growing concerns that moderates within their caucus could help Democrats call former national security adviser John Bolton to testify.

After weeks of pledging that they would hold a quick trial with no witnesses from either side, Republicans — from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on down — are sending public warning shots that if their GOP colleagues open the door to Democratic witnesses they’ll respond in kind, forcing votes on a slew of controversial individuals.

Source: GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff | TheHill

New allegations, watchdog report complicate GOP position on impeachment trial | TheHill


A flood of captivating new details surrounding President Trump‘s dealings with Ukraine has spilled out into the public just as the Senate begins the impeachment trial, putting fresh pressure on GOP leaders to consider witnesses and new documents.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Thursday issued a stunning report, accusing the White House budget office of breaking the law by withholding military aid to Ukraine — the very issue at the heart of the Democrats’ impeachment effort.

Source: New allegations, watchdog report complicate GOP position on impeachment trial | TheHill

Cybersecurity front and center in Iran threat hearing | FCW


Cybersecurity was front and center during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing Jan. 15 exploring how Iran might react to the killing of Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said he was “particularly interested in understanding how Iran could use its relatively sophisticated cyber capabilities against state and local government and critical infrastructure.” He also expressed concern about an observed “uptick” in Iranian influence operations on social media in recent weeks, speculating that such activity will only increase leading up to the 2020 presidential elections.

Source: Cybersecurity front and center in Iran threat hearing — FCW

Roberts, senators to be sworn in Thursday for impeachment trial | TheHill


Chief Justice John Roberts and every senator will be sworn in as soon as Thursday for the soon-to-begin impeachment trial.

A Senate GOP leadership aide said on Wednesday that the House managers are expected to come to the chamber on Thursday to read the articles of impeachment against President Trump.

After that Roberts is expected to be sworn in. He will then swear in all 100 senators, according to the aide.

Source: Roberts, senators to be sworn in Thursday for impeachment trial | TheHill