Connect with us

US

Senate impeachment trial arguments to start February 9

Published

on

The second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is scheduled to begin on February 9 after Senate leaders reached a deal to push it back, giving Trump’s legal team more time to prepare and Senate Democrats a chance to consider Covid-19 legislation and to confirm President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.

House Democrats will formally walk over the single article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate on Monday evening, but the agreement between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will push back the substance of the trial until February. Without an agreement, the trial would have started the afternoon after the article was transmitted to the Senate.
“We have made good progress in our efforts to determine the timing and structure of the impeachment trial of Donald J Trump,” Schumer said Friday evening announcing the trial schedule, saying it would begin the week of February 8.
Under the agreement, the ceremonial functions of the trial will occur next week, with the articles being presented on Monday and senators being sworn in as jurors on Tuesday. Then the trial will pause, while the House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team exchange pre-trial briefs for two weeks. The final briefs would be due on February 9, allowing the trial itself to begin.
A delay to the impeachment trial also makes sense for Democrats because the trial had threatened to stall the confirmation of Biden’s Cabinet, as well as put a stop to any consideration of another Covid stimulus package, as Senate Republicans said Friday they would not allow the Senate to confirm nominees at the same time the trial is going on. The trial’s timing had been one of several logistical hurdles the Senate is tackling amid broader negotiations between Schumer and McConnell over how the 50-50 Senate will be governed.
McConnell had proposed delaying the trial until early February, arguing that Trump’s legal team should be given ample time to prepare after the House’s swift impeachment of Trump for “incitement of insurrection” earlier this month. The timeline Schumer announced Friday evening is one week earlier that what McConnell had proposed, but the Kentucky Republican’s team praised the agreement Friday.” This is a win for due process and fairness,” said McConnell spokesman
The length of the trial is still an open question and will depend both on whether the House impeachment managers seek to call witnesses and the length of senators’ questions for the legal teams. But sources say most believe the trial will be shorter than the three-week 2020 impeachment trial for Trump.
The timing for the trial had remained unsettled on Friday morning as the negotiations continued between Senate leaders. On Friday morning, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would transmit the impeachment article to the Senate on Monday, in effect setting a deadline for the Senate to cut a deal on the trial timing.
“We are respectful of the Senate’s constitutional power over the trial and always attentive to the fairness of the process, noting that the former president will have had the same amount of time to prepare for trial as our Managers,” Pelosi said Friday. “Our Managers are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process.”
Republicans made clear Friday that Biden’s agenda would have been frozen until the Senate finished the trial, had it taken place next week.
“We won’t be doing any confirmations, we won’t be doing any Covid-19 relief, we won’t be doing anything else other than impeaching a person who’s not even president,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a member of Senate GOP leadership.
Cornyn said Republicans haven’t given consent to bifurcate the trial days to take up nominations during the trial. “No, it’s not gonna happen,” he said.
In order to convict Trump, Democrats need a two-thirds majority, meaning at least 17 Republicans would have to vote to convict Trump, assuming that all 50 Democrats do. Ten House Republicans joined with Democrats to impeach.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, considered a swing GOP vote, said Friday that the process “has to be fair.”
“My thought process is to see what happens as this unfolds,” she said. “You know, we learned this morning that Speaker Pelosi is going to transmit the article on Monday. As I understand, right now, there hasn’t been an agreed-to schedule on the pre-trial. I think what McConnell laid down was eminently reasonable, in terms of making sure that we got process. Got to have process and the process has to be fair. So yeah, so we’ve got to get started, I guess.”
The Biden administration has publicly taken a hands-off approach to the impeachment process has publicly taken a hands-off approach to the impeachment process. Biden has never had a strong appetite for impeaching Trump, advisers say, but he also has little desire for allowing the Senate trial to drag out any longer than necessary.
“We need to move past this,” a Biden official told CNN. “The only way for that to happen is for the trial to begin.”
But Biden said at a White House announcement Friday that he saw the upside to waiting on the trial. “The more time we have to get up and running and meet these crises, the better,” he said.

‘It will be a full trial’

A faction of Senate Republicans has argued that the impeachment trial would be unconstitutional because Trump has already left office. It’s an argument that Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, has suggested Trump’s legal team should adopt.
“I think it’s obvious that the post-presidential impeachment has never occurred in the history of the country for a reason, that it’s unconstitutional, that it sets a bad precedent for the presidency and it continues to divide the nation,” Graham said Friday.
But Schumer pushed back on that argument, noting that both liberal and conservative legal scholars have said there is precedent for an impeachment trial of a former official.
“The Senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump,” Schumer said. “It will be a full trial. It will be a fair trial. But make no mistake, there will be a trial, and when that trial ends, senators will have to decide if they believe Donald John Trump incited the insurrection against the United States.”
McConnell said Friday that the Senate should give Trump a “full and fair process” to mount his impeachment defense.
“This impeachment began with an unprecedentedly fast and minimal process over in the House. The sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former President Trump his due process or damages the Senate or the presidency itself,” McConnell said. “Senate Republicans strongly believe we need a full and fair process where the former president can mount a defense and the Senate can properly consider the factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake.”

Continue Reading

US

New York fire: At least 19 killed in apartment block blaze

Published

on

At least 19 people, including nine children, have died after a fire in a New York apartment building.

Another 32 people were sent to hospital, several of whom are in a critical condition, according to New York Mayor Eric Adams.

Fire department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said they had found victims on every floor of the 19-storey block, saying the smoke was “unprecedented”.

He told NBC News the death toll was the worst seen in New York for 30 years.

It comes days after an apartment fire in Philadelphia killed 12, with eight children among the dead.

Sunday’s fire broke out in an apartment that spans the second and third floors of the Bronx apartment block at about 11:00 local time (16:00 GMT), officials said.

Some 200 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze, which officials believe was sparked by a malfunctioning electric heater.

Commissioner Nigro said there were two floors of fire, but the smoke had spread everywhere.

The door to the apartment where the fire started was left open, and smoke then spread to every floor, Commissioner Nigro told reporters.

“Members found victims on every floor in stairwells and were taking them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,” he said.

George King, who lives nearby, told AFP news agency people were waving from the windows as the flames took hold.

“I saw the smoke, a lot of people were panicking,” he said. “You could see that no-one wanted to jump from the building.”

A total of 63 people suffered injuries, including the 32 taken to hospital. Thirteen are in a critical condition, Stefan Ringel, a senior adviser to the mayor, told AP news agency.

“The impact of this fire is going to bring a level of pain and despair to our city,” Mr Adams told reporters. “The numbers are horrific.”

He told CNN on Monday that the incident was “a wake-up call for all our buildings” to ensure complaints are heard and protective measures are working.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called Sunday’s events “a night of tragedy”, and pledged to create a victims’ compensation fund to support survivors.

“There will be money to find new housing, burial costs and whatever we need because that’s what we do here in New York,” Ms Hochul said.

The area of the Bronx where the fire occurred is home to a large Muslim immigrant population and many of those affected by the blaze are believed to have originally come to the US from the Gambia.

Mr Adams urged anyone impacted by the fire to seek assistance from the authorities, irrespective of immigration status. He assured residents that their details would not be passed on to immigration services.

Speaking alongside Mr Adams, New York Senator Chuck Schumer pledged to provide immigration support to allow families to come together to grieve.

The building hosts a number of affordable housing apartments and the blaze is likely to raise questions over the quality of such units in the city.

Representative Ritchie Torres, a Democratic lawmaker whose district includes the building, told the US network MSNBC that developments such as the building where the fire hit pose safety risks to residents.

“When we allow our affordable housing developments to be plagued by decades of disinvestment, we are putting lives at risk,” Mr Torres said.

SOURCE

Continue Reading

US

US flight cancellations hit new holiday peak amid Covid and bad weather

Published

on

bbc– Flight cancellations in the US have hit a new peak in a Christmas season hit hard by the Covid pandemic and bad weather.

Nearly 4,400 flights around the world were cancelled on Saturday, more than 2,500 of them in the US, air traffic site FlightAware reported.

Airlines have been struggling with staffing problems with crew quarantining after contracting Covid.

Adding to travellers’ woes, heavy snow has hit the central US.

From the US cancellations, more than 1,000 are from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.

“Today’s cancellations are driven by Omicron staffing and weather-related issues. We did pre-cancel flights in anticipation of inclement weather. We’ve been contacting passengers early if their flights are cancelled to give them time to rebook or make other plans,” United Airlines said in a statement.

Sunday, when many people often return home from their Christmas holidays, is likely to bring further disruption, with more snow and heavy winds forecast.

“It’s too long and there’s no space to spend the time, get something to eat, it’s a long time here,” one traveller stuck at O’Hara airport told ABC news in Chicago.

More on Covid around the world:

  • Antarctic outpost hit by Covid-19 outbreak
  • UAE bans foreign travel for citizens without booster jab
  • Omicron wave appears milder, but concern remains

Since 24 December, more than 12,000 flights have been cancelled in the US.

Airlines have being trying to woo crew with extra pay to tackle the staff shortages. But unions say workers fear contracting Covid or having to deal with angry passengers.

The US is facing a surge in Covid cases powered by the Omicron variant.

New York City has seen record cases despite high vaccination rates. The virus has hit everything from the police force to Broadway shows, although there has not yet been a significant hike in hospitalisations.

The city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, took office on Saturday after low key New Year celebrations.

In his first speech, he said the city would not be “controlled by crises”.

“This pandemic has not only impacted us physically, but emotionally, and I’m going to really encourage people in this city to just find that inner peace, no matter what we’re going through,” he said.

“We have been through tragedies before. This is a resilient city and a resilient country and I want to bring that energy,”

Continue Reading

Health

US follows UK’s lead and shortens isolation for healthcare workers who test positive for Covid-19

Published

on

independent– Healthcare workers who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic only need to isolate for seven days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said.

The CDC reduced the recommended isolation time from 10 days in part due to concerns that the highly transmissible Omicron variant could cause even greater staffing shortages at hospitals.

In new guidance released on Thursday, the CDC said infected healthcare workers could return to work after a week as long as they were asymptomatic and produced a negative test.

The US recorded 261,339 new cases on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Earlier this week, the UK Health Security Agency announced that essential workers would be allowed to return after a seven-day isolation period amid a worsening staffing crisis in hospitals.

In a statement, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said it was updating guidelines in response to an “anticipated surge” in patients due to the Omicron variant.

“Our priority, remains prevention—and I strongly encourage all healthcare personnel to get vaccinated and boosted.”

Dr Walensky added that health care workers who were fully vaccinated, including with a booster shot, did not need to isolate after a high-risk exposure.

On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that essential workers who tested positive could return to their jobs after five days if they were fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, and had not had a fever within the past 72 hours.

“This is not Delta, or the first variant,” Ms Hochul said during a live address.

“This is Omicron, and thus far it has demonstrated it’s not as severe in its impact, and therefore we want to make sure that our critical workforce, who we’ve relied on from the beginning, can get back to work.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 , madridjournals.com