Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate have clashed over the rules of President Donald Trump’s impeachment process.
Democrats want witness assurances and documents to be provided to enable what they define as a fair trial.
Chuck Schumer says the recent publication of an “explosive” email to help Ukraine is a reminder of why openness is needed.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he has not ruled out witnesses.
However, he failed to agree to take evidence during the trial.
Last week, President Trump was officially imputed by the House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Donald Trump is the third president in US history to impeach. However, he is unlikely to be removed, as his Republican party has a majority in the Senate, where the trial will take place as provided for in the US Constitution.
He is accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
President Trump has been accused of doing so by refusing military aid and making the visit to the White House conditional on cooperation.
The process is expected to begin next month, after the break.
Trump’s Impeachment: White House Wants to Freeze Aid to Ukraine After President Donald Trump’s Impeachment by House of Representatives Call What is Impeachment and How Does It Work?
So far, however, Democrats have refused to impeach members of parliament for impeachment.
They want assurances from Mitch McConnell that their chosen witnesses – at least four current and former White House aides with knowledge of the Ukrainian affair – will have the right to testify.
He proposed a trial similar to that of former President Bill Clinton in 1999, in which senators decided which witnesses to call after opening arguments and a period of written questioning.
Mitch McConnell accused Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi of taking an “absurd position”, of delaying the transmission of impeachment articles, and said he was “obviously trying to tell us how to conduct the trial.”
Democrats renewed their call for witnesses over the weekend after an email said the White House was trying to freeze aid to Ukraine just 91 minutes after President Trump spoke to President Vladimir Zelensky on the phone in July. This call is at the heart of the accusations against President Trump – accusations he denies.
Chuck Schumer said he and his Republican counterpart remain at a standstill after holding a “heartfelt” meeting on December 19 to discuss the rules of the process.
During a news conference in New York on December 22, Chuck Schumer said that Republicans “did not state a good reason why there should be no witnesses, why there should be no documents.”
He added: “We do not know what the witnesses will say. We do not know how the documents will be read. They can acquit President Trump or incriminate him further. But the truth must come out of something as important as impeachment. “
Democrats say Republicans will not act as impartial jurors during the impeachment process after Mitch McConnell promised last week to work in “full coordination” with the White House. Meanwhile, representatives of the House of Representatives have raised the possibility of a second impeachment if new evidence of obstruction by President Trump comes to light. The proposal came in court documents filed by Democrats as they sought the testimony of White House attorney Don McGann.