Washington bracing for impeachment as battle lines harden

Washington bracing for impeachment as battle lines harden
President Donald Trump poses for photos with Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez at the White House, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Washington. (Source: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

(AP) – Washington is bracing for this week’s expected vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Partisan battle lines are hardening. Democrats are defending impeachment even if Trump isn’t removed from office. Republicans are denouncing the integrity of the constitutional process.

The Democratic-controlled House plans to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against the Republican president: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Trump maintains he has done nothing wrong.

The decision on whether to make Trump the third president in history to be impeached is expected to play out along party lines.

There’s some debate between the White House and the GOP-run Senate about the contours of a trial that’s anticipated in January. But there seems little doubt the Senate would acquit Trump.

Senate Democrats are pushing for testimony from top White House officials during the rare impeachment trial that seems all but certain for Trump.

The top Senate Democrat, New York’s Chuck Schumer, is proposing new evidence and testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and two others: Robert Blair, a top Mulvaney aide, and budget official Michael Duffey.

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