US Democrats vows to battle over witnesses and fair process in the Senate trial of Donald Trump


US Democrats signaled on Monday they were girding for battle over witnesses and fair process in the Senate trial of Donald Trump, days ahead of a historic House vote on impeaching the president for abuse of office and obstruction of Congress.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said he was aiming for proceedings to start January 6 that would mete out swift but fair justice to Trump, even as Republican loyalists acknowledged they were less interested in being impartial jurors than protecting the president.

Lawmakers were beginning a consequential week. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler released a 658-page report Monday outlining the case for impeaching Trump and detailing his alleged wrongdoing, including pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

It alleged severe episodes of criminal conduct by the president including bribery rebutting the Republican argument that Democrats have identified no specific criminal wrongdoing by Trump.

The House Rules Committee is set to meet on Tuesday to lay down guidelines for a floor debate on impeachment.

When the Democratic-controlled House convenes on Wednesday to weigh the two charges approved by the Judiciary Committee, Trump is expected to become only the third US president to be impeached, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.

Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 just before a House impeachment vote. Neither Johnson nor Clinton was convicted in the Senate.