/Congress: Trump impeachment trial, Parnas interview: Part II, USMCA vote: 5 things to know Thursday
Congress: Trump impeachment trial, Parnas interview: Part II, USMCA vote: 5 things to know Thursday

Congress: Trump impeachment trial, Parnas interview: Part II, USMCA vote: 5 things to know Thursday

Congress:

Editors, USA TODAY
Published 3: 32 a.m. ET Jan. 16, 2020 | Updated 12: 53 p.m. ET Jan. 16, 2020

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Congress: Senate to open impeachment trial against President Trump

The Senate trial of President Donald Trump is scheduled to begin at noon Thursday, when House lawmakers will read aloud the articles of impeachment accusing the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. After the articles are read, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will be summoned to preside at the trial and will be sworn in at 2 p.m. Then, all 100 senators will be sworn in as jurors. On Wednesday, the House passed a resolution appointing seven lawmaker “managers” to prosecute Trump. The managers later walked the articles of impeachment across the Capitol to the Senate. Trump will become only the third president tried in the Senate, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Neither were convicted.

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Congress: Part II of blockbuster Lev Parnas interview to air on MSNBC

On Thursday night, MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” will air Part II of a bombshell interview Maddow conducted with Lev Parnas, a Ukraine-born associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. During the first part of the interview that aired Wednesday night, Parnas said: “President Trump knew exactly what was going on” in Ukraine during the White House’s alleged pressure campaign at the center of Trump’s impeachment and that the “main objective” was to get the government of Ukraine to announce the investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden. “I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president,” Parnas later added. Parnas also said Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, Attorney General William Barr and Rep. Devin Nunes were involved or aware of what was happening. The interview with Parnas, who is also facing campaign finance charges, comes after House Democrats released new records and evidence from him.

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Congress: Senate to vote on revamped Mexico, Canada trade deal

The Senate is expected Thursday to pass a major rewrite of trade rules with Canada and Mexico and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature, according to multiple outlets including the Associated Press. The bill approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is anticipated to garner the same kind of broad bipartisan support the trade measure received when it overwhelmingly passed the House last month by a 385-41 vote. The new agreement would replace rules for moving products among the three countries first crafted under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which essentially eliminated tariffs on most goods traded among the three countries.

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Congress: Trump to offer new guidance on school prayer

As President Donald Trump seeks to gain support among evangelical Christians who were key to his election, the president on Thursday is set to announce new federal guidance he has said will “safeguard” students’ ability to pray in school. Details of the announcement were not clear, but Trump previewed the idea during an address to evangelicals in Florida this month, praising state efforts to expand school prayer and warning against what he described as “hard left” opposition. Trump’s remarks will come weeks after a faith-focused magazine, Christianity Today, posted an editorial calling for Trump to be removed from office. The president blasted the magazine as “far left” but the editorial nevertheless re-opened a debate about Trump’s presidency among evangelicals. 

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Congress: Prince Harry to appear at Rugby League World Cup draw as planned

All eyes will be on Britain’s Prince Harry on Thursday as he hosts the normally nondescript Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace. This time is different: It’s the first royal engagement for the Duke of Sussex since he and Duchess Meghan made their historic announcement last week that they would step back from their senior royal duties and live part time in North America. Following a royal family summit Monday, Queen Elizabeth II gave her blessing to Harry and Meghan living “a more independent life.” But their plans have been widely attacked in Britain as unworkable and damaging to the royal family.

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