21:12 GMT29 January 2020
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    The House Democrats are sending Trump's impeachment articles to the Senate next week, where the future of the president will be determined.

    White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said that the Trump administration is ready for the president's impeachment trial to start, Reuters reported on Friday.

    He added that White House counsel Pat Cipollone will lead Trump's defence, while outside counsel Sekulow will also contribute.

    The Democrat-controlled House voted on 18 December to impeach President Trump on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Since then, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been particularly slow with sending the impeachment articles to the upper chamber of Congress, for which she has been blasted by Donald Trump and other members of the Republican party. Trump has mocked the Democrats for their hesitation, saying that the reason they were holding them up is because the articles were "a fraud".

    Pelosi's final announcement to finally send the articles to the Senate next week came right after Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said that the Republican Party had enough votes to start the trial even without the impeachment articles.

    The trial in the Senate is not likely to start until next Wednesday, as a further course of action will be discussed by Democrats during a House Democratic Caucus meeting on 14 January.

    An impeachment inquiry was launched against President Trump in September over a whistle-blower complaint about his 25 July call with Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky. The so-called whistleblower alleged that Trump "exerted pressure" on his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate potential corruption involving former US Vice President Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine.

    Trump has dismissed the impeachment proceedings as another "witch-hunt" brought up by Democrats against him and rushed to release the memo of his summer conversation with Zelensky to prove no wrongdoing. 

    It was later found out that the information provided by the whistleblower, who chose to act on condition of anonymity, was actually "something he heard from somebody else".

    Tags:
    whistleblower, House Democrats, US Senate, White House, Kellyanne Conway, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, impeachment, United States
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