By By Chris PriestlyPosted Mar 17, 2019 07:52AMHARVEST, Ga.
— The Alabama Senate on Thursday approved the first impeachment trial of a sitting U.S. president in more than two centuries, with the GOP-controlled chamber voting 52-49 to impeach President Donald Trump.
The chamber’s 52-48 vote came after Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) led a spirited debate over the impeachment charge against Trump, who had been president since Jan. 20, 2018.
The bill’s first reading passed the Senate Wednesday, with Democrats saying the bill needed to be amended and Republicans voting to proceed.
The bill is likely to pass the House, where the Senate is controlled by the Republican-led chamber.
Democrats are calling for the House to take up the impeachment bill with the intent to move the matter to the floor for a vote on impeachment by the full Senate, and then to allow it to proceed to the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said the Senate would not debate the impeachment process on its own and that the House could vote to move forward with it.
Republicans have called for the impeachment of Trump since the beginning of January 2018, when the House of Representatives voted to impeached him over allegations that he colluded with Russian officials to influence the election.
He has denied the allegations.
Trump, who has maintained he did not collude with Russia, has denied wrongdoing and vowed to sue the Democrats in the U.N. and the court system.
During the impeachment trial, Trump was accused of attempting to obstruct justice in the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned from his job after it was revealed he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U: The charges against Trump were based on evidence gathered during an investigation into Flynn’s contacts with a Russian envoy to the Trump transition team.
Flynn was fired by Trump, along with former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, in August, after it emerged he had misled Vice President Pence about those conversations.