Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
James O'Brien is in disbelief at President Trump's impeachment trial
21 January 2020, 14:35 | Updated: 21 January 2020, 14:38
James O'Brien is left in disbelief as a global politics professor explains President Trump's impeachment trial and why his administration are engaging in a "cover-up."
The US president has been impeached by the House of Representatives but not removed, which is a trial that occurs in the Senate; to be removed as President senators need to vote a two thirds majority against him.
Due to the scale of President Trump's majority in the senate, James O'Brien posited to Professor Brian Klaas that he won't have much to worry about in the removal trial which is expected to commence tomorrow with the opening arguments.
"I think this is a political question now which is to say how much damage will it do to him in the November election where he's trying to get reelected," said Professor Klaas.
However President Trump's administration are engaging in "effectively a cover-up", he said, as they'll "control the cameras" in the removal trial "which is not exactly what you do when you're innocent and want to prove that.
James asked how this could possibly happen and received an alarming perspective.
Professor Klaas said the Trump trial has exposed that "principles fall by the wayside particularly in the Republican party when naked partisan self-interest is on the line.
"It's really the thing that stuns me about the Trump administration... the degree to which people in the Republican party who have tried to present themselves as principled conservatives for their entire careers are willing to utterly debase themselves for Donald Trump, knowing that the loyalty goes one way."
If anyone says a word against him, he'll "throw them under the bus," said Professor Klaas.
The professor explained that the accusations against Donald Trump are "very serious" and in a British context, "it would be as if Boris Johnson was accused of saying that Ukraine can have £300 million and weapons and a visit to 10 Downing Street if they investigate Jeremy Corbyn's family or Keir Starmer's family."
It is for the benefit of the November elections, said Professor Klaas, that Trump is trying to exploit the Ukrainian government for leverage in the battle.
"The evidence is overwhelming and it's not a series of Democratic hacks saying it, it's people that Trump picked to be his representatives abroad and in the White House."
He remarked that politics at its core is about making peoples' lives better but what it's become is "our side is beating your side."