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What’s next in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump

WASHINGTON: The US Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday (Jan 21) to set the rules for President Donald Trump's historic impeachment trial.

By a 53 to 47 vote, the Republican-controlled Senate approved an "organising resolution" for the trial proposed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Before approving the rules, the Senate voted down several amendments proposed by Democrats seeking to subpoena witnesses and documents from the White House and State Department.

These are the next phases in Trump's impeachment trial, just the third of a president in US history:

OPENING ARGUMENTS

The Democratic members of the House of Representatives chosen to present the impeachment case against Trump will deliver opening arguments to the Senate beginning on Wednesday.

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They will have a total of 24 hours over three days to present their case that Trump should be impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his attempt to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Photo: AFP/Mandel Ngan)

McConnell had initially planned to compress the 24 hours of argument into two days, which could have led the sessions to go well past midnight.

But McConnell extended the time to three days under pressure from some fellow Republicans.

Following the House presentation, Trump's defence team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, will have 24 hours over three days to present their rebuttal.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone is defending President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial in the Senate. (Photo: AFP/Drew Angerer)

WRITTEN QUESTIONS

Following opening arguments, senators will have a total of 16 hours to ask questions in writing to House prosecutors or the White House defence team.

The written questions from the senators will be read out loud in the chamber by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.

John Roberts, the chief justice of the US Supreme Court, is presiding over the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Photo: AFP/Saul Loeb)

WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS

Following the question period, House prosecutors and the White House defence team will have two hours each to argue for or against subpoenaing witnesses or documents.

The Senate will then vote on whether any witnesses or documents should be subpoenaed. A simple majority vote of 51 senators will decide the issue.

House Democrats have said they want former National Security AdvRead More – Source