WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Today is the first day of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, marking just the third time a President has faced removal from office in U.S. history.
But before the two sides could begin delivering their opening arguments, Senators debated what that trial should look like.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled a resolution laying out the ground rules for the trial, saying:
“First, the Senate will hear an opening presentation from the House managers. Second, we will hear from the President’s counsel.”
McConnell’s plan started by asking the two sides to each spend 24 hours presenting their arguments over the next two days. But after strong criticism, McConnell says that time can be spread over three days.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the plan would result in a rushed trial in the dark of night, which would make getting evidence as hard as possible.
Schumer offered several amendments that would subpoena four administration witnesses and relevant documents from the White House.
McConnell says he plans to table any amendment Schumer proposes and says Senators should plan to stay in session until the trial rules are agreed to by at least 51 Senators.