Democrats on Tuesday accused the top Senate Republican of rigging U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with proposed rules that would prevent witnesses from testifying and bar evidence gathered by investigators.
Trump’s trial on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges begins in earnest in the Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday in a rare use of the constitutional mechanism for ousting a president.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the charges last month on a party-line vote.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has vowed to coordinate the televised trial with the White House, proposed on Monday rules that would execute a potentially quick trial without new testimony or evidence.
He unveiled a resolution that would give House Democratic prosecutors and Trump lawyers 48 hours, evenly split, to present their arguments over four days.
Opening arguments are expected to begin this week and could well run into each night.
Under the resolution, lawyers for Trump could move early in the proceedings to ask senators to dismiss all charges, a senior Republican leadership aide said, a motion that would likely fall short of the support needed to succeed.