Rules, resolution released ahead of impeachment trial

Trial slated to begin Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.
Posted at 10:49 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 05:53:47-05

The U.S. Senate is bracing for President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Last month, the president was impeached by the House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction.

All eyes will be on Capitol Hill Tuesday, when senators are expected to debate and sign off on the rules of President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the rules on Monday.

If approved as is, opening statements will be limited to two days, 24 hours each side.

It also includes written restrictions for senators, including no cell-phones, no standing, no talking and no possession of written materials not related to the trial.

The resolution also says senators will get to ask questions for 16 hours then vote on whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

Democrats have been calling for more witnesses in the trial.

“When that comes to the senate, we need to treat it with the seriousness that it deserves, but we should be guided by the facts and I’m certainly going into this process with an open mind,” Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, told FOX 17 on Sunday.

“I hope we get witnesses, that’s something that I think is absolutely critical that we hear from witnesses that have first-hand knowledge of what actually happened. I don’t know how you can have a trial without witnesses that can bring additional facts so I hope that’s what we see in the weeks ahead,” Peters added.

Republicans argue that it proves the case is weak.

“This is the first time in history where a president has been impeached for a non-crime for events that never occurred. This is really unique. I think every senator is going to take this very seriously,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s defense team is calling the trial a charade and is asking for a quick acquittal.

“If the house charges do not include impeachable offenses, that's really the end of the matter and the senate should vote to acquit or even to dismiss,” Attorney Alan Dershowitz said.

The Senate trial will start Tuesday at 1 p.m.