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After tweaks, Trump trial format will be similar to Clinton

UPDATED 5:03 p.m. TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After some last-minute changes, the rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial largely follow the ones used during the trial of former President Bill Clinton.

After approving the rules, the Senate will hear arguments from lawyers on both sides before debating whether to seek witness testimony and documents.

The original version of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell's rules said the House couldn't submit its evidence until the question of witnesses was resolved. But after moderates like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine voiced concerns, McConnell changed the resolution Tuesday to ensure the evidence will be admitted after opening arguments.

In Clinton's proceedings, the evidence was automatically admitted at the start of the trial.

UPDATED 1:25 p.m. TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly changed his proposed rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial after senators objected.

He is now offering three days, rather than two, for opening arguments from each side.

Democrats objected strongly to rules proposed by the Republican leader for compressed arguments and a speedy trial.

Chief Justice John Roberts gaveled in the session. Democrats warned that the rules package could force midnight sessions that would keep most Americans in the dark.

Trump said anew that the whole thing was a hoax, and he said he was sure it would "work out fine."


WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is set to unfold at the Capitol.

On the eve of the trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a condensed, two-day calendar for each side's opening arguments.

The rules package will be one of the first orders of business when senators convene about midday Tuesday.

Trump's lawyers are seeking swift acquittal. But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer calls McConnell's plan "a national disgrace."

Trump is attending a global leaders conference in Davos, Switzerland.

The House Democratic managers overseeing the impeachment case have asked Trump's lead lawyer at the trial to disclose any "first-hand knowledge" he has of the charges against the Republican president.

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Associated Press

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