Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers and Democrats will each get just 24 hours to make their case in trial showdown – The Sun

DEMOCRATS and Donald Trump will get just two days each to put their case in the impeachment trial under Republican plans to fastrack the process.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell set out the streamlined timetable in a leaked motion which senators will debate in secret later today.

Mr McConnell will try to push through his plan – revealed in a four page organizing resolution – in a bid to get the trial over with as fast as possible.

The restricted timetable raises the prospect of gruelling 12-hour days stretching late into the night for the 100 senators who act as jurors.

Democrats are furious at the schedule, which House aides told CNN was an effort to "conceal the President's misconduct in the dark of night."

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said: "It's clear Senator McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through.

"On something as important as impeachment, Senator McConnell's resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace."

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And they will have to cram that into only two sitting days – beginning at 1pm each day tomorrow and Thursday if there are no delays.

Mr Trump's legal team would have the same amount of time on Friday and Saturday.

It is a break from Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999, when each side had 24 hours split over four days.

After the opening arguments, senators will have 16 hours to submit written questions through the presiding judge, Chief Justice John Roberts.

Then the Senate will vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents.


Republicans want to block potentially damaging public testimony from Mr Trump's closest aides.

But as few a four senators could swing the vote, and Democrats have been in talks with moderate Republicans they hope will side with hearing more evidence.

Polls show most Americans are in favor of hearing witnesses at the trial.

Mr McConnell will lay out his timetable motion when the trial formally gets under way at 1pm today.

Mr Schumer will present a rival plan around 3.30pm, "to address the many flaws in this deeply unfair proposal and to subpoena the witnesses and documents we have requested."

Senators will debate the trial rules behind closed doors this evening – inevitably prompting claims of a "cover up".

Mr Trump's lawyers yesterday called the impeachment a "dangerous perversion of the Constitution" and urged senators to throw the case out.

He denies abusing his power over the Ukraine scandal, and obstructing a probe in Congress.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland said: "We look forward to presenting a vigorous defense of the President on the facts and the process as quickly as possible, and seeking an acquittal as swiftly as possible."

The President – who is almost certain to be acquitted – flew to Switzerland overnight to give a speech at the Davos forum.

He hopes the trial will be done and dusted before his State of the Union address on February 4.



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