23 February 2020

US Senate begins debating contentions impeachment rules

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The Senate began consideration Tuesday of the rules that will govern the trial of U.S. President Donald Trump, and his possible, if unlikely, removal from office. reports citing Turkish media.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled a set of draft rules late Monday that stoked the ire of congressional Democrats who say they are tantamount to a "cover up." He abruptly backed off from some key components amid pushback, that reportedly included some Republicans.

McConnell had sought to portray the rules as replicating those that governed the Senate trial of former President Bill Clinton, repeating his claim on the Senate floor ahead of the debate.

"This basic four-part structure aligns with the first steps of the Clinton impeachment trial," he said. "There's no reason other than base partisanship to say this particular president deserves a radically different rulebook than what was good enough for a past president of your own party."

But the package he first put forth differed in key ways.

Unlike Clinton’s trial, McConnell initially limited 24 hours of opening arguments to just two days, beginning at 1 p.m. each day. But he backed off at the last minute from the plan, which would have forced arguments to go into the early morning hours each day.

McConnell's change allows for the 24 hours of opening arguments to go into a third day, bringing arguments to conclude around 9 p.m. on the U.S. east coast.

2020.01.22 / 10:26
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