After a debate on the rules of the trial, opening arguments start Jan. 22 in the Senate. After opening arguments, senators will have 16 hours to ask questions in writing. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will read the questions out loud, and the appropriate side — defense or prosecution — can answer them.
President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Impeachment does not mean that the president has been removed from office. In the next phase, the Senate must hold a trial to make that determination. A Senate impeachment trial has happened only two other times in American history and once in the modern era. At the center of the Democrats’ case is that Trump sought to withhold military assistance and an Oval Office meeting until Ukraine announced investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son.
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