The U.S. Senate on early Wednesday voted to pass the Republican-proposed resolution laying out rules guiding the ongoing impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, after a marathon debate killed 11 amendments introduced by Democrats.
The resolution, adopted by a 57-43 party-line vote at the Republican-controlled Senate, will postpone a decision on whether to call additional witnesses until the opening arguments from the two opposing sides are heard.
The witness issue was a key sticking point that saw House managers — comprised of Democrats who act as prosecutors in the trial — and Trump’s legal defense team wrangling for over 12 hours.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered 11 separately proposed amendments to the resolution Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed — all rejected by the chamber as senators mostly voted along party lines.
Those amendments, asked in the form of motions, included requests for documents related to Trump’s dealings with Ukraine that are possessed by the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies, as well as subpoenas for acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, former National Security Adviser John Bolton and other officials to testify.
McConnell’s four-page resolution, when it was first made public on Monday, allowed impeachment managers and Trump’s attorneys to each have 24 hours over a two-day period to make their cases. Originally, it didn’t allow House prosecutors to admit evidence into the Senate trial record until both sides wrap up their opening statements.
Those stipulations, however, were revised shortly before the debate kicked off — reportedly under pressure from moderate Republican senators.
The time for making opening statements now has been extended to three days respectively for the two sides, although they are still limited to a total duration of 24 hours. House evidence will be admitted into record unless there is a vote opposing it.
With the ground rules having been settled, the impeachment trial will see the beginning of opening statements later on Wednesday. Enditem