Senate

Senate approves organizing resolution for second Trump trial

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The Senate on Tuesday adopted the organizing resolution for former President Trump’s second impeachment trial.

The resolution, which was approved in an 89-11 vote, lays out the timeline for the impeachment trial, which could wrap as soon as early next week.

“It is agreed to by the House managers, the former president’s counsel, and is co-sponsored by the Republican leader. It is bipartisan. It is our solemn constitutional duty to conduct a fair … impeachment trial,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Rick Scott (Fla.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) voted against the resolution.

Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on Monday that they had reached a deal on how to organize the trial. The bipartisan rules resolution is a shift from Trump’s first trial last year, where Republicans pushed through the organizing resolution on party lines.

Under this resolution, the Senate will hold up to four hours of debate Tuesday on whether the trial is constitutional. The Senate previously voted to set aside a similar question late last month, with five Republicans siding with Democrats.

GOP senators predicted Tuesday’s vote would be relatively similar to the first, which was forced by Paul.

“Maybe one or two more for dismissal,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). 

Opening arguments will start Wednesday. Both the House managers and Trump’s team will have 16 hours over two days each to lay out their arguments. If they use all their time then they would wrap up by the end of Saturday.

Senators will then have four hours to ask questions, and the resolution leaves open the option for the House managers or Trump’s team to ask to call witnesses. The Senate would need to vote to approve any request for witnesses.

Both sides will also give closing arguments. 

Unlike an initial version of the trial, the Senate will be in session on Saturday and Sunday, unless the body has already voted on the article of impeachment.

Initially, the Senate had been expected to pause the trial between Friday at 5 p.m. until Sunday at the request of one of Trump’s lawyers in order to observe the Jewish Sabbath. 

Trump’s team withdrew the request on Monday night, citing concerns about delaying the trial. 

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, floated on Tuesday that the trial could wrap up as soon as this weekend.

“I think Saturday or Sunday,” Blunt said. “I think there’ll be a lot of interest in getting this done by the time you get to the weekend.”

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Josh Hawley Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Rand Paul Roger Marshall Ron Johnson Roy Blunt Senate trial Ted Cruz Tim Scott Trump impeachment

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