US President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial will begin in Washington.
As the upper chamber reconvenes today, senators are set to begin debating a resolution that will establish the rules of the trial. Under debate is whether witnesses, potentially including former national security adviser John Bolton, will be permitted during the proceedings.
Democrats argue that a fair trial hinges on witnesses being able to present the facts of the case. Republicans counter that it is not the job of the Senate to make the case for impeachment and that the need for additional evidence demonstrates that the Democratic-led House of Representatives has wrongfully impeached the president.
Three Senate Republicans have spoken in favour of allowing witness testimony. One more would need to cross the aisle to give the 47 Democrats the majority needed to set the rules of the proceedings. Such a defection is possible, but ultimately unlikely to take place. Expect Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to push for a speedy ending to the trial by barring witness testimony. Ultimately, the entire affair is likely to end in three to four weeks with the president’s acquittal.
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Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.