Trump impeachment: Senate Adopts Rules After Long Debate On Trial’s First Day

US President Trump
US President Trump

The US Senate has adopted ground rules for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after nearly 13 hours of rancorous debate on the first day.

Democratic prosecutors sparred with Mr. Trump’s lawyers over the process, while Republicans rejected their demands for more witnesses.

The trial will resume on Wednesday with arguments by the prosecution, to be followed by the defence and questions.

Mr. Trump is the third US president to undergo an impeachment trial.

He is charged with abuse of power and obstructing the congressional inquiry. He denies wrongdoing and accuses Democrats of trying to unseat him for political reasons.

“I’d love to go and sit in the front row and stare at their corrupt faces,” he told reporters at a hastily arranged press conference in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. But he added that his lawyers might have a problem with that.

Mr Trump is being put on trial after being impeached last month by the Democratic-led House of Representatives. But the Senate, which is controlled by his fellow Republicans, is not expected to convict and remove him from office.

Mr. Trump is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he again dismissed the accusations against him as “a total hoax”.

On the question of whether new witnesses would be called to the trial, he said he would leave that to senators to decide, while claiming that testimony from some current or former aides, including ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton, could pose a “national security problem”.

Senators have taken oaths to act as impartial jurors in a trial presided over by US Chief Justice John Roberts. House Democrats are known as “impeachment managers” act as the prosecution, while Mr. Trump’s legal team acts as the defence.