The historic Senate impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump started today with a heated debate over the rules.
As Democrats and Republicans battled over rules and procedures, the president himself was half a world away at The 50th World Economic Forum in the Swiss city of Davos.
Sen. Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor immediately before the proceedings began, to rail against the rules to govern the trial, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling them a “national disgrace” and an attempt to conduct a trial at 2 a.m.
“The McConnell resolution will result in a rushed trial, with little evidence in the dark of night,” Schumer said.
But McConnell pledged a “fair impeachment trial” and said he’ll move to the table or kill various motions that he thinks alters the framework.
Schumer blasted the rules for relegating the impeachment debate into the dead of night and he’s proposed amendments to fix the “flaws.” Democrats, which control only 47 seats, need the help of four Republicans to get changes, as well as new documents and witnesses.
McConnell did yield to apparent pressure from some Republicans and did amend the resolution to allow each side 24 hours to present its arguments over a three-day period, which should mitigate any late-night sessions.