The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is set to get underway at noon eastern time on Tuesday (February 9). The Senate will start the proceedings by holding a vote on the rules that will govern the trial.
Under the rules, the House managers and Trump's legal team will each get 16 hours to make their case of whether or not Trump is guilty of inciting the insurrection after a mob of his supports stormed the U.S. Capitol building during a joint session of Congress on January 6. Senate President pro tempore Patrick Leahy will preside over the proceedings.
Once the rules are affirmed, there will be a four-hour debate over the constitutionality of holding an impeachment trial after the president has left office. If the vote is affirmed, the trial will then move to a debate over whether any witnesses will be called.
While the impeachment managers have suggested they want to call witnesses to speak about Trump's actions leading up to and on January 6, it is unclear if they will call anybody to testify. Some Democrats do not want them to call witnesses because it could cause the trial to drag on. While some of the individuals arrested during the riots at the Capitol have suggested they would be willing to testify, it is unclear if they will. Trump's legal team could also push back against some witnesses who worked in the Trump administration, claiming executive privilege to block their testimony.
It is unknown how long the trial will last. The Democrats will begin making their case on Wednesday. After two eight-hour sessions, Trump's legal team will be given two days to present their defense of the former president.
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