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McConnell, Schumer Reach 'Eminently Fair' Deal on Trump Trial

Vote on conviction could happen early next week
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2021 5:33 PM CST

(Newser) – The stage is set for Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have reached a deal on the timing and structure of the former president's trial, which begins Tuesday, the Washington Post reports. A bipartisan resolution, which can be seen here, gives Democrats and Republicans equal time to ask questions. The proceedings will begin with debate Tuesday on whether it is constitutional to try a former president, followed by a vote, reports Politico. Starting Wednesday, the House impeachment managers and Trump's legal team will have 16 hours each spread out over two days to make their cases, followed by four hours of questions from senators. Each side will have two hours to make closing arguments.

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“The structure that we have agreed to is eminently fair," Schumer said Monday. McConnell said the deal " preserves due process and the rights of both sides." Under the agreement, the Senate will recess from sundown Friday and resume Sunday to accommodate Trump lawyer David Schoen, who said he wouldn't work on the Jewish Sabbath. A vote on whether to convict Trump on the single impeachment charge of "incitement of insurrection" in the Capitol riot could come early next week, though the trial could take longer if either side decides to call witnesses. The deal leaves the door open to calling witnesses, but House impeachment managers haven't said whether they plan to do so, the Hill reports. Trump's team rejected a request for his testimony. (Trump's lawyers slammed the trial Monday as "political theater.")

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