McConnell Sets Rules for Trump Impeachment Trial, Allowing Vote on Witnesses, Documents

Opening arguments begin Wednesday on a compressed timeline, which Democrats protested along with the decision not to automatically admit House evidence

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will allot each side a total of 24 hours to present their arguments in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, but the time must be confined to two working days, according to the text of his organizing resolution, which NBC News obtained Monday.

The proposal also suggests that none of the evidence collected as part of the House's impeachment inquiry will be admitted automatically. Instead, according to the text, the Senate will vote later on whether to admit any documents.

Arguments will begin Wednesday at 1 p.m., according to the rules McConnell laid out, setting up several long days for Senate jurors. Democrats protested that the rules would push arguments to late hours and make it harder to introduce evidence, although the rules do allow a vote on whether witnesses will be called to testify.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said McConnell's rules "depart dramatically" from the precedent set during President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999 "in ways that are designed to prevent the Senate and the American people from learning the full truth about President Trump's actions that warranted his impeachment."

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