The Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins on Tuesday. While opening remarks are set in the afternoon, the next steps are still up in the air.
Remember, the articles of impeachment are like an indictment in a criminal court. It’s an important step, but it’s really just the beginning.
The Senate holds the actual trial. Like most trials, it begins with opening statements from both sides. That’s what begins Tuesday. Each side gets a full day to present its case, followed by sixteen hours of questions from senators.
But then, we’re not sure. Republican leaders don’t want witnesses to testify at the trial. They have now delayed the vote on whether there will be witnesses.
The President’s legal team includes controversial defense attorney Alan Dershowitz. During the Clinton impeachment 21 years ago, he claimed charges did not have to criminal to be impeachable. He seems to believe the opposite now, and is being asked now if he has changed his mind.
“No, I haven’t changed. I’m saying you don’t need a technical crime but you need a criminal type behavior. That’s the position I have taken over time,” Alan Dershowitz.
“There is ample evidence, overwhelming evidence any jury would convict him in three minutes flat that the president betrayed his country by breaking the law,” Rep. Jerry Nadler.
That is what Democrats will be arguing – that by leveraging foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for information about a political rival, President Trump abused his power.
Dershowitz and the rest of Trump’s legal team argue that abuse of power is not actually a crime. Democrats call that a “chilling assertion.”
If you’re wondering where the president is going to be during all this, he flew to Switzerland on Monday for the world economic forum in Davos.
Back in Washington, ABC News’ coverage of his Senate trial is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.