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US Senate gears up for Trump's trial

Report by Anvar Josh WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (KUNA) -- The US Republicans-dominated Senate will start on Tuesday hearings of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial over charges of abusing power and obstructing Congress.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial and proceeding will commence with a voting on proposed organizing rules and schedule.
Then he will give each side: the House of Representatives impeachment managers who will act as prosecutors and Trump's defense team time to present their arguments.
There is no time limit for the trial, but Republican Senators will have the final say in this regard as they make up the majority and can vote for ending the trial at any time.
Justice Roberts will only administer the trial to make sure everybody abides by the organizing rules as the 100 senators will give the verdict through a direct voting.
An impeachment resolution requires a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate or 67 votes which is a very difficult threshold to reach as there are 53 Republican senators and 47 Democrats.
This will be the Senate's third trial for a sitting US president, after trials of presidents Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Johnson's trial took nearly two months and Clinton's trial lasted about one month.
In both cases, the Senate cleared the presidents from the charges and the same is expected for President Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has told Fox News that there was no chance for impeaching the president at the Senate.
"We all know how it's going to end: There's no chance the president's gonna be removed from office. My hope is that there won't be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment," he said.
He even unveiled that Republican senators will coordinate the White House counsel during the trail.
In a six-page response filed with Senate ahead of the trial, Trump's lawyers argued the Democrats' push for the impeaching the president is "a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election".
"In the end, this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote," they said.
For their part, the House managers House Democrats on Saturday unveiled an extensive outline of their legal case heading into the Senate impeachment trial.
"The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that he is guilty of both (charges), "The only remaining question is whether the members of the Senate will accept and carry out the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and their constitutional Oaths," they argued in their 111-page trial brief.
House Democrats announced last September inquiry into President Donald Trump over his call with Ukrainian President in July asking him to investigate the former vice-president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son following an official compliant from an intelligence agent.
After the inquiry, the House voted on December 18 impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by ordering a blanket stonewall of the House's Ukraine probes, making him the third president in US history to be impeached by the House. (end) asj.ibi