Impeachment trial underway in U.S. Senate

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The U.S. Senate trial to determine whether to remove President Donald Trump from office enters day two of opening arguments Thursday.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The trial follows the U.S. House's decision to impeach the president late last year.

Managers from the House began presenting their case for removing the president Wednesday afternoon, will continue to do so Thursday, and must conclude by Friday evening.

Then, the president's legal team will get the chance to present its case for up to 24 hours over three days.

Senators voted through the rules for the trial early Wednesday morning. However, the issue of whether to call new witnesses or allow new documents that were not part of the House process into the Senate trial remains unsettled. That issue is expected to be tackled following after opening arguments are complete.

Senators swore an oath to do, "impartial justice" before voting on the rules and beginning arguments. But, many have already said or suggested how they plan on voting.

The senators are required to sit through the entire trial, over which Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is presiding. The senators are not allowed to speak or use electronic devices during the trial, but will vote on what's admitted into evidence and will submit written questions to be asked of witnesses if there are any.

Barring a major development, Democrats are not expected to win the 67 votes they'll need from their members and 20 Republicans needed to remove the president.

Some House Republican lawmakers are part of the president's impeachment team. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) is one of them. He said he and the White House will address constitutional and legal flaws in the Democrats' arguments. He said he does not know if he will address the Senate on the floor during the trial.

Our team is speaking with Senators this week during breaks in the trial. You can watch those full interviews in the video tab above.

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