As the impeachment trial of President Trump comes to a close this week, senators will hear four hours of closing arguments Monday, time equally split between the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Following each side’s remarks, the trial will adjourn. At that time, the Senate will no longer act as a court and senators will be allowed to speak on the Senate floor. They are not allowed to do this when operating as a court, according to the Hill.
It is expected that the Republican-controlled Senate will acquit Trump on the two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, filed against him in December. The articles stem from a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During that call, Trump pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden for allegedly encouraging the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who had been investigating Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, which previously employed Hunter Biden.
William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified in a closed-door deposition with Democrats that the White House threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine until they agreed to investigate Trump’s political adversaries. The meeting lasted for 10 hours.
All Democrats support the charges against Trump and all Republicans oppose them. The Senate voted 51-49 on Friday to keep new evidence and witnesses from being introduced.
Trump is only the third U.S. president to be formally impeached, the other two being Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were both acquitted by the Senate, ESSENCE previously reported. President Richard Nixon also faced a formal impeachment inquiry, but resigned before he could be formally impeached.
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