WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate fully submerged Donald Trump on Tuesday in impeachment, and Republicans suddenly set aside his plans to cover opening arguments in two evening sessions, while Democrats asked for more witnesses to expose the «trifecta» of state president’s offenses Unidos.La marathon session of nearly 13 hours began with a hard setback for Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, and for the president’s legal team, exposing a crack inside of the Republican Party and the growing political unease about the historic impeachment procedure that takes place in the face of the public’s watchful eye at the start of an election year.
But he ended up around 02:00 in the morning on Wednesday with Republicans easily approving the new rules for the process on their own terms.» It was time for us to bring them back to Earth,» said White House counsel Pat Cipollone, head of the presidential legal team, lashing out at House Democrats who pushed the case forward.» It’s a farce,» he said of impeachment, adding «and should end.» Justice President John Roberts gave off the session, with lower house prosecutors on one side, Trump’s legal team on the other, and senators silently in their curules, under oath of «impartial justice.» Cell phones or other electronic devices were not allowed in. The first session lasted into the late evening. The senators remained in the precinct after 9:30 p.m., as Democrats searched for what might be their only chance to force senators to vote on new testimony. However, Republicans rejected the amendments proposed by Democrats to request, through subpoenas, documents from the White House, the State Department and the budget office, and further votes are expected to reject the presence of new witnesses who saw Trump’s actions firsthand. In a strict 53-47 partisan ratio, the senators rejected the Democratic request to subpoena the acting head of White House office, Mick Mulvaney.McConnell surprised the senators and delayed the start of proceedings with their decision to reverse some of its proposed rules. Republicans said they were concerned about the political perception of their sessions «in the dark of the night.» Instead, the 24-hour period for initial arguments will be extended to three days for both sides, giving Democrats impetus in their attempt to end a stalemate over the appearance of new witnesses. As the visitor gallery was filled with guests, including actress and activist Alyssa Milano, and with Trump’s most fervent allies in the House of Representatives occupying the last rows, the day quickly took the cadence of a judicial process about whether the president’s interactions with Ukraine warranted dismay.» It’s time to begin this trial,» said Pat Cipollone, the president’s lead attorney, who expressed impatience as proceedings were opened to the public after several weeks of delay. Cipollone claimed that the House of Representatives’ charges against Trump were «ridiculous» and insisted that the president «has done absolutely nothing wrong.» The president’s legal team did not contest Trump’s actions, when he called Ukraine and called for «a favor,» which was to investigate Democrat Joe Biden while the U.S. was desperately in need of Russian hostilities on its border. But the lawyers insisted that the president did nothing wrong. «There is no case at all,» said Cipollone.Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, opened by the prosecution saying that the country’s founders included the impeachment process in the Constitution «thinking precisely in this kind of behavior, behavior of abuse of presidential authority for personal gain, which undermines our national security and opens the door to foreign interference in the democratic process of an election.»