Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Both sides of Trump's impeachment reach trial structure agreement

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the House impeachment managers, and former President Donald Trump's legal team have agreed on an impeachment trial structure, Schumer announced Monday. The resolution is expected to pass the Senate "early this week."

It allows both the impeachment managers and Trump's counsel four hours, equally divided, to present their arguments on the constitutionality of the trial Tuesday before the Senate votes on whether it has jurisdiction to try a former president. That will be a simple majority vote, so the answer will almost certainly be yes. If things go forward, both sides will then present their case for and against conviction beginning on Wednesday — they'll have 16 hours total to do so, but they won't be able to exceed eight hours per day. Then, senators will have four hours to question the two parties. Before the Senate votes on the article of impeachment, there will be four hours allotted for arguments on whether the upper chamber should consider motions to subpoena witnesses and documents, and another four for closing arguments.

Trial proceedings will stop at 5 p.m. on Friday no matter what, and won't pick back up until Sunday — Trump's lawyer David Schoen requested the pause so he can observe the Jewish Sabbath.

Everyone seems pleased with the agreement — Schumer called it "eminently fair," McConnell said it "preserves due process and the rights of both sides," and Trump's team said the structure is "consistent with past precedent" and will "provide ... an opportunity to explain" why they believe impeaching a "private citizen" is unconstitutional.