The day President Trump has said is three years in the making has arrived as opening arguments in his Senate impeachment trial take place. And yes, Senators will have the chance to vote to call witnesses.
That said, don’t expect a cavalcade of witnesses or an extended trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has released his proposed rules for the trial. Under the rules, a vote on whether to subpoena witnesses or documents would come after days of arguments from each side and periods for questions and debates. As you might imagine, Democrats are fuming - saying that by McConnell's plan, evidence will be offered in the dead of night.
If witnesses are called, they’ll first have to be deposed before senators vote on which witnesses will testify in the impeachment trial. Of course, Democrats want Trump administration officials to testify on what they know of the Ukraine scandal, but only a few Republican members seem open to that idea.
Meanwhile...the House impeachment managers are responding to President Trump's legal team. The managers filed a response today saying Trump "is the Framers' worst nightmare come to life." They also refuted the assertion that abuse of power isn't an impeachable offense. The House managers accuse the President of "a cover-up that itself establishes his consciousness of guilt."
What’s the temperature across America about the impeachment trial? A majority of Americans are leaning towards removing Mr. Trump from office. A new CNN poll shows 51% say the Senate should convict Trump on the two charges he faces in the impeachment trial. Another 69% say the trial should include new witnesses that weren't involved in the House impeachment inquiry. And by the way? That tally includes 48% of Republicans, while 44% disagree. The trial gets underway Tuesday. Read the complete poll HERE.