January 28, 2020 / 11:06 AM / 21 days ago

Trump impeachment: What happens next?

(Reuters) - Lawyers defending U.S. President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial wrap up their presentation on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to New Orleans, Louisiana from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

Here is what to look out for next:


* The president’s team says it will wrap up its presentations on Tuesday afternoon.

* Once that concludes, senators will submit questions for U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts to ask the impeachment managers prosecuting the case or Trump’s defense team. Staffers will organize the questions to avoid repetition.


* The Senate will devote up to 16 hours for questioning, with Republicans and Democrats taking turns. Questions can be directed at the prosecution or the defense, but not at other senators.

* There is no official time limit for the lawyers to respond to the questions, but in the impeachment trial of Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1999 they were asked to keep their responses to five minutes.


* At the conclusion of the question period, the House of Representatives Democratic impeachment team and Trump’s lawyers will have four hours, equally divided, to make what could amount to closing arguments.

* The Senate will then debate whether to subpoena witnesses and documents, followed by a vote. In the event of a tie vote the motion fails.

* If the Senate votes to hear more evidence, they would then hold subsequent votes on which witnesses they would like to call and what documents they want to read.

* If the Senate subpoenas witnesses, they would be deposed privately before the Senate decides on public testimony.

* If no witnesses or additional documents are subpoenaed, senators could consider other motions or proceed to vote on each article of impeachment.

* Theoretically, the trial could conclude this week, but if witnesses are called the trial could still be ongoing when Trump delivers his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Feb. 4.

Reporting by Richard Cowan, Susan Cornwell and David Morgan; editing by Andy Sullivan and Lisa Shumaker

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