8 Keys On The Political Trial Of Donald Trump

Can Republicans close the trial against Trump? 0:43

(CNN) – These are the key things to see in the trial trial of President Donald Trump.

Things will change: we have a basic summary of how we believe the trial will take place, but it is clear that things will change as you go. For example, much or all of Tuesday could be occupied by a debate between the prosecutors of the House and the defense team on how the trial will progress. Democrats are expected to seek to force a vote on the inclusion of witnesses (more on that below) even before the opening arguments take place. According to the advisers of the majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, those initial arguments are expected to begin on Wednesday afternoon.

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Long nights: there is a clear desire of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, to end this matter. It broke with the precedent of the trial by political trial of Bill Clinton, according to a draft of rules that senators could vote on Tuesday. Instead of assigning four days each to the political trial prosecutors of the House of Representatives and Trump's defense team to open arguments, McConnell would give each side only two days to present their case. Since each side has 24 hours, this first week in particular could have very long sessions if the prosecutors or the Trump team use all that time, maybe until 1 a.m. ET, or even later with breaks. The process will begin at 1 p.m. ET and will be from Monday to Saturday.

Relative speed: this also means that political judgment could be carried out very quickly. Trump wants to conclude it before delivering the State of the Union speech on February 4. That would be a very quick political trial, considering that it officially started this Thursday. Clinton lasted more than a month, from January 7, 1999 until February 12. Andrew Johnson's trial lasted from March 5, 1868, until well into May, more than two months. But if the Senate does not agree to call witnesses or cite any documents, Trump could be acquitted in the middle of next week.

LOOK: This is Trump's defense in the Senate: his lawyers say the political trial is a "farce"

A fight for witnesses: Democrats want witnesses in this political trial. Most Republicans do not. New information has come to light in the month since Trump was charged. How much of that is presented at the trial is a very open question. And if Democrats can hear witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton is a very open question. We know there will be votes on the witnesses. The question is whether the four Republicans needed to give the Democrats a majority will agree to hear new information. That is a question that will probably be answered later in the process, perhaps next week.

Parliamentary fights: we have some idea of ​​what to expect, but the rules have not been established. McConnell has not published the rules of the trial or seen a vote. The details of those rules, and if McConnell can get a majority of 51 senators on board with them, will be very important.

Confusion: CNN hired Senate expat Alan Alan Frumin to help decode the political trial. When asked if, according to the rules, Democrats can force the Senate to listen to witnesses, he said: “As much about the Senate procedure, the answer is a bit confusing. The Senate procedure is generally confusing and the Senate procedure regarding the political trial is unclear. ”

LOOK: Can Republicans close the political trial against Donald Trump?

Strict media control: reporters in Capitol Hill have complained that parts of the building normally open to them have been closed. In particular, senators may walk on the second floor of the building without having to answer any questions from the media. That is a break from the long tradition of Capitol Hill. In addition, the Senate controls the cameras inside the chamber, so you can control the angles observed during the trial. It will only be presented to the person speaking, for example.

Closed sessions: when I executed the previous elements of Jeremy Herb from our Hill team, he added the important note that we will not really see everything that happens in this test. It is expected that there will be at least one session closed on Tuesday and possibly more, which will feel very strange, but it is necessary, according to Senate leaders, because senators cannot speak during the trial (among other rules, such as not using their phones). and stand when they vote) and they will sometimes have to discuss how to proceed. But we will not know the deliberations that are carried out as a result.

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