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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON - The trial of President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction could open within days as House of Representatives leader Nancy Pelosi convenes Democrats early Tuesday to discuss sending impeachment charges to the Senate.
Pelosi appeared ready to move ahead after holding onto the articles of impeachment since they were passed on December 18 to pressure the Republican-controlled Senate to agree to subpoena witnesses with direct knowledge of what Trump is charged with: illicitly seeking help from Ukraine for his reelection campaign this year.
But with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell refusing to agree up front on the witness issue, Pelosi is now expected to forward the case without a deal and see the president placed on trial by next week.
Pelosi's House Democratic caucus is expected to discuss the schedule for a full vote in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, on forwarding the case.
They also have to decide who will comprise their team of impeachment managers to argue the case against Trump in the Senate, the upper chamber.
Once the House forwards the charges, the Senate has to begin trial proceedings within one day.
On the first day, senators will decide the rules of the historic trial.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will then be sworn in to preside; in turn he will swear in the 100 senators to preside as judges and jury over Trump's fate.
Republican Senator John Cornyn told The Hill news website that he expects all that could happen within this week, and that opening arguments in the trial could take place as early as Tuesday, January 21, after Monday's federal holiday.
"That's what it feels like right now," Cornyn said.
Trump's Republican party hold a solid majority in the Senate and are expected to exonerate him. -AFP
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