Here's what's next for the Senate vote on the impeachment of US president Donald Trump
- On Wednesday, the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in US history to be impeached.
- It's unclear when the Senate will begin the trial and how long it will last because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet transmitted the charges to the Senate or selected impeachment managers.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer disagree on how the trial should unfold.
- While Schumer wants some of the president's top aides and others to testify, McConnell wants to exclude witnesses from testifying in order to speed up the process and acquit Trump as quickly as possible.
- The delay has already infuriated the president, who tweeted on Thursday that he wants an "immediate trial."
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On Wednesday, the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump, making him the third president in US history to be impeached by the body.
The Democratic-led House charged Trump with abuse of power for leveraging government aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponent and obstruction of Congress for attempting to stymie the investigations into his conduct.
It is now up to the Republican-majority Senate to hold a trial, following which they will almost certainly acquit the president. Trump will continue to hold office and can only be removed if at least two-third of the Senate vote to convict him.
But it's unclear when the Senate will begin the trial and how long it will last.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer disagree on how the trial should unfold. While Schumer wants some of the president's top aides and others close to testify, McConnell wants to exclude witnesses from testifying in order to speed up the process and acquit the president as quickly as possible.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has paused the process - not approving the charges to be sent to the Senate or announcing impeachment managers - as a way to try to pressure McConnell into including witnesses in the trial. McConnell has said it's "fine with me" if Democrats never send the charges to the Senate.
Pelosi has since responded, "I don't think anybody expected that we would have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the Senate at the same time."
The delay has infuriated Trump, who has long said he's looking forward to a "fair" trial in the Senate.
"So after the Democrats gave me no Due Process in the House, no lawyers, no witnesses, no nothing, they now want to tell the Senate how to run their trial," Trump tweeted on Thursday. "Actually, they have zero proof of anything, they will never even show up. They want out. I want an immediate trial!"
During the Senate trial, senators will act as jurors and the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, will act as the judge. But the Constitution provides very little guidance as to what this trial should look like, and congressional rules give senators significant leeway in determining how it should work.
Both Democrats and Republicans are interested in a speedy trial. While Democratic senators running for president will be eager to limit their time in Washington, Trump is desperate to move on from the damaging process. But it's unclear how long a trial would take. Former President Bill Clinton's 1998 Senate impeachment trial took about five weeks.
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