Senate leaders are closing in on a schedule for Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial that allows the proceedings to pause over the Sabbath, according to three aides familiar with the talks.
The schedule, which is not final, would accommodate a request from one of Trump’s lawyers, David Schoen, an observant Jew who told Senate leaders that he would not work from sundown Friday through Saturday. Under the tentative agreement, the trial would resume on Sunday.
Senators from both parties are aiming for a swift trial that lasts around a week. The proceedings will officially kick off on Tuesday, less than a month after the House impeached Trump in a bipartisan vote for his role in inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“We are finalizing a resolution that’s been agreed to by all parties,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday morning.
The procedures being worked out between Senate leaders would also allow for up to four hours of debate on Tuesday about the constitutionality of putting a former president on trial. The Senate would then vote on whether the trial is constitutional.
The vast majority of the Senate GOP conference, 45 out of 50, previously voted for a motion declaring that the Senate has no constitutional jurisdiction over an ex-president. That argument is expected to be a key theme of Trump’s defense, but the Senate is expected to uphold the trial’s constitutionality.
Beginning on Wednesday, each side would have up to 16 hours to lay out their case. The tentative agreement also allows for the House managers to ask for a debate and subsequent votes on whether to call witnesses.
The House managers have declined to publicly detail their strategy for the trial, including whether they will move to seek testimony from witnesses. Most Senate Democrats, who are eager to finish the trial quickly, have said witnesses are not necessary because much of the House’s case relies on Trump’s public statements and actions.
During their presentations, the House managers are expected to rely heavily on videos showing Trump’s rhetoric leading up to Jan. 6, including his remarks the morning of the insurrection.
Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.
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