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As you know, today at 1:00 pm EST the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump officially begins.

Here are a few rules as the Trump Impeachment Trial begins:

  • Senators are banned from talking and using their cell phones during the proceedings.
  • Senator MUST be present from start to finish.


Fox News has done the hard work of explaining exactly what we can expect, but I’ll condense it down to make it seem less complex.

  • * Please note these times are approximated and will undoubtedly change.


1 PM

At 1 pm there will be some preliminary business.

2 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will offer his resolution dictating the parameters of the trial. The Senate has two hours to debate it and they probably will, absent unanimous consent to forgo it.

3:30 PM

At somewhere around 3:30 pm Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will offer his counter-proposal.

The Senate gets two hours to debate that as well, but only impeachment managers and the president’s counsel will be debating it, not members of the Senate. It’s because Schumer’s counter-proposal is just a branch on McConnell’s amendment ‘tree’ or something.

6 PM

At approximately 6 PM Fox News says a potential wild card could happen.

Fox News states it expects that after the two-hour debate the Senate could enter a closed-door session meaning lawmakers essentially would kick everyone out of the chamber: the public, the media, the president’s legal team, and the impeachment managers.

The only people left: senators, Roberts and essential floor staff.

Fox News has no idea how long this could go, but it would happen in the Senate chamber itself, not the Old Senate Chamber.

Related Story: Senate Considering Trump Impeachment ‘Kill Switch’ If Trial Spirals out of Control


This would be a deviation from what happened in 1999.

Prior to then-President Clinton’s impeachment trial, all 100 senators met in the Old Senate Chamber to forge an agreement on how to proceed in the trial.

Here, the trial already has begun. Thus, in this circumstance, the Senate is debating how it will grapple with Schumer’s proposal or proposals – and, to some degree, McConnell’s.

Senators need to do this because they have a series of trial proposals on the floor. The debate time would be allocated to the impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers, so senators would have to sort this out on their own.

Whenever that closed session ends, the Senate will return to open session with or without an agreement.

Then they will begin voting on the agreements and/or proposals, starting with Schumer’s first and McConnell’s last.

These votes will establish the framework for the trial.


Who knows what time it is now.

Once these votes are completed and the framework for the impeachment trial is set, the first day is over. 


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