Advocates for and against US President Donald Trump gave no ground on Sunday over his impeachment trial, digging in on whether a crime is required for his conviction and removal, and whether witnesses will be called.
Even as Mr Trump’s defence team and the House prosecutor pressed their cases on TV talk shows, mystery still surrounded the basic structure for the impeachment trial – only the third in American history – which resumes on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shed no light on what will differ from Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999.
All sides agitated to get on with it, most of all the four Democratic senators running for president and facing the prospect of being marooned in the Senate chamber for the trial heading into Iowa’s kick-off caucus on February 3.
Democratic representative Jason Crow, of Colorado, one of the seven impeachment prosecutors who will make the case for Trump’s removal, said: “The president deserves a fair trial. The American people deserve a fair trial. So let’s have that fair trial.”
Whatever happens in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Mr Trump will “be impeached forever”.
Members of the president’s team said if they it means “an acquittal forever as well”.
Lawyer Robert Ray said on Sunday. “That is the task ahead.”
The House on Decenber 18 voted mostly along party lines to impeach, or indict, Mr Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
He denies both charges as the products of a “witch hunt” and a “hoax”, and has cast himself as a victim of Democrats who want to overturn his 2016 election.