On Tuesday, the Senate voted to go forward with former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in a 56-44 vote, setting the stage for opening arguments to begin on Wednesday.
As the trial begins, speculation on which Republican senators may vote to convict Trump has been focused on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has reportedly not yet decided how he’ll vote at the end of the trial.
It is highly unlikely that house impeachment managers will be able to convince 17 Republicans to convict Trump, as 44 Republicans voted that the trial was unconstitutional on Tuesday.
As house impeachment managers attempt to prove that Trump ‘incited an insurrection,’ Trump’s lawyers are arguing that “Mr.Trump spoke for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. Of the over 10,000 words spoken, Mr. Trump used the word ‘fight’ a little more than a handful of times and each time in the figurative sense that has long been accepted in public discourse when urging people to stand and use their voices to be heard on matters important to them; it was not and could not be construed to encourage acts of violence.”
Both sides will have up to 16 hours to present their case, which is expected to take place into the weekend. Their arguments will be followed by four hours of questioning from Senators and then two hours of debate on whether witnesses will be allowed to testify. Although there are no witnesses expected to.
The final conviction vote is expected to take place early next week, but the trial could drag on longer depending on how it progresses.