İrem UZUN -TDO- After more than 12 hours of debate and several failed Democratic bids for amendments calling for documents and witnesses, the U.S. Senate approved a resolution along party lines outlining the rules that will govern the impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump. With Republicans banding together, the Senate early on Wednesday voted 53-47 to adopt the trial plan.

Under the rules approved by the Republican majority after a first day of proceedings, each side will be given up to 24 hours to lay out their case in opening arguments, over three days. Senators are barred from live tweeting and from speaking to those sitting near them while the case is being heard. No outside reading materials are allowed to be brought in. Opening arguments will begin on Wednesday afternoon.

After the finish, probably early next week, senators will have a chance to ask questions. They have been given 16 hours. Then attention will return again to the key issue of new witnesses and evidence. Democrats want to hear from key White House aides who worked closely with Trump, including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser, John Bolton. Republicans have so far blocked their attempts. The Trump administration has said evidence from Mr Bolton would pose a national security threat - a claim dismissed by Democrats as a smokescreen.

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