(AP) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing a condensed, two-day calendar for opening arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, ground rules that are raising objections from Democrats on the eve of the landmark proceedings.
The Republican leader outlined the process in a four-page resolution that will be voted on as one of the first orders of business when senators convene Tuesday.
It also pushes off any votes on witnesses until later in the process, rather than up front, as Democrats had demanded.
President Donald Trump’s legal team is asserting that he did “absolutely nothing wrong" and is calling the impeachment case “flimsy” and a “dangerous perversion of the Constitution."
The brief from Trump’s lawyers was filed before arguments expected this week in the Senate impeachment trial.
It offered the most detailed glimpse of the defense they intend to use against Democratic efforts to convict the president and oust him from office.
It is meant as a counter to a brief filed by House Democrats that summarized weeks of testimony from more than a dozen witnesses in laying out the impeachment case.
The impeachment trial will resume Tuesday and may start with a fight over the ground rules.
Four Democratic presidential candidates will be forced back to Washington from the early nominating states to join every other senator in silence on the Senate floor.
Trump’s lawyers on Sunday previewed their impeachment defense with the questionable assertion that the charges against him are invalid, adopting a position rejected by Democrats as “nonsense.”
Democrats say Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress over his pressure on Ukraine for political help. The Republican president denies doing anything wrong.