Trump impeachment: What happens next?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Here is what to look out for next as the proceedings advance in U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate:

Jan. 20

* The House has until noon (1700 GMT) to file its reply to Trump’s response to the Senate trial summons.

* Trump has until noon (1700 GMT) to file a trial brief that would contain detailed arguments and materials from his lawyers.

Starting Jan. 21

* If the White House has filed a trial brief on behalf of Trump, the House has until noon (1700 GMT) to file a rebuttal brief if it so chooses.

* The trial resumes at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) and is expected to continue six days a week, with the exception of Sundays.

* A vote could be held sometime during Jan. 21 on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed rules governing the first phase of the trial, which would leave open the option of voting later on whether witnesses would testify and new evidence could be introduced.

* Democrats are expected to try to amend McConnell’s rules to stipulate that witnesses must be called, possibly leading to extended debate over the rules of the trial.

* Once the rules governing the trial have been adopted, Democratic House “managers” who form the prosecution team would begin to present their case against Trump. It is unclear whether that will start on Jan. 21 or slip to the next day. When the House managers have finished, the president’s team will respond with its opening arguments. The arguments are expected to take several days to present, with the senators, sitting as jurors, listening.

* Following the opening arguments, senators would be given time to submit questions to each side.

Late January to early February

* Democrats are expected to continue pushing to hear from witnesses during the trial. If McConnell’s resolution on initial trial rules is adopted, as expected, senators would likely vote some time after the trial has started on whether to introduce witness testimony sought by the Democrats.

Feb. 4

* Trump is scheduled to deliver the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

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