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Trump’s humiliating impeachment trial: WH on edge over rules that can change anytime


Donald Trump faces an indignity most Presidents have never experienced – a public trial of his conduct and fitness for office. In this original, exhaustive report, MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber details several constitutional and historical keys to understanding the trial process. Contrary to much of the DC “punditry,” Melber explains there is no way to predict key parts of the trial, because the rules themselves are unpredictable. The arcane process enables Senators to change core rules as the trial proceeds, for example, adding or subtracting witnesses and evidence, or shortening the trial in the middle. Melber likens that process to the Senate’s jazz improvisation, and recounts historical examples to prove the point – which means unlike most other DC battles, individual senators may have more leverage than Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Trump’s “fate” will not automatically be resolved by decisions made at the beginning of the trial, because they can chance. This special report, airing in the wake of the House impeachment, may answer many questions swirling around one of the most pivotal stories of 2019 and 2020.