The impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump began in the Senate even as the Senate Republicans and Democrats remained divided over the law and important procedural issues.
New York: The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began in US Senate on Tuesday (local time), the House largely controlled by the Republican party.
Al Jazeera reported that the impeachment trial began even as the Senate Republicans and Democrats remained divided over the law and important procedural issue.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced three amendments -- all requesting relevant documents from the White House, State Department and Office of Budget and Management. The Senate voted along party lines to table, or kill, the amendments, reported CNN.
Meanwhile, Trump took to Twitter as the impeachment trial got underway. He tweeted, "READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!"
Last month, the US House of Representatives had voted to impeach President Donald Trump. The US President has frequently criticised the impeachment trial terming it a "witch-hunt" and "hoax".
Given the Republican majority in the House, it is unlikely that Trump will be impeached. US President flew to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum.
On Wednesday, the Democratic-led House voted to formally choose the seven impeachment managers who will serve as prosecutors arguing Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress. They include House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren, Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, Congresswoman Val Demmings, Congressman Jason Crow and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia.
Trump is accused of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a gas company in Ukraine, as Trump withheld $391 million in military aid that he later released. The president is also accused of subsequently obstructing a congressional probe into his actions.
The Republican Party holds a 53-47 majority in the chamber, and conviction requires a two-thirds majority, meaning if all Democrats voted to convict, then 20 Republicans would have to also vote that way for Trump to be convicted and removed from office.
This is the third time in the country's 244-year history a US president has been impeached and targeted for removal from office.
Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 were both impeached by the House but acquitted in Senate trials. A fourth president, Richard Nixon, resigned in 1974 in the face of certain impeachment in a political corruption scandal.
Last Updated 8:37 AM IST