The US Senate has approved the rules for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, who is facing charges which may lead him to be removed from power.
Trump is being charged with abuse of power to gain advantage over his political rival and osbruct the investigations against him when he did not allow White House officials to testify in the proceedings.
The Senate rules were approved on the first day of the hearing with a vote of 53 against 47, in conformity with party lines. The hearing remained in session until the early hours of the morning, at the end of which the Democrats did not manage to obtain a majority for the hearing to be presented with new evidence and witnesses.
At the same time, the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch Mc Connell, withdrew his proposal for the opening speeches at the hearing to be heard in two days instead of three, with the Democrats calling this an attempted cover-up.
The Senators took their oath to act as impartial jurors, and will be hearing the speeches for six hours daily, six days a week, in front of Chief Justice John Roberts. It is not yet known how long these hearings will take.
Trump is facing impeachment trial in Senate