Deliberations, closing arguments over in Trump impeachment trial

Senate set to acquit Trump at 4 p.m. Wednesday

Tuesday was the final day of deliberations in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which will end Wednesday with an all-but-certain Senate vote to acquit the nation’s 45th chief executive of Democrat charges of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Senators convened about 9:30 a.m. for a final, full day of debate. Later, Trump will become the nation’s second president to deliver a State of the Union address while still on trial for impeachment, a speech that will be carried live on at 9 p.m.

Watch day 13 of the trial here.

On Jan. 19, 1999, President Bill Clinton delivered his address while also under impeachment proceedings in the Senate.

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Closing arguments concluded Monday, with House prosecutors and Trump’s defense team making one last appeal to the 100 men and women who will vote on whether to remove the president from office.

The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate, or 67 senators, to convict in an impeachment trial.

»Here’s what will happen this week in Trump impeachment

Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate, while Democrats hold 45. However, two Independents — including presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont — regularly caucus with Democrats, giving the nation’s blue party 47 votes.

If the Senate votes along party lines regarding impeachment — as did the House — 20 Republican senators would have to join Democrats in convicting Trump and removing him from office.

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The first article of impeachment passed by the House charges Trump with abuse of power.

Democrats allege Trump “solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election to his advantage.”

»Read the best lines from President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial

The “election prospects of a political opponent” refer to former Vice President Joe Biden, currently a front-runner in a narrowing field of Democratic White House hopefuls.

The president “also sought to pressure the government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official U.S. government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of investigations.”

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Democrats argue the president “used the powers of his presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process. He thus ignored and injured the interests of the nation.”