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Day One: President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Day one of President Trump's Senate impeachment trial is underway.

On Tuesday, President Trump arrived in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.

Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., President Trump's Senate impeachment trial began, with prosecutors from the House of Representatives and lawyers for the White House tangling over how the case should proceed.

"Finally some fairness," said Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

"A trial without evidence is a coverup," said Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.

The defense team called the impeachment a "brazenly political act" and urged Senators to "speedily reject" the articles.

"The President has done absolutely nothing wrong," Pat Cipollone, White House Defense said.

"He would hide graphic evidence of his dangerous misconduct," said Representative Adam Schiff, House Impeachment Manager.

This followed a bitter clash over the impeachment rules.

The Senate's top Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said he was following the Bill Clinton impeachment model that allowed each side 24-hours to make its case.

"The process was good enough for President Clinton, and basic fairness dictates that it ought to be good enough for this President as well," Senator McConnell said.

However, Democrats said there's a key difference. They said it would force each side to make their argument during the span of two long days and that it would force the arguments late into the overnight hours when fewer Americans are watching.

"Why don't they want the case to be presented in broad daylight on something as important as impeachment," said Senator Schumer. "The McConnell resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace."

However, a surprise change.

McConnell made a last minute change to the impeachment rules. The changes include allowing both sides three days for opening statements as well as allowing certain house documents to be put into evidence.

The first day of the impeachment trial caught the attention of millions across the country, including several students at Purdue Fort Wayne.

"It is pretty monumental especially because we're living through it," said Collin Cowarz, a sophomore at PFW. "It's the second time for a lot of people's lives, but for me it's the first."

"There needs to be a lot more understanding in Washington," said Sebastien Wilson, a freshman at PFW. "A lot more cooperation with both the parties."

As for the Senators, also the jurors in this case, they will be playing an unusual role as spectators on their own floor. They are forbidden from speaking. If they have any questions, they must submit those questions in writing.

Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at ltran@wpta21.com.

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