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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate blocked Democratic attempts on Tuesday to obtain evidence and call a witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, an early sign the proceeding could advance on lines favorable to Trump.
As the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history began in earnest, Trump’s chief legal defender described the case as a baseless effort to overturn the 2016 election and a top Democratic lawmaker said there was “overwhelming” evidence of wrongdoing.
After U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts convened the proceedings, the two sides quickly began squabbling over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed rules for a trial to determine if Trump should be removed from office.
Trump, who was impeached last month by the Democratic-led House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, is accused of pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, and then impeding the inquiry into the matter.
The president denies any wrongdoing and describes his impeachment as a partisan hoax to derail his 2020 re-election effort.
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