Trump impeachment trial: Legal teams to begin closing arguments

U.S. President Donald Trump was on the brink of ending the darkest chapter of his tumultuous presidency on Monday as the U.S. Senate began the final phase of his impeachment trial that will almost certainly conclude on Wednesday with his acquittal.

The 100 senators will hear four hours of closing arguments split equally between Trump’s legal team and prosecutors from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which charged him with abusing power by pressuring Ukraine to probe political rival Joe Biden, and then obstructing their inquiry.

The Republican-run Senate voted on Friday not to hear from witnesses including Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, despite a strong push by Democrats and opinion polls showing most Americans wanted to hear from them.

When the arguments are complete, the senators will be able to make speeches until Wednesday when a final vote will be taken at 4 p.m. ET to determine whether Trump is guilty of the charges and should be removed from office.

The tenor of the speeches is expected to reflect the deepening polarization between Democrats and Republicans as senators seek to justify to the American public why they plan to vote yay or nay for ousting Trump.

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