Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begins today in the US Senate. Here’s what it means and what’s going to happen.
In a sentence: Donald Trump is going on trial and, if found guilty, could be removed from office.
In a paragraph: US senators will listen to evidence and decide whether the president has committed a “high crime or misdemeanour”.
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In 100 words: Mr Trump has been accused of inviting a foreign government to interfere in his re-election campaign by asking Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
In order to reach this stage, Mr Trump was impeached – which means Congress voted on whether they believed there was a case against him.
It is only the third time in US history a president has gone on trial – with Andrew Johnson in 1869 and Bill Clinton in 1999 the first two.
For Mr Trump to be found guilty, two thirds of the Republican-majority Senate will have to agree he has harmed the “election prospects of a political rival” and “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests” of the US – something that is unlikely.
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Several witnesses for the prosecution could be called and the process is expected to take several weeks.
If he is found guilty, he could be stripped of his office, but if the Democrats fail in their attempt to convict Mr Trump, it could backfire for them.
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What’s happening today: The Senate is expected to vote to approve a document setting out how the trial will be organised over the coming weeks.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he is willing to allow each side 24 hours of hearings and depositions in which to set out their case but over two days, meaning each day will be a long one for senators.