Clinton's impeachment trial required a closed session and the conviction that the Senate had to go before the current policy to pass a resolution setting the ground rules to zero. Since then, the Chamber has passed a resolution. There is no shortage of hits caused by years of disputes over politics, nominations and loyalties to presidents.
"That's a damn big question," said Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, who recently spoke to explain the stakes – and the place in history – to his peers.
A precedent of bipartisanship
It was January 1999, and it became increasingly worrisome that the legislature had not approved the terms of the Clinton impeachment trial. At that point, Democrat Patrick Leahy, Vermont Senator, said he had gone to the Republican and Democratic leaders and asked them to bring lawmakers to the old Senate chamber to work out the ground rules for the coming weeks.
"I went to the floor around 4 pm." Tom Daschle and Miss Trent Lott were there ̵
Leahy said the leaders went to the press gallery and announced it.
"We had a few members in both parties, all of them & # 39; oh, you did not talk to us. It was irrelevant, we went in there and you had the most conservative to the most liberal (Members) Ideas that went back and forth, and the seriousness of what we did, you could feel it settled in … and we ended up getting procedures, "said Leahy.
In recent weeks, Leahy has said he has tried to persuade Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to go back the same way Republican members did to make his case.
"Some are so scared of the White House and the President speaks against them, that they are receptive, but" Pat does not tell anyone, "said Leahy.
The next Months will test the Senate and its leaders, raising the question of whether the body-with its partisan swings and new, passionate members-can separate politics and practicality-a modern negotiation brings with it additional complications which values loyalty above all and may view a Republican concession as a disintegration of its defense.
Senators from both parties agree that a bipartisan agreement on the trial is still possible.
"It may be," Senator Roy Blunt, a Missouri Democrat, who was in the house during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, said to the question agreement on a similar resolution could be reached. "Hopefully we'll achieve that."
Whether this hope can be translated into reality is another question.
"It does not do much to have a fair trial if it does not look fair." Senator Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican, told CNN. "So I would be cautious if I impose rules on the minority rashly."
There are many hurdles in a chamber in which non-binding resolutions are often suspended for partisan reasons. Close Trump's allies are committed to urging a swift dismissal of any House of Representative allegations and precluding the possibility of calling witness Joe Biden or his son Hunter involved in unproven allegations tied to the country.
McConnell and Schumer have to reach an agreement at least at the beginning. The two have acknowledged that they must meet soon to do just that. This meeting has not yet taken place, say helpers.
"I want the Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility and do so in a fair, balanced and orderly manner," Senator Lamar Alexander told CNN. "I suspect most senators think so, but we start with the leaders." no phone, the gravity of the moment hits you. You just can not ignore it. I suspect that will happen again. "
However, some Republicans, who have already dismissed the House – led trial as" fraudulent "and already accused Trump of being innocent before presenting the evidence, have made it clear they are ready to fight the minute the Senate Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, has argued that he will not support a trial structure that does not give the President and his attorney the opportunity to designate the whistleblower as a witness.
Chairman) Adam Schiff says he can veto defense witnesses then It is a total scam and a farce and I would like the repu It is not advisable for the Iranians to participate in anything that forbids Witnesses from defending, "Paul said.
What happens without agreement
The rules of the Senate guarantee at least some guard rails. If Parliament initiates impeachment for the third time in history, the Senate will be forced to stand trial six days a week. Every day the procedure began at exactly the same time in the afternoon, and the senators sat with their lips closed in their seats. The constitution is not clear on what exactly a trial in the Senate must involve, but it requires that the Supreme Judge, in this case John Roberts, have a wide discretion over the scope of the process.
The rules also require that all senators swear an oath before the trial, and the chairman may appoint a committee to do some of the investigative work "to obtain evidence and testify at such times and places which the committee may lay down ". This is a step many adjutants and senators have said that he is not serious.
However, if the legislature can approve a resolution such as the one during the impeachment of Clinton, the senators can change the process to their liking and possibly preserve the Senate's reputation as the largest advisory body.
"I hope we have leaders in both parties who recognize that it's not just the president in court when it comes to Senate remand, but the Senate who stands trial," Coons told CNN.