Lawyers for Mr. Trump can also revisit the question of whether it is constitutional to hold the trial in the first place, since he is no longer in office. They got off to an uncertain start on Tuesday in a debate over the constitutionality of the trial, delivering a performance that angered Mr. Trump. After hearing arguments on this issue, the Senate voted 56 to 44 to continue the trial.
The trial is moving forward quickly, which has advantages for Republicans and Democrats. Democratic lawmakers want to move forward with President Biden’s proposed coronavirus relief plan, and impeachment will consume much of the oxygen on the Senate side of Capitol Hill for as long as the trial lasts. Republicans are grappling with deep divisions over the party’s future now that Mr. Trump has been removed from office, and the procedure centers on his conduct.
Mr. Trump’s defense team has up to 4 p.m. over two days for oral arguments, but one of his attorneys, David I. Schoen, said they could only use three to four hours. Once they are finished, senators will have up to four hours to question both parties.
A final vote on whether to convict Mr. Trump could take place on Saturday, a time frame that would make it the fastest impeachment trial for a president in American history.