Clinton Trial: Day One: The Rules of the Hearing

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The Independent Online
ONLY THE second Senate trial of a president and the first this century is to be regulated by rules set for the first impeachment trial - Andrew Johnson's in 1868 - and updated only minimally.

The Chief Justice presides in the chamber. William Rehnquist, 72, will be addressed as Mr Chief Justice. He is a specialist in constitutional law and has made a special study of impeachment.

One of the rules altered for President Clinton's trial is the timetable. On most days proceedings are to start at 1pm rather than noon, to accommodate Mr Rehnquist's Supreme Court commitments.

The prosecution is represented by the 13 "managers" appointed by the House of Representatives. All are Republicans, all are lawyers and all are on the Judiciary Committee, which formulated articles of impeachment against Mr Clinton in the House. They are led by Henry Hyde, who chaired the Judiciary Committee proceedings.

The President's defence counsel consists of seven lawyers, led by Charles Ruff. Mr Ruff, the White House chief counsel, will sum up.

The 100 senators, acting as jurors, must remain silent. They may ask questions and raise objections only in writing.When votes are cast, each senator must rise in turn and state their vote.

The first part of the trial is expected to last 10 days. Votes are then likely to be taken on whether to dismiss or to continue and whether witnesses should be called or more evidence be sought.