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McConnell softens hard-line tactics on Trump trial

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Impeachment rules softened, but still stonewall

Senate Republicans on Tuesday backed down from an aggressive timetable and new restrictions on evidence in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, changing course after protests from senators like Republican Susan Collins of Maine.

Instead of cramming as many as 48 hours of opening arguments from House impeachment managers and the White House counsel into just four days this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s resolution will now give each side 24 hours to speak over three days. That could ultimately extend the trial by two days. And a controversial provision in the plan that would not have automatically included the House’s evidence was also scuttled from a previous draft.

Collins, a key swing vote, viewed the changes to the rules package as "a significant improvement" over Monday's draft, said spokeswoman Annie Clark.

"She and others raised concerns about the 24 hours of opening statements in 2 days and the admission of the House transcript [in] the record. Her position has been that the trial should follow the Clinton model as much as possible," Clark said.

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