The Senate has approved rules for President Donald Trump’s trial on two articles of impeachment. Nearly 13 hours after the first full day of the trial began, senators voted along party lines to accept the rules at close to 2 a.m. Wednesday. Democrats failed to persuade Republicans to agree to issue subpoenas for documents and witnesses, though those matters can be revisited later. After one particularly bitter exchange, Chief Justice John Roberts admonished the Democratic House managers and the White House counsel to “remember where they are.” Earlier, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dropped plans for two late-night sessions to hear opening arguments, instead spreading arguments over three days.
Opening statements and the first witness testimony are expected Wednesday in Harvey Weinstein’s New York City rape trial. The once-celebrated “Pulp Fiction” producer faces the possibility of life in prison if he’s convicted. Though dozens of women have accused Weinstein of misconduct, his New York trial involves just a pair of allegations. Prosecutors say he raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulted a different woman in 2006. Weinstein’s lawyers say any encounters were consensual. They point to emails they say show Weinstein and some of his accusers were in consenting relationships.
President Donald Trump says he’ll hold a news conference before he leaves Switzerland to return to Washington and his impeachment trial in the Senate. Trump announced Wednesday’s availability during a meeting with the president of Iraq. Trump has been attending the annual World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. The Republican president says he’s had tremendous success at the forum. Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate reconvened on Tuesday.
Chinese health authorities are urging people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings after warning that a new viral illness infecting hundreds of people in the country and causing at least nine deaths could spread further. A national health official says 440 cases are confirmed in China. The nine deaths are all in Hubei province, where the first cases were reported last month. The illness comes from a new coronavirus that experts say may be spread through the respiratory tract and may be mutating. A World Health Organization meeting in Geneva later Wednesday will determine whether to declare the outbreak a global health crisis.