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At Sen. Wyden town hall, Oregonians demand answers, transparency ahead of Senate impeachment trial

Senator Ron Wyden hosted a town hall at Meridian Creek Middle School in Wilsonville on Saturday.

WILSONVILLE, Ore. — Days before the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is set to begin, Sen. Ron Wyden took the floor at a Wilsonville middle school to answer questions about what his constituents can expect.

“What are the chances that they will be able to call witnesses and get to the truth and be truly impartial?” asked Patricia McKenzie from Oregon City.

She was one of about 100 people who came to the senator’s latest town hall at Meridian Creek Middle School Saturday morning.

Wyden’s answer highlighted a key point of contention across party lines.

“First, as of now, there have been no rules adopted to govern the impeachment debate,” he said.

The details of this historic trial are up for negotiation, though earlier this month Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he already had the votes to move ahead with the process without Democrats.

If that remains the case, the trial would likely proceed without witness testimony.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been pushing for a deal that would include testimony from, among others, Trump administration officials.

The latest PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll shows Americans are split evenly over whether or not the Senate should remove President Trump from office.

The Senate is expected to start hearing arguments Tuesday.

At Wyden’s town hall Saturday, people demanded transparency.

“We just want the information out there to best understand what happened and whether it was illegal or not to proceed forward and get on with what government is intended to do, which is work for the people,” said Bob Rees.

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