Sunday, January 24, 1999 Published at 03:07 GMT
Key senator's call to end trial
Chief Justice Rehnquist reads the first question posed in the Senate
Robert Byrd, a prominent Democrat in the Senate, has called for the impeachment case against President Clinton to be dismissed.
"I plan to make this motion not because I believe the president did no wrong, in fact I believe he has caused his friends, family and the nation great pain," he said.
Mr Byrd is known for his non-partisan commitment to the Constitution and procedure, and Republicans are known to have been looking to him for guidance on how to proceed with impeachment.
Questions and answers
After listening to defence and prosecution presentations for two weeks, senators had their first chance on Friday to become more actively involved.
On Friday, Republicans used their questions to advance their arguments for calling witnesses, asking why the defence team has avoided certain compelling reasons why witnesses should be called.
Prosecutors described some of the president's testimony as evasive and misleading, and went into fine detail on discrepancies between the testimony of President Clinton's secretary Bettie Currie and Monica Lewinsky.
Rep Ed Bryant of Tennessee, one of the prosecutors, seized the opportunity to answer the first question, which had asked if the president's lawyers had mischaracterised any issues in their presentation.
He said the president's lawyers had left out important evidence that would have provided "ample corroboration," arguing that Monica Lewinsky's testimony was verified by White House records, phone logs and the testimony of her friends and Secret Service agents.
Answering the first Democrat question, White House Counsel Charles Ruff said Mr Clinton's defence team had laid out specific instances where they disagreed with the prosecutors' conclusions, but were not broadly condemning those conclusions.
All sides are now engaged in behind-the-scenes manoeuvres over Monday's vote, which could prolong the hearing for months or bring it to a swift conclusion.
However, BBC Washington Correspondent Paul Reynolds says that whatever happens, most people believe the president will not be convicted of the charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.
Democrats have been pleased by the strength of the president's defence, which closed on Thursday.
Even Republicans praised a highly emotional speech by Mr Clinton's long-time friend Dale Bumpers.
"You're here today because the president suffered a terrible moral lapse, a marital infidelity. Not a breach of the public trust, not a crime against society," he told the senators.
"The American people are now - and for some time have been - asking to be allowed a good night's sleep. They're asking for an end to this nightmare. It is a legitimate request," he said.
Republicans hold the balance of power in the Senate with 55 seats to 45, but few people believe they will get the two-thirds majority needed to remove Mr Clinton.