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Brazil's Huge Impeachment Trial's First Day Shut Down Almost As Soon As It Began

An argument between senators cut short the first day of what is sure to be an acrimonious — and brief — trial in Brazil's Senate. It will pick up again on Friday.

Posted on August 25, 2016, at 5:09 p.m. ET

The impeachment trial of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is off to a rocky start after it was shut down on the first day thanks to a flurry of name-calling among members of Brazil's Senate.

Evaristo Sa / AFP / Getty Images

The craziness kicked off when Gleisi Hoffman, a senator from Rousseff's party, told her fellow senators that none of them had the moral authority to judge Dilma, who is facing permanent removal from the presidency.

TV Senado / Reprodução

An opposition senator was having none of that and referred to Hoffman's husband, who was arrested as part of the massive corruption scandal that opened the door politically to Rousseff's impeachment, as a "retired burglar."

She fired back by saying the farm that the opposition senator owned uses slave labor, and it all kind of went downhill from there.

The word "scoundrel" was thrown around, as were hints that certain senators used cocaine, and it was generally a mess.
Evaristo Sa / AFP / Getty Images

The word "scoundrel" was thrown around, as were hints that certain senators used cocaine, and it was generally a mess.

Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, who is presiding over the trial, opted to suspend the session rather than let people keep screaming at each other.

Evaristo Sa / AFP / Getty Images

The trial has been months in the waiting, after both houses of Brazil's Congress voted to suspend Rousseff and send her to the Senate for trial, facing charges of breaking budget laws during her time in office.

Andressa Anholete / AFP / Getty Images

Her trial is expected to be a short one, with a verdict coming as soon as next week, and will likely spell the end of her Workers' Party's lengthy time in power in Brazil.

Interim President Michel Temer, who is leading the country in Rousseff's stead, will take over the office for the rest of her term should she be found guilty.
Miguel Schincariol / AFP / Getty Images

Interim President Michel Temer, who is leading the country in Rousseff's stead, will take over the office for the rest of her term should she be found guilty.

Thursday wasn't even supposed to be the most dramatic day of the trial — that's set to be Monday, when Rousseff herself will take the stand and we assume the scene will be something like this:

Dreamworks Pictures

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