Brazil's Senate has begun deliberating on whether to permanently remove President Dilma Rousseff from office.

The impeachment trial is the final step in a leadership fight that has all but paralyzed Congress since a measure to impeach her was introduced in the lower chamber late last year.

Brazil's first female president is accused of illegally shifting money between government budgets to mask yawning deficits. Detractors say she did that to shore up support and argue those maneuvers exacerbated the recession in Latin America's largest economy.

Rousseff denies wrongdoing. Instead, she says her enemies are conducting a "coup."

The Senate impeached and suspended Rousseff in May. Vice President Michel Temer took over.

Several days of testimony will culminate in a final vote next week.