The Americas

Brazil Senate starts impeachment trial of President Rousseff

  • Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff smiles during a rally in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Brazil’s Senate braces for a final showdown in a trial that could overthrow President Rousseff after months of lengthy proceedings in Congress. She is accused of breaking fiscal laws, in managing the federal budget as her government ran out of resources. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff smiles during a rally in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Brazil’s Senate braces for a final showdown in a trial that could overthrow President Rousseff after months of lengthy proceedings in Congress. She is accused of breaking fiscal laws, in managing the federal budget as her government ran out of resources. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff arrives at a rally in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Brazil’s Senate braces for a final showdown in a trial that could overthrow President Rousseff after months of lengthy proceedings in Congress. She is accused of breaking fiscal laws, in managing the federal budget as her government ran out of resources. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff arrives at a rally in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Brazil’s Senate braces for a final showdown in a trial that could overthrow President Rousseff after months of lengthy proceedings in Congress. She is accused of breaking fiscal laws, in managing the federal budget as her government ran out of resources. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman carries a flower in support of Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff, during a rally in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Brazil’s Senate braces for a final showdown in a trial that could overthrow President Rousseff after months of lengthy proceedings in Congress. She is accused of breaking fiscal laws, in managing the federal budget as her government ran out of resources. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    A woman carries a flower in support of Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff, during a rally in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Brazil’s Senate braces for a final showdown in a trial that could overthrow President Rousseff after months of lengthy proceedings in Congress. She is accused of breaking fiscal laws, in managing the federal budget as her government ran out of resources. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

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.