web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu

What to Watch For in the Trump Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167611314_f494e482-874c-489d-ae1d-d6502b43e39c-facebookJumbo What to Watch For in the Trump Impeachment Trial United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate House of Representatives Democratic Party Bolton, John R

In a protracted presentation on Wednesday, House impeachment managers pressed their case that President Trump should be removed from office, accusing him of enlisting the help of a foreign government to damage political rivals.

Democrats continued to insist that testimony from witnesses like John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, was critical to conduct a fair trial. But much of the first day of arguments was spent rehashing well-known details of the impeachment inquiry and reviewing evidence and video clips that House Democrats have presented as a narrative arc documenting a coordinated pressure campaign against Ukraine.

Those arguments will continue on Thursday.

What we’re expecting to see: The seven members of the House will continue delivering their opening arguments, building on the case against the president that they began on Wednesday. After spending about eight hours in session on Wednesday, of a maximum of 24, they have time to flesh out their case on Thursday.

When we’re likely to see it: Managers are expected to take the floor at 1 p.m., and are likely to stay for another eight hours, wrapping up about 9:45 p.m.

How to follow it: The New York Times’s congressional team will be following the developments on Capitol Hill and reporters covering the White House will get the latest from Mr. Trump’s defense team. Visit nytimes.com for coverage throughout the day.

How the impeachment managers divide their 24 hours is up to them. In President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, the Republican leadership opted not to take the full time allotted to them, keeping their opening arguments relatively succinct.

As House managers proceed on Thursday, a clearer picture may emerge of how much of the now-familiar case against the president is left to cover, and how thoroughly they intend to dive back into the details of the House impeachment inquiry.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Impeachment Trial: What to Watch Thursday

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167611314_f494e482-874c-489d-ae1d-d6502b43e39c-facebookJumbo Trump Impeachment Trial: What to Watch Thursday United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate House of Representatives Democratic Party Bolton, John R

In a protracted presentation on Wednesday, House impeachment managers pressed their case that President Trump should be removed from office, accusing him of enlisting the help of a foreign government to damage political rivals.

Democrats continued to insist that testimony from witnesses like John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, was critical to conduct a fair trial. But much of the first day of arguments was spent rehashing well-known details of the impeachment inquiry and reviewing evidence and video clips that House Democrats have presented as a narrative arc documenting a coordinated pressure campaign against Ukraine.

Those arguments will continue on Thursday.

What we’re expecting to see: The seven members of the House will continue delivering their opening arguments, building on the case against the president that they began on Wednesday. After spending about eight hours in session on Wednesday, of a maximum of 24, they have time to flesh out their case on Thursday.

When we’re likely to see it: Managers are expected to take the floor at 1 p.m., and are likely to stay for another eight hours, wrapping up about 9:45 p.m.

How to follow it: The New York Times’s congressional team will be following the developments on Capitol Hill and reporters covering the White House will get the latest from Mr. Trump’s defense team. Visit nytimes.com for coverage throughout the day.

How the impeachment managers divide their 24 hours is up to them. In President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, the Republican leadership opted not to take the full time allotted to them, keeping their opening arguments relatively succinct.

As House managers proceed on Thursday, a clearer picture may emerge of how much of the now-familiar case against the president is left to cover, and how thoroughly they intend to dive back into the details of the House impeachment inquiry.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In Impeachment Case, Schiff Accuses Trump of Trying ‘to Cheat’ in Election

WASHINGTON — The House Democratic impeachment managers began formal arguments in the Senate trial on Wednesday, presenting a meticulous and scathing case for convicting President Trump and removing him from office on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House prosecutor, took the lectern in the chamber as senators sat silently preparing to weigh Mr. Trump’s fate. Speaking in an even, measured manner, he accused the president of a corrupt scheme to pressure Ukraine for help “to cheat” in the 2020 presidential election.

Invoking the nation’s founders and their fears that a self-interested leader might subvert democracy for his own personal gain, Mr. Schiff argued that the president’s conduct was precisely what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they devised the remedy of impeachment, one he said was “as powerful as the evil it was meant to combat.”

“If not remedied by his conviction in the Senate, and removal from office, President Trump’s abuse of his office and obstruction of Congress will permanently alter the balance of power among the branches of government,” Mr. Schiff said in his opening remarks. “The president has shown that he believes that he’s above the law and scornful of constraint.”

The Senate proceeding, the third impeachment trial of a president in the nation’s history, was fraught with partisan rancor and political consequence both for Mr. Trump and for the two parties grappling over his future.

In a series of speeches, Mr. Schiff and the six other impeachment managers asserted that the president pressured Ukraine to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden, while withholding as leverage nearly $400 million in security aid for Kyiv and a White House meeting for its president. When he was caught, they said, Mr. Trump ordered a cover-up, blocking witnesses and denying Congress the evidence that could corroborate his scheme.

“President Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to a strategic partner at war with Russia to secure foreign help with his re-election,” Mr. Schiff declared. “In other words, to cheat.”

As the Democrats laid out their now-familiar case, there was little doubt about the outcome of the trial, which is all but certain to end in Mr. Trump’s acquittal in the Senate, where it would take 67 votes to convict and remove him. But the contours of the trial remained up in the air, as Republicans and Democrats continued to feud over whether to consider additional evidence, including witnesses the president has forbade from cooperating with the inquiry.

Mr. Trump — impatient for his legal team to have a chance to mount a vigorous defense of his behavior — seethed from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, hurling insults at the impeachment managers and telling reporters he would like to personally attend the Senate trial in order to “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.”

At a news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, Mr. Trump said that John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, could not be allowed to testify because he “knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments, war and peace and different things — that’s a national security problem.”

Mr. Schiff insisted in his opening arguments that fairness demanded hearing from Mr. Bolton, who has pledged to testify if the Senate subpoenas him, and other White House officials. Democrats angrily rejected the suggestion that they might agree to call Hunter Biden in exchange for Mr. Bolton’s appearance.

“This isn’t like some fantasy football trade,” Mr. Schiff said before the trial commenced Wednesday. “Trials aren’t trades for witnesses.”

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, told reporters the idea was “off the table.”

A set of closed-door negotiations among senators appears likely to soon intensify as Democrats plot their strategy for winning a vote on witnesses, which would require the votes of a handful of centrist Republican senators who have signaled they are open to the idea. Votes on the matter are likely next week, after the House managers and White House lawyers complete their arguments and senators have had a chance to submit questions about the case.

On the first day of oral arguments, Mr. Schiff opened with a plea for patience, telling senators that “we have some very long days yet to come.” But senators already seemed restless; many passed notes to each other, and as the hours wore on, a handful of seats were frequently empty as lawmakers from both parties slipped out of the chamber for brief respites from the weighty — and often very tedious — arguments.

A protester in the Senate gallery briefly interrupted arguments from Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, shouting epithets about a Democratic senator and yelling that Democrats support abortion before being dragged out by Capitol Hill police officers.

On the floor, the managers sought to place Mr. Trump’s Ukraine pressure campaign in the context of what they called a broader impulse by the president to cede America’s foreign policy to Russia. It was no coincidence, Mr. Schiff argued, that Mr. Trump had asked the president of Ukraine for investigations into his rivals just one day after Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, issued his report.

Video

transcript

House Managers Begin Arguments, Republicans Bristle at Their Tone

The House impeachment managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff, opened their case for convicting President Trump. Republican senators criticized the tenor of the arguments.

“We are here today in this hallowed chamber, undertaking this solemn action for only the third time in history, because Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has acted precisely as Hamilton and his contemporaries feared. President Trump solicited foreign interference in our democratic elections, abusing the power of his office to seek help from abroad to improve his re-election prospects at home. President Trump withheld two official acts to induce the Ukrainian leader to comply: a head of state meeting in the Oval Office and military funding. Both were of great consequence to Ukraine, and to our national interest and security. But one looms largest: President Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to a strategic partner at war with Russia to secure foreign help with his re-election. In other words, to cheat.” “They’re on a crusade to destroy this man, and they don’t care what they destroy in the process of trying to destroy Donald Trump. I do care. So to my Democratic colleagues, you can say what you want about me. But I’m covering up nothing. I’m exposing your hatred of this president to the point that you would destroy the institution. Nobody would be saying this about a Democratic president if a Republican House had done this.”

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-impeachbriefing-schiff-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 In Impeachment Case, Schiff Accuses Trump of Trying ‘to Cheat’ in Election Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B House of Representatives Democratic Party

The House impeachment managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff, opened their case for convicting President Trump. Republican senators criticized the tenor of the arguments.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

“President Trump, believing he had escaped accountability for Russia meddling in the first election, and welcoming of it, asked the Ukrainian president to help him undermine the special counsel’s conclusion and help him smear a political opponent,” Mr. Schiff said.

For now, the president’s legal team must sit silently in the chamber as the president’s House accusers have exclusive access to the microphone. Under the rules of the trial adopted on Tuesday, the House managers have 24 hours over three days to present their case, leaving White House lawyers to take in their searingly argued case about Mr. Trump’s actions, with no opportunity for immediate rebuttal.

The president vented his spleen about the process on Twitter, firing off so many posts that he set a record for any single day in his presidency.

As of 7:30 p.m., as the Senate’s trial session stretched into its seventh hour, Mr. Trump had posted or reposted 142 messages on Twitter, surpassing the previous record of 123 set in December. Most were retweets of messages from allies and supporters assailing Mr. Schiff and others prosecuting the case.

During a dinner break on Wednesday, the president’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow raced to face reporters, vowing to eventually respond “to what the House managers have put forward, and we are going to make an affirmative case defending the president.”

The tables will turn this week, most likely on Saturday, when the defense team will be given its own 24 hours of uninterrupted time to play to the cameras from the Senate floor, with House Democrats sidelined. The defense of the president could continue into early next week after a break on Sunday.

The oral arguments on Wednesday began only hours after the conclusion of a lengthy fight over witnesses and documents that stretched into the wee hours of the day and cleaved the Senate along party lines. It was dominated by bitter exchanges between the Democratic House managers and the president’s legal defense team that grew so personal and hostile after midnight that they drew a reprimand from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is presiding over the trial.

Several senators said they were particularly piqued by the managers’ repeated insistence — put most bluntly by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who at one point accused Republican senators of “treacherous” behavior — that the Senate was abetting a cover-up of Mr. Trump’s misconduct and preparing to hold a sham trial by rejecting Democrats’ demands for witnesses and documents.

“What Chairman Nadler said and how he conducted himself was outrageous and an insult to the Senate,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. “We don’t need to continue the clown circus that started over in the House.”

The tenor of the House Democrats’ presentation on Tuesday also bothered some Democratic senators, who took issue with what they characterized as an overly accusatory tone by the impeachment managers. Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, told reporters that Mr. Nadler “could have chosen better words.”

Even as the House managers began laying out their case, newly released emails revealed additional evidence of friction between the Defense Department and the White House over a freeze sought by the president on military assistance to Ukraine. The emails, released just before midnight on Tuesday as a result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit, underscored the confusion and surprise among lawmakers, including some prominent Republicans, who learned that the military assistance to Ukraine had been held up.

Arguing for the prosecution, Mr. Schiff delved deeply into the details of the Ukraine pressure campaign, citing specific dates and meetings. But he also sought to pull back the lens, telling senators that they must act to remove Mr. Trump or “we will write the history of our decline with our own hand.”

Mr. Nadler described the smear campaign against Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine. Representative Jason Crow of Colorado discussed the national security implications of withholding security aid from Ukraine. And Representative Val B. Demings of Florida told senators about the effort to withhold a White House meeting that Ukraine wanted until the country announced investigations into the Bidens.

Mr. Trump had at one point embraced the idea of pushing for a quick dismissal of the case against him, but his lawyers chose not to take that opportunity on Wednesday. Republican leaders discouraged the defense team from seeking a vote this week that would almost certainly have failed, dividing Republicans and dealing the president an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss the case could still be offered later in the trial.

Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Fandos, Emily Cochrane, Catie Edmondson and Peter Baker.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Rebuke From Roberts Signals His Limited Role in Trump’s Senate Trial

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-roberts-facebookJumbo Rebuke From Roberts Signals His Limited Role in Trump’s Senate Trial United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Supreme Court (US) Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr impeachment Cipollone, Pat A

WASHINGTON — It was early Wednesday morning, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had had enough. He had been listening to increasingly acid exchanges at the impeachment trial of President Trump, and he was ready to chastise the House managers and the president’s lawyers.

And he did it in the characteristically mild and evenhanded tones he uses when he presides over the Supreme Court.

“I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Chief Justice Roberts said.

The remarks highlighted the chief justice’s uncomfortable position as he begins fulfilling his constitutional obligation to preside over presidential impeachment trials. He finds himself in an unwelcome spotlight, subject to intense and unfamiliar scrutiny. The role is limited, and there is no particular reason to think he wants to tests its limits.

Whatever one thinks of the chief justice’s famous comparison of judges to umpires at his 2005 confirmation hearings, he is almost certainly trying to be an umpire now, staying as far away from perceived partisanship as he can. His central goal is to return to his day job with his reputation and that of his court undiminished by accusations of bias.

“Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire,” he said in 2005.

The Constitution says almost nothing about the chief justice’s role in presidential impeachment trials. This is the entirety of its discussion of the matter: “When the president of the United States is tried, the chief justice shall preside.”

As a consequence, just what the chief justice is meant to do is contested. But history and the Senate’s rules suggest that the job is largely ceremonial and that any rulings the chief justice makes can be overturned by a majority vote.

Chief Justice Roberts makes only rare public appearances, and the Supreme Court does not allow camera coverage of its arguments. His duties at the impeachment trial will give the public its first extended look at the chief justice since his confirmation hearings.

When the chief justice does appear in public, he often denounces partisan divisions and insists that the Supreme Court is above politics.

In remarks in 2014 at the University of Nebraska, for instance he said he was worried that the rancor and gridlock in Washington would affect perceptions of the court. “I don’t want it to spill over and affect us,” he said. “That’s not the way we do business. We’re not Republicans or Democrats.”

Now the chief justice must navigate that rancor himself.

His early-morning remarks followed a combative argument from Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, during a debate over issuing a subpoena to John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser. Mr. Nadler said voting against the subpoena was treacherous and an endorsement of a cover-up.

Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, responded that Mr. Nadler should be embarrassed about the way he had addressed the Senate. “You’re not in charge here,” Mr. Cipollone said.

Chief Justice Roberts then spoke up, saying that he expected more of the institution he was visiting, which likes to call itself “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

“One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse,” he said.

Chief Justice Roberts, who has a summa cum laude degree in history from Harvard and likes to recount quirky episodes from history to make his points, proceeded to describe an exchange during the impeachment trial of a federal judge, Charles Swayne.

“In the 1905 Swayne trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word ‘pettifogging’ and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used,” Chief Justice Roberts said. “I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.”

The chief justice’s public remarks and year-end reports are studded with similar historical anecdotes, and he often seems to use them to address, obliquely but unmistakably, his views on current controversies.

In his 2019 report, for instance, he denounced false information spread on social media and warned against threats to democracy by describing a riot at which John Jay, an author of the Federalist Papers and later the first chief justice, was struck in the head by a rock “thrown by a rioter motivated by a rumor.”

Jay and his colleagues, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “ultimately succeeded in convincing the public of the virtues of the principles embodied in the Constitution.”

“Those principles leave no place for mob violence,” the chief justice wrote. “But in the ensuing years, we have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside. In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital. The judiciary has an important role to play in civic education.”

After only a few hours of sleep, the chief justice was back on the bench when the Supreme Court convened at 10 a.m. for a major religion case. He seemed alert, even chipper, and he appeared pleased to have returned, if only briefly, to familiar surroundings, to try to maintain order again.

As a long question from Justice Sonia Sotomayor showed no signs of concluding, he addressed a government lawyer. “Perhaps you could comment, counsel,” the chief justice said, cutting off his colleague.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer asked his own long question but gave the lawyer to whom he had posed it an option. “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to,” Justice Breyer said.

Chief Justice Roberts gave the lawyer a nudge. “I recommend it, though,” he said, eliciting an answer to Justice Breyer’s question.

The arguments will be the court’s last until Feb. 24, though the chief justice has plenty of work to do in the meantime in handling a docket bristling with big cases, including ones on abortion, guns and gay rights.

Several cases concern Mr. Trump and his programs, including three on whether to allow release of Mr. Trump’s financial records and one on the president’s efforts to withdraw protection from deportation for young immigrants.

But one day into his uncomfortable role, he has already outdone his predecessor. At the last impeachment trial, of President Bill Clinton in 1999, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist did as little as possible and gained attention mostly for his decision wear black judicial robes adorned with four gold stripes on each sleeve.

On Wednesday afternoon, back presiding in the Senate chamber, Chief Justice Roberts was praised by one House manager, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California. “I want to begin by thanking you, chief justice, for a very long day, for the way you have presided over these proceedings,” Mr. Schiff said.

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri and a former law clerk for the chief justice, told reporters on Wednesday that the admonishment was “a very extraordinary thing.”

“I have never heard him deliver an admonishment like that from the bench, ever,” Mr. Hawley said. “He chooses his words very, very carefully.”

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream

Video

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-livevid-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream washington dc United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold impeachment Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Each of the seven House managers will present different elements of their case against President Trump.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead prosecutor, opened oral arguments in the case to convict and remove President Trump from office, accusing him of subverting the power of his position to leverage foreign aid to win an election.

“President Trump solicited foreign interference in our democratic elections, abusing the power of his office to seek help from abroad to improve his re-election prospects at home,” Mr. Schiff, a California Democrat, said from the well of the Senate. “President Trump,” he added, “withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to a strategic partner at war with Russia to secure foreign help with his re-election. In other words, to cheat.”

While the Senate has so far refused to allow witnesses, Mr. Schiff in effect brought a few to the floor anyway by playing video clips from current and former officials like Fiona Hill, Gordon D. Sondland, William B. Taylor Jr. and David Holmes, who testified before Mr. Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee last year. And he played a few from Mr. Trump himself, showing the president in 2016 publicly calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email and last year publicly calling on Ukraine and even China to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167584080_dd4e6921-55bc-478e-8d3a-a15fab41fa16-articleLarge Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream washington dc United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold impeachment Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Representative Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and other House impeachment managers speaking to reporters on Wednesday before the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Schiff previewed the presentation his team of seven House impeachment managers will make over the next three days. They started by laying out the case in narrative form, how the president and his associates sought to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations of Mr. Biden and Democrats while withholding $391 million in American aid. Then he said the managers will explore the constitutional ramifications of the case.

“If not remedied by his conviction in the Senate and removal from office,” Mr. Schiff said, “President Trump’s abuse of his office and obstruction of Congress will permanently alter the balance of power among the branches of government, inviting future presidents to operate as if they are also beyond the reach of accountability, congressional oversight and the law.”

Mr. Schiff went on to reject the notion that impeachment is outdated and therefore no longer a viable instrument to hold a president accountable. “If it is a relic,” he said, “I wonder how much longer our republic can succeed.”

For Mr. Trump and Republicans, the next three days may prove uncomfortable as the House Democrats have exclusive access to the microphone.

Unlike the procedural arguments on Tuesday in which both sides went back and forth offering their points, the trial rules now provide the House managers with 24 hours over three days to make their case uninterrupted by the other side or any of the senators.

For hour after hour, the president’s lawyers and their Republican allies are being forced to sit silent in their seats, listening to the most nefarious interpretations of Mr. Trump’s actions without any ability to rebut the points except during breaks in front of television cameras in the hallways.

But it may also be the first time that some senators have heard the totality of the evidence presented in a sustained way. Always on the move, constantly running from one meeting to another, senators almost never have hours on end, much less three days straight, to focus on a single subject. Few if any of them are likely to have watched all of the House hearings that led to the impeachment.

The White House team will get its turn, though, and the House managers will be the ones having to sit quiet as the president’s lawyers present their case uninterrupted and unrebutted.

On Tuesday, House managers repeatedly criticized the Republican senators who will decide Mr. Trump’s fate, with one manager accusing them of “treacherous” behavior. By Wednesday morning, it was clear that the tone did not go over very well.

Republicans laced into Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, whose aggressive tone toward senators — and accusation of treachery — during his remarks after midnight were too much for some in the chamber.

“What Chairman Nadler said and how he conducted himself was outrageous and an insult to the Senate,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. “We don’t need to continue the clown circus that started over in the House.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, lashed out at the managers for suggesting that Republican senators were part of a cover-up by not voting in support of subpoenaing additional documents and witnesses. “You can say what you want about me but I’m covering up nothing,” Mr. Graham told reporters.

Even some Democrats offered some mild criticism. Senator Jon Tester of Montana told reporters that Mr. Nadler “could have chosen better words” and Senator Chris Coons of Delaware told CNN that “frankly, several of those folks who were making arguments in the chamber took an aggressive tone. The tone in the Senate has always been and tries to remain measured and civil.”

All of which may explain why Mr. Schiff opened Wednesday’s presentation with an olive branch to the senators, heaping praise on them for their forbearance. “I want to begin today by thanking you for the conduct of the proceedings yesterday,” he told the senators. “And for inviting your patience as we go forward.”

Michael D. Shear

The White House passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against Mr. Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

Mr. Trump was halfway around the world as he faced trial but he weighed in from afar, hurling insults at two of the House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Mr. Schiff a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend the trial — something no other president has done and his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.” But he praised his lawyers for their performance on Tuesday.

“We’re doing very well,” he said. “I got to watch enough. I thought our team did a very good job. But honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.”

The last comment about the material immediately provoked criticism from Democrats, who called it a boast about his success at withholding documents and evidence from Congress. But it was unclear from the context whether he was instead saying, however inartfully, that his side had the stronger argument.

Mr. Trump defended his refusal to authorize current or former aides to testify, especially John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser who opposed the pressure campaign on Ukraine and has said he would testify if the Senate subpoenas him. Mr. Trump said allowing Mr. Bolton to testify would interfere with his ability to conduct foreign policy.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?” He added that he would be reluctant to agree to Mr. Bolton testifying because he left the administration on bad terms, “due to me — not due to him.”

In addition to the news conference, Mr. Trump was active on Twitter, posting or reposting roughly 100 messages overnight and into the morning. He left Davos after the news conference and was scheduled to land at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington at 4:50 p.m.

Tuesday night’s Senate floor brawl was not the end of the haggling over potential witnesses at the impeachment trial. Democrats are still demanding to hear from current and former White House officials including Mr. Bolton.

And Republicans are increasingly answering with a provocative demand of their own: “Where’s Hunter?” as the Republican National Committee put it in an email to reporters on Wednesday.

The reference is to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The younger Mr. Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was in office, and in a July phone call, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine to do him “a favor” and investigate both men, a request that is now at the heart of the impeachment charges.

Democratic leaders regard the idea of calling the younger Mr. Biden as a nonstarter, arguing that he is not relevant to the case, and senior aides say there are no serious conversations about calling him. On Wednesday, Mr. Schiff said senators should not agree to it.

“This isn’t like some fantasy football trade,” he told reporters before beginning arguments against Mr. Trump. “Trials aren’t trades for witnesses.”

The former vice president’s many allies in the Senate have been particularly insistent on the point.

“The president is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden,” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware and a close ally of the elder Mr. Biden, said in a tweet Tuesday night. “VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

Yet some Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas are pressing the idea of “witness reciprocity,” that their side might be open to calling someone like Mr. Bolton if Democrats would agree to summon a figure like Hunter Biden.

At least one Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, indicated in recent days he would be open to such a trade. But most Democrats dismiss the idea.

Republican leaders told Mr. Trump weeks ago they did not have the votes on their side to call the younger Mr. Biden, and senior Democratic aides say discussing a swap now makes little sense given that. But things could change in what promises to be a lively Senate negotiation that will culminate next week over whether to hear from witnesses — and if so, which ones.

Nicholas Fandos

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167547744_14db007b-ac74-48c8-aeae-a53f82afaf86-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream washington dc United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold impeachment Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

The only liquids allowed on the Senate floor during the trial are water and milk, but Chief Justice Roberts could be forgiven for wishing for a good jolt of coffee.

After presiding over the Senate trial until nearly 2 a.m., the chief justice reported to his day job for oral arguments at the Supreme Court at 10 a.m. before then returning to the Senate chamber for the session that started at 1 p.m.

The arguments at the Supreme Court focused on a different issue than the one at stake on the Senate floor but one that has been hotly disputed nonetheless. The case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, focuses on a since-disbanded voucher program in Montana that provided tax breaks for donors to scholarships for private schools, including religious schools.

After running the oral arguments at the court in the morning, the chief justice resumed his temporary assignment as presiding officer at the Senate proceeding, a role that so far has been essentially ministerial with the exception of his late-night chiding of both sides to keep civil.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-livevid-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Each of the seven House managers will present different elements of their case against President Trump.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The White House on Wednesday passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. on Wednesday to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167566659_0d892dd6-18f2-4e40-8553-7040794cbd34-articleLarge Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

President Trump held a press conference in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

During an unplanned news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, President Trump took a break from talking about the economy and lashed out at Democrats back home for impeaching him. He hurled insults at two of the prominent House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who is leading the prosecution, a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend his own trial — something his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.”

While his legal team spent Tuesday arguing that Democrats’ calls for witnesses were inappropriate and a sign of a weak case, and Mr. Trump himself spent months blocking his advisers from participating in the House impeachment inquiry, the president said on Wednesday that he actually would like them to be able to testify.

“I would rather interview Bolton,” he said, referring to John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser. “I would rather interview a lot of people.”

Mr. Bolton has said he would testify during the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed to do so, and Democrats have demanded to hear from him. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump said, national security — and his own reputation — depends on Mr. Bolton staying silent.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?”

Mr. Trump, who is often very open about his opinions of people, including world leaders, added: “It’s going to make the job really hard.”

Mr. Trump is expected to return to the White House on Wednesday evening and is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Doral, Fla., on Thursday.

The seven House Democratic impeachment managers will start laying out their case to convict President Trump and remove him from office some time after 1 p.m. today. They have up to 24 hours over a period of three days to persuade senators to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. It’s a tall ask for Senate Republicans, who have been expected to acquit Mr. Trump long before the trial even began. Each manager is expected to present a different aspect of the case without interruption from senators, who are sworn to silence.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team has the same amount of time to present their side and could start presenting their case as soon as the House managers are done. It’s likely that Mr. Trump’s lawyers could spend Saturday presenting their case, based on the Senate impeachment rules which call for the trial to be conducted six days a week, with 1 p.m. start times.

But the clock might not start ticking for the managers at 1 p.m. Wednesday if they or Mr. Trump’s lawyers make any motions. Under the trial rules, the managers and lawyers can make any motions except for a motion to seek documents and witnesses — that will come later.

After each side completes their oral arguments, senators will have up to 16 hours ask questions, which much be submitted in writing. After that, the Senate will reconsider whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

Tuesday night’s Senate floor brawl was not the end of the haggling over potential witnesses at the impeachment trial. Democrats are still demanding to hear from current and former White House officials including Mr. Bolton.

And Republicans are increasingly answering with a provocative demand of their own: “Where’s Hunter?” as the Republican National Committee put it in an email to reporters on Wednesday.

The reference is to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The younger Mr. Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was in office, and in a July phone call, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine to do him “a favor” and investigate both men, a request that is now at the heart of the impeachment charges.

Democratic leaders regard the idea of calling the younger Mr. Biden as a nonstarter, arguing that he is not relevant to the case, and senior aides say there are no serious conversations about calling him.

“The president is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden,” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware and a close ally of the elder Mr. Biden, said in a tweet. “VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

Yet some Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas are pressing the idea of “witness reciprocity,” that their side might be open to calling someone like Mr. Bolton if Democrats would agree to summon a figure like Hunter Biden.

At least one Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, indicated in recent days he would be open to such a trade.

Republican leaders told Mr. Trump weeks ago they did not have the votes on their side to call the younger Mr. Biden, and senior Democratic aides say discussing a swap now makes little sense given that. But things could change in what promises to be a lively Senate negotiation that will culminate next week over whether to hear from witnesses — and if so, which ones.

Nicholas Fandos

The first day of the trial lasted until around 2 a.m. Wednesday, as Democrats forced a number of votes seeking to change the rules and insist on new evidence. Democrats said the Republicans had deliberately pushed the debate into the early morning hours when most Americans were sleeping.

“Is this really what we should be doing when we are deciding the fate of a presidency, we should be doing this at the midnight hour?” asked Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, said. Mr. Schiff, of California, said he started Tuesday asking whether Americans expect the trial to be fair. “Watching now at midnight this effort to hide this in the dead of night cannot be encouraging to them about whether there will be a fair trial.”

Republicans tried several times without success to get Democrats to drop their demands for changes to the rules and speed the process along, but Democrats refused, forcing 11 votes in a strikingly partisan start to the proceeding. Republicans held together unanimously on almost every vote, blocking subpoenas for witnesses and documents. The Senate will revisit those issues later in the trial.

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167547744_14db007b-ac74-48c8-aeae-a53f82afaf86-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to decide if states have to include religious schools in state scholarship programs.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over the court session, and then head to the Senate for the 1 p.m. start of Mr. Trump’s trial, where he serves a mostly ceremonial role — one that could be perilous for his reputation and that of his court.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts scolded both sides, the one of the impeachment managers, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone for trading insults. Chief Justice Roberts told them to remain civil and “remember where they are.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Impeachment Trial Schedule Explained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167542818_aab4fd7a-d444-4897-a216-148017396c45-facebookJumbo Impeachment Trial Schedule Explained United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Republican Party McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Clinton, Bill

WASHINGTON — With the adoption early Wednesday morning of the ground rules for President Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate prepared to plunge forward over the next week with oral arguments, questions from senators and consequential votes on whether to admit new evidence.

The trial could be over in two weeks, or it could stretch on much longer, depending on how much time is used by each side and how much additional evidence — if any — senators vote to review.

After a bruising 12-hour debate that underscored the deep acrimony between Republicans and Democrats at the outset of the trial, Republicans pushed through a set of rules that would postpone until next week at the earliest a final decision on whether to call witnesses or subpoena documents for the trial.

That brought into focus what will unfold in the Senate over the coming days. Here is what to expect:

The trial will reconvene at 1 p.m. Wednesday, but oral arguments might not begin immediately. Under the rules, the managers and White House lawyers are allowed to make any motion they want, except for seeking documents and witnesses, a matter that will be debated later in the proceedings.

What motions could they make? Mr. Trump has said publicly that he wants to end the trial quickly, so his lawyers could move for dismissal. That is seen as unlikely because Republican senators — including staunch allies of the president’s — have said there is little support among their colleagues to dismiss the case before the arguments have been heard.

After any motions are considered, the seven House members serving as prosecutors in the impeachment trial have 24 hours to lay out their case, most likely starting at some point Wednesday afternoon. Under the rules adopted on Tuesday, they can use their time over three days.

The managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have so far not been shy about taking every minute they are owed. During Tuesday’s debate over the rules, Mr. Schiff and the other managers filled their time with lengthy, detailed arguments that included the use of PowerPoint presentations and video clips of Mr. Trump and the witnesses who appeared in the House inquiry.

If that trend continues, the House managers could spend the balance of the week making their case for Mr. Trump’s removal from office.

One consideration for the managers? The patience of senators, some of whom already looked a bit bored on Tuesday — one even appeared to doze off — as they sat in silence through several hours of Mr. Schiff and his colleagues delivering dense, detailed arguments. The House leadership could decide, as the impeachment managers did during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, that taking every minute of the 24 hours afforded to them will not help their case.

If the House managers take all of their time, the White House lawyers — led by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer — will have the chance to deliver their oral arguments defending the president starting on Saturday, Jan. 25. Senate rules that date back more than three decades hold that during impeachment, senators must meet six days a week, taking only Sunday off.

If the debate over rules was any guide, the president’s lawyers may take far less than their allotted 24 hours. But if they took it all, they would complete their presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

Like the House managers, the White House lawyers will probably think about how long they want to keep senators in their seats. But they also have another audience: Mr. Trump, who has been itching to see a vigorous defense of him played out on television screens. That might encourage Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow to take a longer time outlining the case for his acquittal.

Under a clause inserted by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, the rules allow Mr. Trump’s legal team to move after opening arguments to object to pieces of evidence the House impeachment investigators collected in their inquiry. If the president’s legal team did so, it is not clear whether Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. would rule on those objections or if the Senate would debate and vote on them, but the process could take some time.

After each side has presented its case, the trial rules give senators up to 16 hours to ask questions. But unlike during a normal Senate session, they are not allowed to speak. They must submit their questions in writing to Chief Justice Roberts, who is presiding over the trial. Under the rules of the Senate, the chief justice will decide which questions to ask, directing them to the managers or to the White House legal team.

That does not mean there will not be any grandstanding. When the chief justice reads a question aloud, he will indicate which senator submitted it. (Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, frequently boasts that during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial, she and Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, were the only two senators to submit a bipartisan question.)

It is not clear whether the senators will use all 16 hours. If they do, it would probably occur by the middle of next week, though when they start would depend on how long the House managers and White House lawyers have chosen to talk.

Once senators have exhausted all of their time for questions, they will take up whether the Senate should subpoena witnesses and seek additional documents from the administration that could be relevant to the impeachment inquiry. Depending on what has occurred up to that point, the debate could begin on Friday, Jan. 31.

Under the rules, there would first be a four-hour debate — two hours for each side — on whether motions about specific witnesses and documents are in order, followed by a vote. If Republicans succeed in defeating that motion, they would move quickly to final votes on the two articles of impeachment.

If Democrats succeed in persuading at least four Republican senators to back their demands for more evidence, they would most likely make motions to subpoena witnesses they have insisted upon for weeks: John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; Robert B. Blair, a top aide to Mr. Mulvaney; and Michael Duffey, a White House budget official. The Senate would probably debate and vote on each one.

Even though all of the chamber’s Republican senators voted on Tuesday to reject seeking testimony from witnesses, a few — including Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Ms. Collins — have indicated they would be open to calling witnesses toward the end of the trial instead of at the beginning.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers would also have an opportunity to request witnesses. Some Republicans have suggested that the White House lawyers should call witnesses like Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Democrats have repeatedly said they do not think witnesses like Mr. Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, are relevant to the question of Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

If the senators agreed to call witnesses, the trial schedule would get much fuzzier, potentially extending well into February. The Senate would issue subpoenas in the name of the chief justice, seeking their testimony. Those who agreed to testify willingly would first be deposed in private sessions with House managers and White House lawyers and their staff. It is unclear how long it would take to conduct those sessions.

Under the rules, witnesses who are deposed in private do not automatically testify in person or by video in the Senate chamber. Senators must take a final vote after the depositions are completed to decide whether to allow the testimony. It is difficult to know when such votes might take place.

After all of the witnesses testify, the rules call for senators to move to a vote on the articles of impeachment — in Mr. Trump’s case, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The resolution calls for no debate, only two final votes, bringing to an end the third Senate trial of a president in the nation’s history.

There is little doubt about the outcome. The Constitution requires that two-thirds of all senators, 67 of 100, must find Mr. Trump guilty in order to convict him on an article of impeachment and remove him from office. Both sides agree that is almost certain not to happen.

But when the final votes take place is very much up in the air. Depending on the choices made by the managers, the White House lawyers and the senators, the votes could happen days before the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 4 — or well after.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Trump Impeachment Trial

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167578659_d50b765a-856f-4f92-85ff-9cee8bfe1996-articleLarge Live Updates: Trump Impeachment Trial washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, arriving Wednesday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The White House on Wednesday passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. on Wednesday to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

During an unplanned news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, President Trump took a break from talking about the economy and lashed out at Democrats back home for impeaching him. He hurled insults at two of the prominent House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who is leading the prosecution, a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend his own trial — something his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.”

While his legal team spent Tuesday arguing that Democrats’ calls for witnesses were inappropriate and a sign of a weak case, and Mr. Trump himself spent months blocking his advisers from participating in the House impeachment inquiry, the president said on Wednesday that he actually would like them to be able to testify.

“I would rather interview Bolton,” he said, referring to John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser. “I would rather interview a lot of people.”

Mr. Bolton has said he would testify during the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed to do so, and Democrats have demanded to hear from him. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump said, national security — and his own reputation — depends on Mr. Bolton staying silent.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?”

Mr. Trump, who is often very open about his opinions of people, including world leaders, added: “It’s going to make the job really hard.”

Mr. Trump is expected to return to the White House on Wednesday evening and is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Doral, Fla., on Thursday.

The seven House Democratic impeachment managers will start laying out their case to convict President Trump and remove him from office some time after 1 p.m. today. They have up to 24 hours over a period of three days to persuade senators to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. It’s a tall ask for Senate Republicans, who have been expected to acquit Mr. Trump long before the trial even began. Each manager is expected to present a different aspect of the case without interruption from senators, who are sworn to silence.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team has the same amount of time to present their side and could start presenting their case as soon as the House managers are done. It’s likely that Mr. Trump’s lawyers could spend Saturday presenting their case, based on the Senate impeachment rules which call for the trial to be conducted six days a week, with 1 p.m. start times.

But the clock might not start ticking for the managers at 1 p.m. Wednesday if they or Mr. Trump’s lawyers make any motions. Under the trial rules, the managers and lawyers can make any motions except for a motion to seek documents and witnesses — that will come later.

After each side completes their oral arguments, senators will have up to 16 hours ask questions, which much be submitted in writing. After that, the Senate will reconsider whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

The first day of the trial lasted until around 2 a.m. Wednesday, as Democrats forced a number of votes seeking to change the rules and insist on new evidence. Democrats said the Republicans had deliberately pushed the debate into the early morning hours when most Americans were sleeping.

“Is this really what we should be doing when we are deciding the fate of a presidency, we should be doing this at the midnight hour?” asked Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, said. Mr. Schiff, of California, said he started Tuesday asking whether Americans expect the trial to be fair. “Watching now at midnight this effort to hide this in the dead of night cannot be encouraging to them about whether there will be a fair trial.”

Republicans tried several times without success to get Democrats to drop their demands for changes to the rules and speed the process along, but Democrats refused, forcing 11 votes in a strikingly partisan start to the proceeding. Republicans held together unanimously on almost every vote, blocking subpoenas for witnesses and documents. The Senate will revisit those issues later in the trial.

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167547744_14db007b-ac74-48c8-aeae-a53f82afaf86-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Updates: Trump Impeachment Trial washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to decide if states have to include religious schools in state scholarship programs.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over the court session, and then head to the Senate for the 1 p.m. start of Mr. Trump’s trial, where he serves a mostly ceremonial role — one that could be perilous for his reputation and that of his court.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts scolded both sides, the one of the impeachment managers, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone for trading insults. Chief Justice Roberts told them to remain civil and “remember where they are.”

Tuesday night’s Senate floor brawl was not the end of the haggling over potential witnesses at the impeachment trial. Democrats are still demanding to hear from current and former White House officials including Mr. Bolton.

And Republicans are increasingly answering with a provocative demand of their own: “Where’s Hunter?” as the Republican National Committee put it in an email to reporters on Wednesday.

The reference is to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The younger Mr. Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was in office, and in a July phone call, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine to do him “a favor” and investigate both men, a request that is now at the heart of the impeachment charges.

Democratic leaders regard the idea of calling the younger Mr. Biden as a nonstarter, arguing that he is not relevant to the case, and senior aides say there are no serious conversations about calling him.

“The president is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden,” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware and a close ally of the elder Mr. Biden, said in a tweet. “VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

Yet some Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas are pressing the idea of “witness reciprocity,” that their side might be open to calling someone like Mr. Bolton if Democrats would agree to summon a figure like Hunter Biden.

At least one Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, indicated in recent days he would be open to such a trade.

Republican leaders told Mr. Trump weeks ago they did not have the votes on their side to call the younger Mr. Biden, and senior Democratic aides say discussing a swap now makes little sense given that. But things could change in what promises to be a lively Senate negotiation that will culminate next week over whether to hear from witnesses — and if so, which ones.

Nicholas Fandos

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Impeachment Trial Schedule: What You Need to Know

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167542818_aab4fd7a-d444-4897-a216-148017396c45-facebookJumbo Impeachment Trial Schedule: What You Need to Know United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Republican Party McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Clinton, Bill

WASHINGTON — With the adoption early Wednesday morning of the ground rules for President Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate prepared to plunge forward over the next week with oral arguments, questions from senators and consequential votes on whether to admit new evidence.

The trial could be over in two weeks, or it could stretch on much longer, depending on how much time is used by each side and how much additional evidence — if any — senators vote to review.

After a bruising 12-hour debate that underscored the deep acrimony between Republicans and Democrats at the outset of the trial, Republicans pushed through a set of rules that would postpone until next week at the earliest a final decision on whether to call witnesses or subpoena documents for the trial.

That brought into focus what will unfold in the Senate over the coming days. Here is what to expect:

The trial will reconvene at 1 p.m. Wednesday, but oral arguments might not begin immediately. Under the rules, the managers and White House lawyers are allowed to make any motion they want, except for seeking documents and witnesses, a matter that will be debated later in the proceedings.

What motions could they make? Mr. Trump has said publicly that he wants to end the trial quickly, so his lawyers could move for dismissal. That is seen as unlikely because Republican senators — including staunch allies of the president’s — have said there is little support among their colleagues to dismiss the case before the arguments have been heard.

After any motions are considered, the seven House members serving as prosecutors in the impeachment trial have 24 hours to lay out their case, most likely starting at some point Wednesday afternoon. Under the rules adopted on Tuesday, they can use their time over three days.

The managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have so far not been shy about taking every minute they are owed. During Tuesday’s debate over the rules, Mr. Schiff and the other managers filled their time with lengthy, detailed arguments that included the use of PowerPoint presentations and video clips of Mr. Trump and the witnesses who appeared in the House inquiry.

If that trend continues, the House managers could spend the balance of the week making their case for Mr. Trump’s removal from office.

One consideration for the managers? The patience of senators, some of whom already looked a bit bored on Tuesday — one even appeared to doze off — as they sat in silence through several hours of Mr. Schiff and his colleagues delivering dense, detailed arguments. The House leadership could decide, as the impeachment managers did during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, that taking every minute of the 24 hours afforded to them will not help their case.

If the House managers take all of their time, the White House lawyers — led by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer — will have the chance to deliver their oral arguments defending the president starting on Saturday, Jan. 25. Senate rules that date back more than three decades hold that during impeachment, senators must meet six days a week, taking only Sunday off.

If the debate over rules was any guide, the president’s lawyers may take far less than their allotted 24 hours. But if they took it all, they would complete their presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

Like the House managers, the White House lawyers will probably think about how long they want to keep senators in their seats. But they also have another audience: Mr. Trump, who has been itching to see a vigorous defense of him played out on television screens. That might encourage Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow to take a longer time outlining the case for his acquittal.

Under a clause inserted by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, the rules allow Mr. Trump’s legal team to move after opening arguments to object to pieces of evidence the House impeachment investigators collected in their inquiry. If the president’s legal team did so, it is not clear whether Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. would rule on those objections or if the Senate would debate and vote on them, but the process could take some time.

After each side has presented its case, the trial rules give senators up to 16 hours to ask questions. But unlike during a normal Senate session, they are not allowed to speak. They must submit their questions in writing to Chief Justice Roberts, who is presiding over the trial. Under the rules of the Senate, the chief justice will decide which questions to ask, directing them to the managers or to the White House legal team.

That does not mean there will not be any grandstanding. When the chief justice reads a question aloud, he will indicate which senator submitted it. (Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, frequently boasts that during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial, she and Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, were the only two senators to submit a bipartisan question.)

It is not clear whether the senators will use all 16 hours. If they do, it would probably occur by the middle of next week, though when they start would depend on how long the House managers and White House lawyers have chosen to talk.

Once senators have exhausted all of their time for questions, they will take up whether the Senate should subpoena witnesses and seek additional documents from the administration that could be relevant to the impeachment inquiry. Depending on what has occurred up to that point, the debate could begin on Friday, Jan. 31.

Under the rules, there would first be a four-hour debate — two hours for each side — on whether motions about specific witnesses and documents are in order, followed by a vote. If Republicans succeed in defeating that motion, they would move quickly to final votes on the two articles of impeachment.

If Democrats succeed in persuading at least four Republican senators to back their demands for more evidence, they would most likely make motions to subpoena witnesses they have insisted upon for weeks: John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; Robert B. Blair, a top aide to Mr. Mulvaney; and Michael Duffey, a White House budget official. The Senate would probably debate and vote on each one.

Even though all of the chamber’s Republican senators voted on Tuesday to reject seeking testimony from witnesses, a few — including Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Ms. Collins — have indicated they would be open to calling witnesses toward the end of the trial instead of at the beginning.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers would also have an opportunity to request witnesses. Some Republicans have suggested that the White House lawyers should call witnesses like Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Democrats have repeatedly said they do not think witnesses like Mr. Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, are relevant to the question of Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

If the senators agreed to call witnesses, the trial schedule would get much fuzzier, potentially extending well into February. The Senate would issue subpoenas in the name of the chief justice, seeking their testimony. Those who agreed to testify willingly would first be deposed in private sessions with House managers and White House lawyers and their staff. It is unclear how long it would take to conduct those sessions.

Under the rules, witnesses who are deposed in private do not automatically testify in person or by video in the Senate chamber. Senators must take a final vote after the depositions are completed to decide whether to allow the testimony. It is difficult to know when such votes might take place.

After all of the witnesses testify, the rules call for senators to move to a vote on the articles of impeachment — in Mr. Trump’s case, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The resolution calls for no debate, only two final votes, bringing to an end the third Senate trial of a president in the nation’s history.

There is little doubt about the outcome. The Constitution requires that two-thirds of all senators, 67 of 100, must find Mr. Trump guilty in order to convict him on an article of impeachment and remove him from office. Both sides agree that is almost certain not to happen.

But when the final votes take place is very much up in the air. Depending on the choices made by the managers, the White House lawyers and the senators, the votes could happen days before the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 4 — or well after.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Impeachment Trial: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167578659_d50b765a-856f-4f92-85ff-9cee8bfe1996-articleLarge Trump Impeachment Trial: Live Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, arriving Wednesday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The White House on Wednesday passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. on Wednesday to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

During an unplanned news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, President Trump took a break from talking about the economy and lashed out at Democrats back home for impeaching him. He hurled insults at two of the prominent House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who is leading the prosecution, a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend his own trial — something his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.”

While his legal team spent Tuesday arguing that Democrats’ calls for witnesses were inappropriate and a sign of a weak case, and Mr. Trump himself spent months blocking his advisers from participating in the House impeachment inquiry, the president said on Wednesday that he actually would like them to be able to testify.

“I would rather interview Bolton,” he said, referring to John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser. “I would rather interview a lot of people.”

Mr. Bolton has said he would testify during the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed to do so, and Democrats have demanded to hear from him. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump said, national security — and his own reputation — depends on Mr. Bolton staying silent.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?”

Mr. Trump, who is often very open about his opinions of people, including world leaders, added: “It’s going to make the job really hard.”

Mr. Trump is expected to return to the White House on Wednesday evening and is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Doral, Fla., on Thursday.

The seven House Democratic impeachment managers will start laying out their case to convict President Trump and remove him from office some time after 1 p.m. today. They have up to 24 hours over a period of three days to persuade senators to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. It’s a tall ask for Senate Republicans, who have been expected to acquit Mr. Trump long before the trial even began. Each manager is expected to present a different aspect of the case without interruption from senators, who are sworn to silence.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team has the same amount of time to present their side and could start presenting their case as soon as the House managers are done. It’s likely that Mr. Trump’s lawyers could spend Saturday presenting their case, based on the Senate impeachment rules which call for the trial to be conducted six days a week, with 1 p.m. start times.

But the clock might not start ticking for the managers at 1 p.m. Wednesday if they or Mr. Trump’s lawyers make any motions. Under the trial rules, the managers and lawyers can make any motions except for a motion to seek documents and witnesses — that will come later.

After each side completes their oral arguments, senators will have up to 16 hours ask questions, which much be submitted in writing. After that, the Senate will reconsider whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

The first day of the trial lasted until around 2 a.m. Wednesday, as Democrats forced a number of votes seeking to change the rules and insist on new evidence. Democrats said the Republicans had deliberately pushed the debate into the early morning hours when most Americans were sleeping.

“Is this really what we should be doing when we are deciding the fate of a presidency, we should be doing this at the midnight hour?” asked Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, said. Mr. Schiff, of California, said he started Tuesday asking whether Americans expect the trial to be fair. “Watching now at midnight this effort to hide this in the dead of night cannot be encouraging to them about whether there will be a fair trial.”

Republicans tried several times without success to get Democrats to drop their demands for changes to the rules and speed the process along, but Democrats refused, forcing 11 votes in a strikingly partisan start to the proceeding. Republicans held together unanimously on almost every vote, blocking subpoenas for witnesses and documents. The Senate will revisit those issues later in the trial.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to decide if states have to include religious schools in state scholarship programs.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over the court session, and then head to the Senate for the 1 p.m. start of Mr. Trump’s trial, where he serves a mostly ceremonial role — one that could be perilous for his reputation and that of his court.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts scolded both sides, the one of the impeachment managers, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone for trading insults. Chief Justice Roberts told them to remain civil and “remember where they are.”

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167547744_14db007b-ac74-48c8-aeae-a53f82afaf86-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Trump Impeachment Trial: Live Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com