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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "impeachment"

Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter.

Westlake Legal Group 24vid-schiff-facebookJumbo Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Republican Party impeachment Democratic Party
Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, gave an impassioned speech urging senators to convict and remove President Trump.Image by Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the former federal prosecutor who has steered the House impeachment investigation into President Trump, secured his place as a liberal rock star — and villain to conservatives — with the fiery closing argument he delivered Thursday night, imploring senators to convict and remove Mr. Trump because “you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country.”

By Friday morning, the phrase #RightMatters — from the last line of Mr. Schiff’s speech — was trending as a hashtag on Twitter, which was lighting up with reaction from across the philosophical spectrum. “I am in tears,” wrote Debra Messing, the “Will & Grace” actress and outspoken Trump critic. “Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country.”

Even some Republicans are giving Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, grudging respect for delivering a masterful performance. But they also view him as nothing more than a shrewd political operator, and say that his words made clear that for Democrats, impeachment is about undoing the results of the 2016 election — and preventing the president from winning in 2020.

“Adam Schiff is already disputing the results of the 2020 election. Impeachment 2.0?” wrote Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee.

Mr. Schiff is known on Capitol Hill for his serious demeanor and dry laconic wit. But on Thursday, he was filled with passion, his voice rising and his face reddening as he made a late-night appeal to a tired and bitterly divided audience of senators, which he was promoting with a video clip on his own Twitter feed on Friday.

“You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country — you can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump,” he said, adding, “This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Right matters and the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.”

Image

Democrats want to call Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, as a witness.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Friday is the moment of truth for House managers in the Senate impeachment trial as they seek to convince a handful of Republican lawmakers to support their demand for additional witnesses and documentary evidence. So far, there is little apparent evidence that they will succeed.

On Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Senate Democrat, declined to say he was optimistic but said he still had “hope.”

Democrats have accused Republicans of abetting a cover-up by Mr. Trump by refusing to subpoena documents that the Trump administration did not hand over during their inquiry and by refusing to demand testimony from additional witnesses like John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff.

In their third day presenting their case, the managers will focus on the second article of impeachment, in which they accuse Mr. Trump of obstructing Congress by blocking witnesses and documents from being provided to the House impeachment inquiry.

For Democrats, that argument — which is expected to once again take the Senate trial late into the evening — could be the ideal backdrop to pressure potentially wavering Republicans who might be willing to break from their party to support the Democratic demands for witnesses.

But the potential targets, a handful of Republican senators, are staying quiet for now. They include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s White House lawyers will take over for up to three days as they present their defense. Both sides will get an additional two hours to sum up their argument on the issue of witnesses and documents sometime next week. But for the House managers, Friday’s presentation may be their last, best hope.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the State of the Union.Credit…Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Democrats, looking ahead to President Trump’s State of the Union address, announced on Friday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the president’s speech, scheduled for Feb. 4 — even though his impeachment trial may still be underway.

Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas, who made history as one of the first two Latinas from that state to serve in Congress, will deliver the Spanish-language response to the speech, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, who issued a joint statement about the selections.

The two praised Governor Whitmer, a lawyer, educator and former prosecutor, as a get-things-done type of leader, “whether it’s pledging to ‘Fix the Damn Roads’ or investing in climate solutions,” as Mr. Schumer said.

The response to the State of the Union is generally reserved for rising stars in the opposition party, offering a chance for the minority to lay out its own agenda, in contrast to the president.

With the impeachment trial set to begin at 1 p.m., senators are attending a bipartisan briefing on coronavirus, with Senator Dan Sullivan, Republican of Alaska, telling reporters he hoped to learn about preventive measures being taken. The virus is spreading and has sickened hundreds, mostly in Asia.

But senators were also stopping to weigh in on impeachment, as reporters, cordoned off behind velvet ropes, shouted questions about witnesses and the length of the Saturday session of the trial.

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Image

Senator Mitt Romeny, Republican of Utah, on his way out of the Capitol on Thursday night via its subway.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Republican moderates are in the spotlight on Friday as House managers conclude their oral arguments and senators turn to the question of whether to call witnesses and seek new documents in the impeachment trial. All four of the senators opposed Democratic motions for witnesses and documents at the beginning of the trial, but have said they might be open to switching their stances after opening arguments have been completed.

So far, however, none have committed to do so.

Here are the Republican senators to watch:

Mitt Romney of Utah has not said much since the trial started. But earlier, he indicated he would be open to new witnesses, and said he wants to hear from John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Susan Collins of Maine is usually a swing vote in the Senate. Facing re-election this year, she is facing brutal blowback in her state for voting to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh for his seat on the Supreme Court. She has strongly suggested that she will ultimately vote to call witnesses. Doing so could help her mend fences with moderate voters she needs to keep her seat.

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is an independent voice in the Senate. She was the only Republican to oppose Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation and has indicated she could be open to having the Senate examine additional evidence in the impeachment case.

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is retiring after a long career in the Senate. He has not given clear answers to whether he might support additional witnesses and is extremely close with Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader. But Democrats hope his institutionalist impulses might prompt him to be the fourth vote they need.

There has been additional focus on a fifth senator, Cory Gardner of Colorado. Mr. Gardner is a first-term senator who is facing a tough re-election race this year in a politically competitive state. He will need support from independent voters and even some Democrats to win, but Mr. Garnder has so far been mum on the question of witnesses, and has criticized the impeachment inquiry as a politically motivated exercise.

Image

People preparing for the March for Life on Friday.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Even as the Senate geared up for the third day hearing from prosecutors in the impeachment trial, a different kind of political clash was gathering outside the Capitol.

People attending the annual March for Life — and counterprotesters who support abortion rights — were already arriving Friday morning for an event that is expected to feature an address by President Trump, the first time a sitting president has attended.

People wearing “March for Life” sweatshirts crossed the Capitol grounds on the way to the march, along with others sporting red “TRUMP2020” baseball caps. Nearby, a separate group of counter protesters wearing sweatshirts that said “Literally, no one asked you” chanted “We love abortion, abortion is cool!”

The annual event protesting abortion started after the 1973 Rove v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Other Republican presidents have addressed the gathering by video, but none has attended. Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “See you on “See you on Friday … Big Crowd!” Friday…Big Crowd!”

10:14 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020

By

The cameras in the Senate are government controlled by the Senate staff, and photographs are not allowed — limiting what viewers can see as lawmakers consider the case against President Trump. To get a more complete picture of the proceedings, here are two alternatives.

A Sketch Artist’s View of the Impeachment Trial

Drawings of the proceedings from inside the Senate chamber, where no photos are allowed.

Jan. 16, 2020

The Senate chamber may be familiar to viewers of C-SPAN, but the room has undergone some significant changes to accommodate the proceedings.

A 3-D Tour of How the Senate Was Transformed for the Impeachment Trial

An immersive diagram of the storied chamber where President Trump’s trial is taking place — including what you won’t see in photos.

Jan. 23, 2020

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President Trump complained Friday that his lawyers would begin his defense on Saturday, a day the president said in the world of television was “called Death Valley,” as he unleashed dozens of tweets and retweets attacking the Senate trial.

The president began his social media assault just after 6 a.m. by retweeting Greg Jarrett, a conservative Fox News analyst, who was attacking the Democrats’ case. In one post, Mr. Jarrett accused Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, of lying about the evidence.

Over the next several hours, he retweeted articles by breitbart.com; Lou Dobbs, the Fox Business Network host; Ben Ferguson, a conservative commentator; Dan Bongino, the host of a conservative radio talk show; and several Republican lawmakers, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader in the House.

Later in the morning, Mr. Trump started tweeting his own attacks on the impeachment trial. In addition to complaining about the expected weekend start for his lawyers, Mr. Trump said he had “to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud and deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer and their crew.”

Image

Representative Val B. Demings of Florida and the other House impeachment managers will conclude their oral arguments on Friday.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The House managers prosecuting the case against President Trump will wrap up their arguments on Friday with a focus on the second article of impeachment: the accusation that the president obstructed Congress by blocking witnesses and documents in an attempt to cover up his misconduct.

It will be their last opportunity to appeal to a handful of moderate Republican senators on the question of seeking additional witnesses and documents before the president’s lawyers take center stage. Debate on that vital question is expected to happen early next week, after the conclusion of the arguments and a period of questions about the case from senators.

In the meantime, the Senate trial has tested the patience of senators, who have sat restlessly in their seats for more than 16 hours over two long days. Despite being admonished that they must remain silent and at attention “upon pain of imprisonment,” some have doodled, traded notes, whispered with their neighbors, or even nodded off.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team is scheduled to begin their presentation on Saturday, angering the president, who complained on Twitter on Friday morning that “my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”

There have been discussions in the Capitol that senators could start the Saturday session earlier than the usual 1 p.m., which could give them the chance to leave earlier, especially if the White House lawyers decide to reserve more of their presentation for Monday.

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

Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter.

Westlake Legal Group 24vid-schiff-facebookJumbo Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Republican Party impeachment Democratic Party
Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, gave an impassioned speech urging senators to convict and remove President Trump.Image by Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the former federal prosecutor who has steered the House impeachment investigation into President Trump, secured his place as a liberal rock star — and villain to conservatives — with the fiery closing argument he delivered Thursday night, imploring senators to convict and remove Mr. Trump because “you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country.”

By Friday morning, the phrase #RightMatters — from the last line of Mr. Schiff’s speech — was trending as a hashtag on Twitter, which was lighting up with reaction from across the philosophical spectrum. “I am in tears,” wrote Debra Messing, the “Will & Grace” actress and outspoken Trump critic. “Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country.”

Even some Republicans are giving Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, grudging respect for delivering a masterful performance. But they also view him as nothing more than a shrewd political operator, and say that his words made clear that for Democrats, impeachment is about undoing the results of the 2016 election — and preventing the president from winning in 2020.

“Adam Schiff is already disputing the results of the 2020 election. Impeachment 2.0?” wrote Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee.

Mr. Schiff is known on Capitol Hill for his serious demeanor and dry laconic wit. But on Thursday, he was filled with passion, his voice rising and his face reddening as he made a late-night appeal to a tired and bitterly divided audience of senators, which he was promoting with a video clip on his own Twitter feed on Friday.

“You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country — you can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump,” he said, adding, “This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Right matters and the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.”

Image

Democrats want to call Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, as a witness.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Friday is the moment of truth for House managers in the Senate impeachment trial as they seek to convince a handful of Republican lawmakers to support their demand for additional witnesses and documentary evidence. So far, there is little apparent evidence that they will succeed.

On Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Senate Democrat, declined to say he was optimistic but said he still had “hope.”

Democrats have accused Republicans of abetting a cover-up by Mr. Trump by refusing to subpoena documents that the Trump administration did not hand over during their inquiry and by refusing to demand testimony from additional witnesses like John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff.

In their third day presenting their case, the managers will focus on the second article of impeachment, in which they accuse Mr. Trump of obstructing Congress by blocking witnesses and documents from being provided to the House impeachment inquiry.

For Democrats, that argument — which is expected to once again take the Senate trial late into the evening — could be the ideal backdrop to pressure potentially wavering Republicans who might be willing to break from their party to support the Democratic demands for witnesses.

But the potential targets, a handful of Republican senators, are staying quiet for now. They include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s White House lawyers will take over for up to three days as they present their defense. Both sides will get an additional two hours to sum up their argument on the issue of witnesses and documents sometime next week. But for the House managers, Friday’s presentation may be their last, best hope.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the State of the Union.Credit…Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Democrats, looking ahead to President Trump’s State of the Union address, announced on Friday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the president’s speech, scheduled for Feb. 4 — even though his impeachment trial may still be underway.

Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas, who made history as one of the first two Latinas from that state to serve in Congress, will deliver the Spanish-language response to the speech, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, who issued a joint statement about the selections.

The two praised Governor Whitmer, a lawyer, educator and former prosecutor, as a get-things-done type of leader, “whether it’s pledging to ‘Fix the Damn Roads’ or investing in climate solutions,” as Mr. Schumer said.

The response to the State of the Union is generally reserved for rising stars in the opposition party, offering a chance for the minority to lay out its own agenda, in contrast to the president.

With the impeachment trial set to begin at 1 p.m., senators are attending a bipartisan briefing on coronavirus, with Senator Dan Sullivan, Republican of Alaska, telling reporters he hoped to learn about preventive measures being taken. The virus is spreading and has sickened hundreds, mostly in Asia.

But senators were also stopping to weigh in on impeachment, as reporters, cordoned off behind velvet ropes, shouted questions about witnesses and the length of the Saturday session of the trial.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image

Senator Mitt Romeny, Republican of Utah, on his way out of the Capitol on Thursday night via its subway.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Republican moderates are in the spotlight on Friday as House managers conclude their oral arguments and senators turn to the question of whether to call witnesses and seek new documents in the impeachment trial. All four of the senators opposed Democratic motions for witnesses and documents at the beginning of the trial, but have said they might be open to switching their stances after opening arguments have been completed.

So far, however, none have committed to do so.

Here are the Republican senators to watch:

Mitt Romney of Utah has not said much since the trial started. But earlier, he indicated he would be open to new witnesses, and said he wants to hear from John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Susan Collins of Maine is usually a swing vote in the Senate. Facing re-election this year, she is facing brutal blowback in her state for voting to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh for his seat on the Supreme Court. She has strongly suggested that she will ultimately vote to call witnesses. Doing so could help her mend fences with moderate voters she needs to keep her seat.

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is an independent voice in the Senate. She was the only Republican to oppose Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation and has indicated she could be open to having the Senate examine additional evidence in the impeachment case.

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is retiring after a long career in the Senate. He has not given clear answers to whether he might support additional witnesses and is extremely close with Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader. But Democrats hope his institutionalist impulses might prompt him to be the fourth vote they need.

There has been additional focus on a fifth senator, Cory Gardner of Colorado. Mr. Gardner is a first-term senator who is facing a tough re-election race this year in a politically competitive state. He will need support from independent voters and even some Democrats to win, but Mr. Garnder has so far been mum on the question of witnesses, and has criticized the impeachment inquiry as a politically motivated exercise.

Image

People preparing for the March for Life on Friday.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Even as the Senate geared up for the third day hearing from prosecutors in the impeachment trial, a different kind of political clash was gathering outside the Capitol.

People attending the annual March for Life — and counterprotesters who support abortion rights — were already arriving Friday morning for an event that is expected to feature an address by President Trump, the first time a sitting president has attended.

People wearing “March for Life” sweatshirts crossed the Capitol grounds on the way to the march, along with others sporting red “TRUMP2020” baseball caps. Nearby, a separate group of counter protesters wearing sweatshirts that said “Literally, no one asked you” chanted “We love abortion, abortion is cool!”

The annual event protesting abortion started after the 1973 Rove v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Other Republican presidents have addressed the gathering by video, but none has attended. Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “See you on “See you on Friday … Big Crowd!” Friday…Big Crowd!”

10:14 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020

By

The cameras in the Senate are government controlled by the Senate staff, and photographs are not allowed — limiting what viewers can see as lawmakers consider the case against President Trump. To get a more complete picture of the proceedings, here are two alternatives.

A Sketch Artist’s View of the Impeachment Trial

Drawings of the proceedings from inside the Senate chamber, where no photos are allowed.

Jan. 16, 2020

The Senate chamber may be familiar to viewers of C-SPAN, but the room has undergone some significant changes to accommodate the proceedings.

A 3-D Tour of How the Senate Was Transformed for the Impeachment Trial

An immersive diagram of the storied chamber where President Trump’s trial is taking place — including what you won’t see in photos.

Jan. 23, 2020

ADVERTISEMENT

President Trump complained Friday that his lawyers would begin his defense on Saturday, a day the president said in the world of television was “called Death Valley,” as he unleashed dozens of tweets and retweets attacking the Senate trial.

The president began his social media assault just after 6 a.m. by retweeting Greg Jarrett, a conservative Fox News analyst, who was attacking the Democrats’ case. In one post, Mr. Jarrett accused Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, of lying about the evidence.

Over the next several hours, he retweeted articles by breitbart.com; Lou Dobbs, the Fox Business Network host; Ben Ferguson, a conservative commentator; Dan Bongino, the host of a conservative radio talk show; and several Republican lawmakers, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader in the House.

Later in the morning, Mr. Trump started tweeting his own attacks on the impeachment trial. In addition to complaining about the expected weekend start for his lawyers, Mr. Trump said he had “to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud and deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer and their crew.”

Image

Representative Val B. Demings of Florida and the other House impeachment managers will conclude their oral arguments on Friday.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The House managers prosecuting the case against President Trump will wrap up their arguments on Friday with a focus on the second article of impeachment: the accusation that the president obstructed Congress by blocking witnesses and documents in an attempt to cover up his misconduct.

It will be their last opportunity to appeal to a handful of moderate Republican senators on the question of seeking additional witnesses and documents before the president’s lawyers take center stage. Debate on that vital question is expected to happen early next week, after the conclusion of the arguments and a period of questions about the case from senators.

In the meantime, the Senate trial has tested the patience of senators, who have sat restlessly in their seats for more than 16 hours over two long days. Despite being admonished that they must remain silent and at attention “upon pain of imprisonment,” some have doodled, traded notes, whispered with their neighbors, or even nodded off.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team is scheduled to begin their presentation on Saturday, angering the president, who complained on Twitter on Friday morning that “my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”

There have been discussions in the Capitol that senators could start the Saturday session earlier than the usual 1 p.m., which could give them the chance to leave earlier, especially if the White House lawyers decide to reserve more of their presentation for Monday.

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

What to Watch For in Trump’s Impeachment Trial on Friday

Westlake Legal Group 24dc-whattowatch-facebookJumbo What to Watch For in Trump’s Impeachment Trial on Friday United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

Entering their final day of formal arguments, House impeachment managers are poised to bring to a close the case against President Trump that they have been methodically assembling since Wednesday.

There have been conspicuous signs that fatigue is growing among the senators, who have already heard nearly 16 hours of presentations. Some have looked restless, leaving their desks, whispering during session and even nodding off — all testing the limits of trial rules.

As patience wavers, both the House managers and Mr. Trump’s lawyers might be reconsidering how to keep the room engaged. The managers could take one more eight-hour day to put the finishing touches on their case, or they could move quickly to a concise conclusion. Meanwhile, the defense lawyers will be fine-tuning the opening arguments they are scheduled to begin delivering on Saturday, as well as weighing how extensive their presentation should be.

What we’re expecting to see: The conclusion of the House managers’ opening arguments.

When we’re likely to see it: The managers are expected to return to the floor at 1 p.m. as usual, allowing Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to keep his morning schedule in the Supreme Court. The managers will continue to deliver their arguments until the remainder of their allotted 24 hours expires or they decide to wrap up their case.

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.

Republicans seemed largely unmoved on Thursday by calls from Democrats to introduce new witnesses, a move that could significantly lengthen the trial. Despite chatter about a potential “witness trade” deal in which each side could call a number of witnesses of interest, such a deal seemed unlikely.

On the trial’s sidelines, senators have sporadically been making their stances known. Earlier Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said he was cautiously optimistic that enough Republicans would join him in voting to call witnesses like John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff. During a break Wednesday night, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, told reporters he would resist pressure from his colleagues to call the whistle-blower or members of the Biden family to testify.

Without witnesses, the impeachment trial could go to a vote and conclude as early as next week.

After a long week, proposals started circulating on Thursday for an abbreviated trial schedule on Saturday, perhaps starting closer to 10 a.m. Under current rules, Mr. Trump’s lawyers would begin at the usual 1 p.m.

The prospect of starting, and potentially ending, early on Saturday would give senators the chance to leave Washington sooner, and allow the four senators running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to log a few extra hours on the campaign trail.

But timing might also factor into Mr. Trump’s lawyers’ strategy, and they could be disinclined to break early. If they see advantages in forging ahead with as much of their opening arguments as possible before next week, the legal team may favor taking a full day on Saturday.

Both Democrats and Republicans would have to agree to any adjustments to the schedule.

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

Now Testifying for the Prosecution: President Trump

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167671023_7c6f1afd-2e8b-409c-845f-7ad1f4d35987-facebookJumbo Now Testifying for the Prosecution: President Trump United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia impeachment

WASHINGTON — The House managers prosecuting President Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors have failed so far to persuade Senate Republicans to let them call new witnesses in his impeachment trial. But in their own way, they have come up with a star witness they can bring to the floor: Mr. Trump himself.

Barred at this point from presenting live testimony, the managers have offered up the president as the most damning witness against himself, turning his own words against him by quoting from his public remarks, citing accounts of private discussions and showing video clips of him making audacious statements that the House team argues validate its case.

Thanks to screens set up in front of the senators, Mr. Trump’s voice has repeatedly echoed through the Senate chamber the past three days. There he was on the South Lawn of the White House publicly calling on Ukraine to investigate a campaign rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. There he was calling on China to go after Mr. Biden, too. There he was declaring that he would willingly take foreign help to win an election. And there he was back in 2016 calling on Russia, “if you’re listening,” to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email.

The strategy seeks to capitalize on Mr. Trump’s astonishingly unfiltered approach to politics, which has led him again and again to say openly what other presidents with more of an understanding of the traditional red lines of Washington — or at least more of an instinct for political self-preservation — would never say in front of a camera.

In effect, the managers are challenging the president’s own penchant for announcing his motivations without apparent regard for whether it could get him into trouble. At the same time, the managers are challenging the senators to take Mr. Trump at his word about what really drove him to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into Mr. Biden and other Democrats.

While Mr. Trump’s lawyers have argued that he was legitimately concerned with corruption in Ukraine when he held up nearly $400 million in security aid to that former Soviet republic, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California and the other House Democrats on the managers team have pointed to the president’s own words to contend that he cared only about tarnishing his domestic rivals.

In his presentation on Thursday, Mr. Schiff played about a half-dozen video clips of Mr. Trump, including one of the president on the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 3 speaking with reporters who asked him what he was hoping to get Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to do when they talked by telephone on July 25.

“Well, I would think if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” the senators saw Mr. Trump saying.

“So here we hear again from the president’s own words what his primary object is,” Mr. Schiff then told the senators, “and his primary object is helping his re-election campaign, help to cheat in his re-election campaign.”

Mr. Schiff said Mr. Trump’s own words made clear that he learned nothing from the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. “He was at it again,” Mr. Schiff said, “unrepentant, undeterred, if anything emboldened by escaping accountability from his invitation and willful use of Russian hacked materials in the last election.”

Under the trial rules, the president’s lawyers have had no chance to respond to their client’s star turn on the Senate floor over the last two days, but they are poised to open their own arguments on Saturday. In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s team has been left to defend him in the hallways during breaks.

“You’re only hearing one side of the story here,” said Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, one of a squadron of House Republicans enlisted by the president to serve as an adjunct of his defense team, working the cameras outside the chamber rather than the senators inside.

Mr. Johnson said it was wrong to contend that Mr. Trump was not concerned about corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere around the world. “Of course he was,” Mr. Johnson told reporters. “He’s been talking about it as a central theme of his campaign before he was president. When he ran on the priority of America first, that’s what he meant. He wanted to make sure that American taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.”

Mr. Trump is not the only person who has been presented to the Senate via video clips during the prosecution arguments, but even the other witnesses against him were largely drawn from his own team. Many of them testified during House hearings last fall about their concerns over the president and his allies pressuring Ukraine for help with his domestic politics.

Among the prosecution’s key witnesses are officials appointed by the Trump administration itself, including Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union; Kurt D. Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine; Fiona Hill, the president’s former Europe and Russia adviser, and her successor, Tim Morrison; Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director; Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; William B. Taylor Jr., the former top diplomat in Ukraine; and Thomas P. Bossert, the former White House homeland security adviser.

Others brought electronically into the chamber over the last three days include career public servants like Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine; Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a National Security Council staff member; and State Department officials like George Kent and David Holmes.

“Why did President Trump’s own officials — not so-called Never Trumpers, but public servants — report this in real time?” Mr. Schiff asked, referring to the mixing of politics with Ukraine policy. “Because they knew it was wrong.”

Indeed, the managers used Mr. Trump’s own appointees to rebut his assertion that he was right to push Ukraine to investigate its own supposed interference in the 2016 presidential election, a conspiracy theory that American intelligence agencies have called a Russian disinformation operation. The managers showed clips of Mr. Wray, Mr. Bossert and Dr. Hill all debunking the theory.

But the most compelling voice in the chamber this week has been that of the president himself. In his three years in office, Washington has learned that when it wants to understand what Mr. Trump is doing or thinking, he will most likely spell it out in bracingly candid terms in front of a microphone or on Twitter — and not always follow the official party line offered by his aides.

That uninhibited style appeals to supporters who love that he does not hew to standard talking points, but it can make him a frustrating client for lawyers who would prefer he be more circumspect at the very least. Either way, it makes his statements more important in judging him. Which is presumably one reason his legal team has resisted Mr. Trump’s suggestions that perhaps he should attend the trial and testify himself.

Absent that, there will be the television clips and quotes from the rough transcript of his call with Mr. Zelensky and recollections of people like Mr. Sondland.

Mr. Schiff played one clip after the other that he said exposed Mr. Trump’s true intentions. In one, Mr. Trump told reporters: “There was a lot of corruption having to do with the 2016 election against us. We want to get to the bottom of it.

When the clip was shown, Mr. Schiff focused on the “us” in Mr. Trump’s comment: “What does that president say? Corruption against us. He is not concerned about actual corruption cases, only matters that affect him personally.”

But the managers had it easy the last couple of days with exclusive access to the microphone and the screens on the Senate floor, and unchallenged by either the White House legal team or the senators. On Saturday, the president’s lawyers will have their chance to explain what Mr. Trump meant and provide the other side of the story, one that will interpret his words in a far different light than Mr. Schiff. Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s lawyers, told reporters during a break on Thursday that the managers had presented nothing new and hardly proved their case.

“I saw nothing that has changed in the last day and a half, two and a half days, we’ve been going here,” he said. “We’re going to begin a robust case when the Senate says it’s time to start.”

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Democrats seek to poke holes in Trump’s expected defense.

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-liveblog-managers-facebookJumbo Democrats seek to poke holes in Trump’s expected defense. Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schumer, Charles E Nadler, Jerrold impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A Biden, Joseph R Jr

House managers had a very clear strategy when they walked into the Senate chambers on Thursday: Poke holes in the defenses they expect President Trump’s lawyers will try to employ when it’s their turn this week.

The White House defense team claims that impeachment cannot be valid without a crime. So for more than an hour, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York methodically walked through the history of constitutional law to preemptively assert that such a defense is wrong.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers also argue in their legal brief that the president was interested only in combating corruption in Ukraine. So the House managers zeroed in on evidence on Thursday that shows the president was concerned about corruption claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son — not corruption generally.

And because they expect the president’s legal advisers to repeatedly raise the Bidens when they present their defense, the House managers spent hours debunking the accusation that the Bidens did anything improper in Ukraine.

Taken together, Thursday’s presentations by the House managers were meant as a shield against what they expect is coming, most likely on Saturday, when Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer, get their chance in the well of the Senate.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, applauded the House managers during a break in the case for “pre-empting” the arguments from the president’s team. But Mr. Sekulow was undeterred a few minutes later.

“I am confident that whether it is Saturday, or Monday or Tuesday that the case will be made defending the president,” he said. “I have no doubt.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s role in the impeachment of Mr. Trump may be formally over, but by her own design, the matter is not out of her hands.

Even in her absence from the Capitol this week, as the speaker traveled through Poland and Israel in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, she had her hand firmly on the tiller of the prosecution of the president.

In many ways, Ms. Pelosi is the eighth, largely unseen manager of the Democrats’ case.

She selected the group of seven House impeachment managers from among her closest and most loyal advisers, placing at its helm Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, a trusted protégé whom she privately calls “the general.”

Ms. Pelosi has dispatched her handpicked House general counsel to sit at the table inside the Senate chamber, with the prosecutors acting as her eyes and ears. She reviewed all the managers’ written briefs before they were filed.

And the multipronged media campaign to make the case for Mr. Trump’s removal is being run out of her office, by her communications director and other staff.

“Look, she cares a lot about this,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a brief interview.

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The presentations at the Senate impeachment trial on Thursday have been some of the most dense yet, starting with a historical lecture about the constitutional roots of impeachment and later delving deeply into the details of President Trump’s actions.

But that hasn’t kept the public away.

The public galleries in the Senate were as full as they have been all week, with almost 200 people listening quietly as the House managers presented their case. The galleries no doubt included some Senate staff members and others who were assigned to be there. But there appeared to be plenty of regular attendees, too — people just eager to watch a bit of history unfold.

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President Trump on Thursday at the White House.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

President Trump is nowhere near the Capitol, but the House managers are still using his words against him.

At several points on Thursday, the House members prosecuting the articles of impeachment have used video clips of Mr. Trump as evidence of his motives in pressuring Ukraine for investigations into the Bidens.

Building his case that Mr. Trump wanted Ukrainian investigations that benefited him politically, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, showed several clips, including one in which Mr. Trump referred to the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered with his campaign in 2016.

“There was a lot of corruption having to do with the 2016 election against us, and we want to get to the bottom it and it’s very important that we do,” Mr. Trump said in the clip, his voice echoing through the chamber.

Mr. Schiff quickly made his point: “He’s not concerned about actual corruption cases, only matters that affect him personally.”

Later, as Mr. Schiff argued that Mr. Trump only cared about investigations into the Bidens, he used a video clip of the president’s own words, as he discussed his interest in working with Ukraine on corruption.

“And let me tell you something, Biden’s son is corrupt. And Biden is corrupt,” the president said in the clip.

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The House managers made a strategic decision on Thursday to focus extensive attention on the actions of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.

The lengthy presentation — by Representative Sylvia R. Garcia of Texas, one of the House managers — was aimed at proving that there was no basis to President Trump’s assertions that the former vice president and his son did improper things in Ukraine.

“Common sense will tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is false,” Ms. Garcia told the senators.

But allies of Mr. Trump quickly pounced on the extended discussion about the Bidens to insist that the impeachment trial should include scrutiny of their actions, and potentially a move to call them as witnesses.

Mr. Trump’s Republican defenders have long argued that the president’s demand that Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens was not improper because he was merely interested in rooting out corruption in that country.

At least one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers suggested the Democrats made a mistake in focusing on the former vice president and his son.

“They have opened the door,” said Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump and a member of his impeachment legal defense team. “It’s now relevant.”

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri and a staunch ally of the president, made the same point in a tweet during a break after the presentation.

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Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for President Trump, arriving Thursday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Jay Sekulow, the president’s lawyer and one of the leaders of his defense team, declared that “nothing has changed in the last day and a half of their two and a half days.”

He declined to say whether the White House defense would request any changes to the schedule on Saturday, saying that they would do what “our legal team thinks is appropriate to present our case.”

During a break in the trial, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, applauded the House managers for “pre-empting” arguments from the president’s defense team.

Mr. Sekulow was undeterred. “I am confident that whether it is Saturday, or Monday or Tuesday that the case will be made defending the president,” he said. “I have no doubt.”

The rules of the Senate trial say the senators are supposed to be sitting in their seats throughout the presentation. In President Trump’s trial, they are treating that rule rather liberally.

At one point Thursday morning, when Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York finished his presentation, 19 seats on the Senate floor belonging to a mix of Republicans and Democrats were empty, according to Peter Baker, The New York Times’s chief White House correspondent, who was sitting in the press gallery.

Most were only vacant for a few minutes. It appeared, Mr. Baker said, that several senators were treating the end of Mr. Nadler’s presentation — which was followed immediately by one from a fellow House manager, Representative Sylvia R. Garcia of New York — as an unofficial break.

Ten minutes after the end of Mr. Nadler’s presentation, 10 seats were still empty. Five minutes after that, most of the senators had wandered back in, and only four seats were empty.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democratic presidential candidate, was one of the senators who left, at 1:59 p.m. She returned 15 minutes later, taking her seat again at 2:14 p.m.

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Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had a white legal notepad in front of him as Thursday’s impeachment trial began — and he was busy doodling.

On the top page, Mr. Paul had created an extensive, and impressive, doodle of the United States Capitol. Drawn with a blue ballpoint pen, the drawing covered the entire bottom third of the paper.

At one point, Representative Sylvia Garcia of Texas, a House manager, showed a video clip of George P. Kent, a State Department official, being asked whether some Republicans, like Mr. Paul, believed that what President Trump did in Ukraine was the same as what former Vice President Joseph R. Biden did when he tried to get a corrupt prosecutor fired.

Looking up from his doodle, Mr. Paul smiled and raised a fist with his index finger extended, as if to say, “Yes!” Then, when Mr. Kent answered by saying that what Mr. Biden did was very different than what Mr. Trump did, Mr. Paul lowered his arm.

And he went back to his doodle.

The House managers continued to lay out their arguments for impeaching President Trump, and his lawyers prepared their defense.Image by Doug Mills/The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, began the House presentation on Thursday with an hourlong lecture on the constitutional history of impeachment.

He insisted that the history of the Constitution makes it clear that a criminal violation is not necessary to impeach the president. In making the argument, he cited words from some of President Trump’s key allies in his impeachment defense: Alan Dershowitz, a member of the president’s impeachment team; William P. Barr, the attorney general; and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

He concluded his presentation with a forceful assertion to the senators: “Impeachment is aimed at presidents who act as if they are above the law, at presidents who believe their own interests are more important than those of the nation, and thus at president who ignore right and wrong in pursuit of their own gain.”

“Abuse. Betrayal. Corruption,” he said. “Here are the core offenses, the framers feared most. The president’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national interest, and his corruption of our elections plainly qualified as great and dangerous offenses.”

Drawing on legal scholars and liberally quoting historical figures, Mr. Nadler argued that the founders of the nation envisioned that impeachment would be required for presidential abuses of power like the misconduct the House alleged when it passed two articles of impeachment.

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Reporters waiting near the Senate chamber as the trial continues.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

As senators settled in for another long day of arguments from the House managers, there was already talk among lawmakers and their aides of a potentially abbreviated weekend trial schedule.

Under one proposal being discussed, the Senate could convene as a court of impeachment early on Saturday, around 10 a.m. and meet for a far shorter session than usual. That would theoretically allow senators who wanted to travel home — or for Democrats running for president, to campaign in early voting states — for 36 hours before the trial resumes on Monday.

The Senate’s impeachment rules normally require the trial to meet every Monday to Saturday at 1 p.m. until a verdict is reached. That late daily start time is meant to accommodate Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who maintains a morning case schedule at the Supreme Court before presiding over the trial. But Chief Justice Roberts does not have court business on Saturdays.

The decision may also depend on the president’s lawyers, who are scheduled to begin their defense against the House charges on Saturday. If they want to move the trial along as quickly as possible, they could ask for an early start on Saturday but also that the session be allowed to run into the evening. Or they could simply shorten their arguments.

“I suspect we’ll start on Saturday, and then we’ll go, probably another day or two, but who knows,” Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers said Wednesday night. “I mean we’ve got to make that determination, with our team.”

Any change would require consent from both Democrats and Republicans.

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Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and one of the impeachment managers in 1999, left the Senate chamber just minutes before House Democrats played a video of him speaking during President Bill Clinton’s trial.

In the clip, Mr. Graham gave a broad definition of a “high crime”: “It’s just when you’re using your office in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime,” he said.

One of the Republicans’ talking points is that there was no crime underlying President Trump’s conduct, therefore it was not impeachable. That argument is widely disputed.

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, who sits next to Mr. Graham on the Senate floor, briefly patted the South Carolina Republican’s empty seat as the video began to play.

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Vice President Mike Pence, right, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Jerusalem on Thursday.Credit…Ammar Awad/Reuters

As Democrats spoke in the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence announced that President Trump had asked him to invite to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to Washington next week to discuss “regional issues, as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land.”

Mr. Pence, who is visiting Jerusalem, said at Mr. Netanyahu’s request he had also invited Benny Gantz, an opposition leader in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu said he would “gladly accept.”

It is another instance of the administration moving forward with legislative and diplomatic work while the impeachment trial is going on in the Senate.

On Wednesday, Republican senators held a ceremonial event to formally send Mr. Trump’s revised North American trade pact to his desk for his signature.

Just as Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, a House manager, started his presentation about “high crimes and misdemeanors,” President Trump started tweeting, accusing Democrats of not wanting to agree to a trade in which the Senate would subpoena several administration officials in exchange for people Mr. Trump’s allies have said they want. Two people Republicans have sought to interview are Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, and the anonymous whistle-blower who first expressed concerns about Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

Democrats have urged the Senate to subpoena John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and two other administration officials. But they have said they will not consider a deal that would include what they call irrelevant witnesses like Mr. Biden.

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Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, speaking with other House impeachment managers ahead of the trial on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead impeachment manager, opened the day by observing how rare it was for House lawmakers to have the opportunity to speak on the Senate floor, before silent senators. (Senators have begun flouting the rules of decorum during an impeachment trial, with some going so far as to leave the floor for short bursts of time during the day.)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the House impeachment managers have 16 hours and 42 minutes remaining to make their case.

A Democratic official working on the inquiry said that the seven managers planned to spend the day going through the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, and applying the law and the Constitution to their case. On Friday, the lawmakers plan to do the same with the second article of impeachment.

Moments before the Senate convened, pages could be seen placing packets of paper on desks across the chamber. Senators, ahead of the trial, dropped off binders and bags before stealing a final moment off the chamber floor.

Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, Democrat of Pennsylvania and vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, could be seen on the Senate floor, observing the proceedings.

Senators must sit quietly to listen to the arguments; even during the 16 hours they will have devoted to their questions, those questions will be submitted in writing.

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Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, during an impeachment inquiry hearing in November.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The White House named eight House Republicans as part of the public face of the president’s defense on Capitol Hill, and on Thursday some of those lawmakers arrived again in the Senate basement to hold court with reporters and deliver a full-throated defense of the president.

“We’re just making sure that we are paying close attention to the testimony,” said Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, “and making sure that our points are getting out there to the American people.”

The group, she said, was working closely with the White House lawyers. But since they are not part of the official legal team, they will not be able to speak in the Senate chamber.

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Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said he still has “hope” that Republicans would agree to new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial.Image by Calla Kessler/The New York Times

The top Democrat in the Senate said he still had “hope” that Republicans would agree to new witnesses and evidence in President Trump’s impeachment trial, but he stopped short of saying he was optimistic that it would happen.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said there are “lots of conversations going on,” but he denied reports that there had been discussions with Republicans about a deal allowing Republican witnesses in exchange for the witnesses whom House managers want to call.

Democrats have urged the Senate to call John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and two other administration officials. Several moderate Republicans have said they might be open to witnesses after oral arguments and questions from senators.

“Not a single Republican has approached me and said ‘What about this? What about that?’ It’s not happening,” Mr. Schumer told reporters at the Capitol ahead of the second day of oral arguments from the managers.

Mr. Schumer said he hoped the “weight of history” would help persuade those Republicans. But when asked whether he thought the Democrats would win the argument, he started to say he had optimism, then stopped.

“I have hope, that’s a better way to put it,” he said, “that we might get the witnesses at the end of the day. And we’re going to keep fighting and fighting and fighting.”

The president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, again promised on Thursday to release more evidence of the widely debunked conspiracy theory implicating one of the president’s top political rivals, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, in wrongdoing.

Mr. Biden is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, and the narrative Mr. Giuliani has been promoting is at the center of the impeachment charges against Mr. Trump.

While he’s not on Mr. Trump’s defense team for the Senate trial, Mr. Giuliani is deeply entwined in the pressure campaign on Ukraine that led to the president’s impeachment. And he is among the witnesses who refused to testify during House impeachment inquiry. Mr. Giuliani has said that his work in Ukraine had Mr. Trump’s support.

For the first time since the Senate began hearing arguments against him, President Trump is back in Washington and on Twitter. He tweeted a number of criticisms toward Democrats and their arguments, rehashing favorite insults against his opponents and quoting Fox News personalities.

After returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday evening, the president is scheduled to travel to Florida on Thursday afternoon just as House managers will begin their second day of arguments.

It is not clear how much of the trial the president has watched live.

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Representative Sylvia Garcia, one of the House impeachment managers, Wednesday on Capitol Hill. The managers will continue to present their case to the Senate on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House impeachment managers are set to begin their second day of arguments on Thursday, building on about eight hours already spent arguing that President Trump’s conduct warranted his removal on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead impeachment manager, told senators that on Thursday they would “go through the law, the Constitution and the facts as they apply to article one” of impeachment.

“We’ve introduced the case, we’ve gone through the chronology and tomorrow we will apply the facts to the law as it pertains to the president’s abuse of power,” Mr. Schiff said as he concluded Wednesday’s arguments.

The impeachment managers have until Friday evening to use their remaining hours of argument time to present before a rancorous Senate. Lawmakers, despite rules threatening imprisonment for talking, have grown increasingly restless while cooped up in the chamber — and few minds appear to be changed.

On Wednesday, the seven lawmakers tasked with presenting the case for Mr. Trump’s conviction took turns outlining the charges that the president attempted to pressure Ukraine for assistance in his re-election campaign by withholding critical military assistance and a White House visit for the country’s leader.

Several Senate Republicans emerged late Wednesday to inform reporters that they had not learned anything new after hours of presentation from the House.

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The trial breaks for dinner.

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-liveblog-managers-facebookJumbo The trial breaks for dinner. Senate impeachment

The Senate impeachment trial has taken a 30-minute dinner break, giving senators a chance to eat, use the restroom and do what they do best — run to the cameras and talk to reporters.

The presentation by the House managers will resume when the break is over. (That could be longer than 30 minutes, since lawmakers rarely stick to schedule.) It’s unclear how much longer the presentations will go, but several hours more is a good guess.

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Representative Hakeem Jeffries, right, added a moment of levity to the arguments before he went into the case against the president.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Mark it down: The first joke of President Trump’s impeachment trial took place just before 6 p.m. on Thursday. Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, one of the House managers, strode up to the lectern and in somber tones thanked the chief justice, the senators and the White House lawyers. Then he told a story about running into a fellow New Yorker who asked if he had heard the latest outrage. Mr. Jeffries told the senators that he assumed Mr. Trump, back in town after a trip overseas, had again done something outrageous.

“Someone voted against Derek Jeter on his Hall of Fame ballot,” Mr. Jeffries said the friend told him, referring to the Yankees shortstop. Several senators in the chamber chuckled.

“I understand that, as House managers, certainly we hope we can subpoena John Bolton, subpoena Mick Mulvaney,” Mr. Jeffries went on. “But perhaps we can all agree — subpoena the Baseball Hall of Fame to try to figure out who out of 397 individuals, one person, goes against Derek Jeter.” There were more chuckles, including from Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

After the joke, Mr. Jeffries moved to the more serious issues of the day, focusing on the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for investigations by withholding a White House meeting.

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A sketch of the Senate chamber.Credit…Anjali Singhvi/The New York Times

The video cameras in the Senate chamber have been almost exclusively focused on one place during the impeachment trial — a small area at the front of the room where the chief justice and those speaking at the lectern appear.

Taking photos and other video of the space is not allowed, so in order to provide a more comprehensive view of how the chamber has been transformed into a courtroom, The Times sent a graphics editor to draw it.

See the 3D rendering here, and look for details like the Senate seal on the ceiling and marble panels designed by Lee Lawrie, the artist who designed the bronze statue of Atlas at Rockefeller Center.

A 3D Tour of How the Senate Was Transformed for the Impeachment Trial An immersive diagram of the storied chamber where President Trump’s trial is taking place — including what you won’t see in photos.

House managers had a very clear strategy when they walked into the Senate chambers on Thursday: Poke holes in the defenses they expect President Trump’s lawyers will try to employ when it’s their turn this week.

The White House defense team claims that impeachment cannot be valid without a crime. So for more than an hour, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York methodically walked through the history of constitutional law to preemptively assert that such a defense is wrong.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers also argue in their legal brief that the president was interested only in combating corruption in Ukraine. So the House managers zeroed in on evidence on Thursday that shows the president was concerned about corruption claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son — not corruption generally.

And because they expect the president’s legal advisers to repeatedly raise the Bidens when they present their defense, the House managers spent hours debunking the accusation that the Bidens did anything improper in Ukraine.

Taken together, Thursday’s presentations by the House managers were meant as a shield against what they expect is coming, most likely on Saturday, when Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer, get their chance in the well of the Senate.

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, applauded the House managers during a break in the case for “pre-empting” the arguments from the president’s team. But Mr. Sekulow was undeterred a few minutes later.

“I am confident that whether it is Saturday, or Monday or Tuesday that the case will be made defending the president,” he said. “I have no doubt.”

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s role in the impeachment of Mr. Trump may be formally over, but by her own design, the matter is not out of her hands.

Even in her absence from the Capitol this week, as the speaker traveled through Poland and Israel in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, she had her hand firmly on the tiller of the prosecution of the president.

In many ways, Ms. Pelosi is the eighth, largely unseen manager of the Democrats’ case.

She selected the group of seven House impeachment managers from among her closest and most loyal advisers, placing at its helm Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, a trusted protégé whom she privately calls “the general.”

Ms. Pelosi has dispatched her handpicked House general counsel to sit at the table inside the Senate chamber, with the prosecutors acting as her eyes and ears. She reviewed all the managers’ written briefs before they were filed.

And the multipronged media campaign to make the case for Mr. Trump’s removal is being run out of her office, by her communications director and other staff.

“Look, she cares a lot about this,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a brief interview.

The presentations at the Senate impeachment trial on Thursday have been some of the most dense yet, starting with a historical lecture about the constitutional roots of impeachment and later delving deeply into the details of President Trump’s actions.

But that hasn’t kept the public away.

The public galleries in the Senate were as full as they have been all week, with almost 200 people listening quietly as the House managers presented their case. The galleries no doubt included some Senate staff members and others who were assigned to be there. But there appeared to be plenty of regular attendees, too — people just eager to watch a bit of history unfold.

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President Trump on Thursday at the White House.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

President Trump is nowhere near the Capitol, but the House managers are still using his words against him.

At several points on Thursday, the House members prosecuting the articles of impeachment have used video clips of Mr. Trump as evidence of his motives in pressuring Ukraine for investigations into the Bidens.

Building his case that Mr. Trump wanted Ukrainian investigations that benefited him politically, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, showed several clips, including one in which Mr. Trump referred to the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered with his campaign in 2016.

“There was a lot of corruption having to do with the 2016 election against us, and we want to get to the bottom it and it’s very important that we do,” Mr. Trump said in the clip, his voice echoing through the chamber.

Mr. Schiff quickly made his point: “He’s not concerned about actual corruption cases, only matters that affect him personally.”

Later, as Mr. Schiff argued that Mr. Trump only cared about investigations into the Bidens, he used a video clip of the president’s own words, as he discussed his interest in working with Ukraine on corruption.

“And let me tell you something, Biden’s son is corrupt. And Biden is corrupt,” the president said in the clip.

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The House managers made a strategic decision on Thursday to focus extensive attention on the actions of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.

The lengthy presentation — by Representative Sylvia R. Garcia of Texas, one of the House managers — was aimed at proving that there was no basis to President Trump’s assertions that the former vice president and his son did improper things in Ukraine.

“Common sense will tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is false,” Ms. Garcia told the senators.

But allies of Mr. Trump quickly pounced on the extended discussion about the Bidens to insist that the impeachment trial should include scrutiny of their actions, and potentially a move to call them as witnesses.

Mr. Trump’s Republican defenders have long argued that the president’s demand that Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens was not improper because he was merely interested in rooting out corruption in that country.

At least one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers suggested the Democrats made a mistake in focusing on the former vice president and his son.

“They have opened the door,” said Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump and a member of his impeachment legal defense team. “It’s now relevant.”

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri and a staunch ally of the president, made the same point in a tweet during a break after the presentation.

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Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for President Trump, arriving Thursday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Jay Sekulow, the president’s lawyer and one of the leaders of his defense team, declared that “nothing has changed in the last day and a half of their two and a half days.”

He declined to say whether the White House defense would request any changes to the schedule on Saturday, saying that they would do what “our legal team thinks is appropriate to present our case.”

During a break in the trial, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, applauded the House managers for “pre-empting” arguments from the president’s defense team.

Mr. Sekulow was undeterred. “I am confident that whether it is Saturday, or Monday or Tuesday that the case will be made defending the president,” he said. “I have no doubt.”

The rules of the Senate trial say the senators are supposed to be sitting in their seats throughout the presentation. In President Trump’s trial, they are treating that rule rather liberally.

At one point Thursday morning, when Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York finished his presentation, 19 seats on the Senate floor belonging to a mix of Republicans and Democrats were empty, according to Peter Baker, The New York Times’s chief White House correspondent, who was sitting in the press gallery.

Most were only vacant for a few minutes. It appeared, Mr. Baker said, that several senators were treating the end of Mr. Nadler’s presentation — which was followed immediately by one from a fellow House manager, Representative Sylvia R. Garcia of New York — as an unofficial break.

Ten minutes after the end of Mr. Nadler’s presentation, 10 seats were still empty. Five minutes after that, most of the senators had wandered back in, and only four seats were empty.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democratic presidential candidate, was one of the senators who left, at 1:59 p.m. She returned 15 minutes later, taking her seat again at 2:14 p.m.

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Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had a white legal notepad in front of him as Thursday’s impeachment trial began — and he was busy doodling.

On the top page, Mr. Paul had created an extensive, and impressive, doodle of the United States Capitol. Drawn with a blue ballpoint pen, the drawing covered the entire bottom third of the paper.

At one point, Representative Sylvia Garcia of Texas, a House manager, showed a video clip of George P. Kent, a State Department official, being asked whether some Republicans, like Mr. Paul, believed that what President Trump did in Ukraine was the same as what former Vice President Joseph R. Biden did when he tried to get a corrupt prosecutor fired.

Looking up from his doodle, Mr. Paul smiled and raised a fist with his index finger extended, as if to say, “Yes!” Then, when Mr. Kent answered by saying that what Mr. Biden did was very different than what Mr. Trump did, Mr. Paul lowered his arm.

And he went back to his doodle.

The House managers continued to lay out their arguments for impeaching President Trump, and his lawyers prepared their defense.Image by Doug Mills/The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, began the House presentation on Thursday with an hourlong lecture on the constitutional history of impeachment.

He insisted that the history of the Constitution makes it clear that a criminal violation is not necessary to impeach the president. In making the argument, he cited words from some of President Trump’s key allies in his impeachment defense: Alan Dershowitz, a member of the president’s impeachment team; William P. Barr, the attorney general; and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

He concluded his presentation with a forceful assertion to the senators: “Impeachment is aimed at presidents who act as if they are above the law, at presidents who believe their own interests are more important than those of the nation, and thus at president who ignore right and wrong in pursuit of their own gain.”

“Abuse. Betrayal. Corruption,” he said. “Here are the core offenses, the framers feared most. The president’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national interest, and his corruption of our elections plainly qualified as great and dangerous offenses.”

Drawing on legal scholars and liberally quoting historical figures, Mr. Nadler argued that the founders of the nation envisioned that impeachment would be required for presidential abuses of power like the misconduct the House alleged when it passed two articles of impeachment.

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Reporters waiting near the Senate chamber as the trial continues.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

As senators settled in for another long day of arguments from the House managers, there was already talk among lawmakers and their aides of a potentially abbreviated weekend trial schedule.

Under one proposal being discussed, the Senate could convene as a court of impeachment early on Saturday, around 10 a.m. and meet for a far shorter session than usual. That would theoretically allow senators who wanted to travel home — or for Democrats running for president, to campaign in early voting states — for 36 hours before the trial resumes on Monday.

The Senate’s impeachment rules normally require the trial to meet every Monday to Saturday at 1 p.m. until a verdict is reached. That late daily start time is meant to accommodate Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who maintains a morning case schedule at the Supreme Court before presiding over the trial. But Chief Justice Roberts does not have court business on Saturdays.

The decision may also depend on the president’s lawyers, who are scheduled to begin their defense against the House charges on Saturday. If they want to move the trial along as quickly as possible, they could ask for an early start on Saturday but also that the session be allowed to run into the evening. Or they could simply shorten their arguments.

“I suspect we’ll start on Saturday, and then we’ll go, probably another day or two, but who knows,” Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers said Wednesday night. “I mean we’ve got to make that determination, with our team.”

Any change would require consent from both Democrats and Republicans.

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Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and one of the impeachment managers in 1999, left the Senate chamber just minutes before House Democrats played a video of him speaking during President Bill Clinton’s trial.

In the clip, Mr. Graham gave a broad definition of a “high crime”: “It’s just when you’re using your office in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime,” he said.

One of the Republicans’ talking points is that there was no crime underlying President Trump’s conduct, therefore it was not impeachable. That argument is widely disputed.

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, who sits next to Mr. Graham on the Senate floor, briefly patted the South Carolina Republican’s empty seat as the video began to play.

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Vice President Mike Pence, right, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Jerusalem on Thursday.Credit…Ammar Awad/Reuters

As Democrats spoke in the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence announced that President Trump had asked him to invite to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to Washington next week to discuss “regional issues, as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land.”

Mr. Pence, who is visiting Jerusalem, said at Mr. Netanyahu’s request he had also invited Benny Gantz, an opposition leader in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu said he would “gladly accept.”

It is another instance of the administration moving forward with legislative and diplomatic work while the impeachment trial is going on in the Senate.

On Wednesday, Republican senators held a ceremonial event to formally send Mr. Trump’s revised North American trade pact to his desk for his signature.

Just as Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, a House manager, started his presentation about “high crimes and misdemeanors,” President Trump started tweeting, accusing Democrats of not wanting to agree to a trade in which the Senate would subpoena several administration officials in exchange for people Mr. Trump’s allies have said they want. Two people Republicans have sought to interview are Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, and the anonymous whistle-blower who first expressed concerns about Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

Democrats have urged the Senate to subpoena John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and two other administration officials. But they have said they will not consider a deal that would include what they call irrelevant witnesses like Mr. Biden.

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Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, speaking with other House impeachment managers ahead of the trial on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead impeachment manager, opened the day by observing how rare it was for House lawmakers to have the opportunity to speak on the Senate floor, before silent senators. (Senators have begun flouting the rules of decorum during an impeachment trial, with some going so far as to leave the floor for short bursts of time during the day.)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the House impeachment managers have 16 hours and 42 minutes remaining to make their case.

A Democratic official working on the inquiry said that the seven managers planned to spend the day going through the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, and applying the law and the Constitution to their case. On Friday, the lawmakers plan to do the same with the second article of impeachment.

Moments before the Senate convened, pages could be seen placing packets of paper on desks across the chamber. Senators, ahead of the trial, dropped off binders and bags before stealing a final moment off the chamber floor.

Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, Democrat of Pennsylvania and vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, could be seen on the Senate floor, observing the proceedings.

Senators must sit quietly to listen to the arguments; even during the 16 hours they will have devoted to their questions, those questions will be submitted in writing.

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Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, during an impeachment inquiry hearing in November.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The White House named eight House Republicans as part of the public face of the president’s defense on Capitol Hill, and on Thursday some of those lawmakers arrived again in the Senate basement to hold court with reporters and deliver a full-throated defense of the president.

“We’re just making sure that we are paying close attention to the testimony,” said Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, “and making sure that our points are getting out there to the American people.”

The group, she said, was working closely with the White House lawyers. But since they are not part of the official legal team, they will not be able to speak in the Senate chamber.

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Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said he still has “hope” that Republicans would agree to new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial.Image by Calla Kessler/The New York Times

The top Democrat in the Senate said he still had “hope” that Republicans would agree to new witnesses and evidence in President Trump’s impeachment trial, but he stopped short of saying he was optimistic that it would happen.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said there are “lots of conversations going on,” but he denied reports that there had been discussions with Republicans about a deal allowing Republican witnesses in exchange for the witnesses whom House managers want to call.

Democrats have urged the Senate to call John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and two other administration officials. Several moderate Republicans have said they might be open to witnesses after oral arguments and questions from senators.

“Not a single Republican has approached me and said ‘What about this? What about that?’ It’s not happening,” Mr. Schumer told reporters at the Capitol ahead of the second day of oral arguments from the managers.

Mr. Schumer said he hoped the “weight of history” would help persuade those Republicans. But when asked whether he thought the Democrats would win the argument, he started to say he had optimism, then stopped.

“I have hope, that’s a better way to put it,” he said, “that we might get the witnesses at the end of the day. And we’re going to keep fighting and fighting and fighting.”

The president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, again promised on Thursday to release more evidence of the widely debunked conspiracy theory implicating one of the president’s top political rivals, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, in wrongdoing.

Mr. Biden is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, and the narrative Mr. Giuliani has been promoting is at the center of the impeachment charges against Mr. Trump.

While he’s not on Mr. Trump’s defense team for the Senate trial, Mr. Giuliani is deeply entwined in the pressure campaign on Ukraine that led to the president’s impeachment. And he is among the witnesses who refused to testify during House impeachment inquiry. Mr. Giuliani has said that his work in Ukraine had Mr. Trump’s support.

For the first time since the Senate began hearing arguments against him, President Trump is back in Washington and on Twitter. He tweeted a number of criticisms toward Democrats and their arguments, rehashing favorite insults against his opponents and quoting Fox News personalities.

After returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday evening, the president is scheduled to travel to Florida on Thursday afternoon just as House managers will begin their second day of arguments.

It is not clear how much of the trial the president has watched live.

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Representative Sylvia Garcia, one of the House impeachment managers, Wednesday on Capitol Hill. The managers will continue to present their case to the Senate on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House impeachment managers are set to begin their second day of arguments on Thursday, building on about eight hours already spent arguing that President Trump’s conduct warranted his removal on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead impeachment manager, told senators that on Thursday they would “go through the law, the Constitution and the facts as they apply to article one” of impeachment.

“We’ve introduced the case, we’ve gone through the chronology and tomorrow we will apply the facts to the law as it pertains to the president’s abuse of power,” Mr. Schiff said as he concluded Wednesday’s arguments.

The impeachment managers have until Friday evening to use their remaining hours of argument time to present before a rancorous Senate. Lawmakers, despite rules threatening imprisonment for talking, have grown increasingly restless while cooped up in the chamber — and few minds appear to be changed.

On Wednesday, the seven lawmakers tasked with presenting the case for Mr. Trump’s conviction took turns outlining the charges that the president attempted to pressure Ukraine for assistance in his re-election campaign by withholding critical military assistance and a White House visit for the country’s leader.

Several Senate Republicans emerged late Wednesday to inform reporters that they had not learned anything new after hours of presentation from the House.

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Even From Half a World Away, Pelosi Keeps a Tight Grip on Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-tot1-facebookJumbo Even From Half a World Away, Pelosi Keeps a Tight Grip on Impeachment United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy impeachment Hastert, J Dennis Clinton, Bill

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s motorcade was winding through Jerusalem on Wednesday, en route to a state dinner hosted by the president of Israel, when she placed perhaps the most important call of her day — to Representative Adam B. Schiff, the man leading the charge to remove President Trump from office.

On the other end of the line, 5,900 miles away, Mr. Schiff, the top impeachment manager, was preparing to stride into the Senate chamber to begin arguing the House’s case, and the speaker wanted to compare notes before she slipped into a gathering of world leaders.

Ms. Pelosi’s role in the impeachment of Mr. Trump may be formally over, but by her own design, the matter is not out of her hands. Even in her absence from the Capitol this week, as the speaker traveled through Poland and Israel in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, she had her hand firmly on the tiller of the prosecution of the president.

In many ways, Ms. Pelosi is the eighth, largely unseen manager of the Democrats’ case.

She selected the group of seven House impeachment managers from among her closest and most loyal advisers, placing Mr. Schiff, the California Democrat and trusted protégé whom she privately calls “the general,” at its helm. Ms. Pelosi has dispatched her handpicked House general counsel to sit at the table inside the Senate chamber, with the prosecutors acting as her eyes and ears. She reviewed all the managers’ written briefs before they were filed. And the multipronged media campaign to make the case for Mr. Trump’s removal is being run out of her office, by her communications director and other staff.

“Look, she cares a lot about this,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a brief interview.

She is also hands-on by nature. Aides and lawmakers involved in the impeachment trial say that after unilaterally withholding the charges for nearly a month in a bid for leverage — a decision that Republicans fiercely criticized — Ms. Pelosi has now passed off many of the day-to-day tasks of the case. Yet even as the public focus has shifted to Mr. Schiff and his team of impeachment managers, who on Wednesday and Thursday began laying out their arguments for convicting Mr. Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Ms. Pelosi has remained firmly in control.

Her approach underscores the stakes of the case for Democrats and for Ms. Pelosi herself, whose control of the House is in many ways on the line as much as the president’s fate is.

With the election less than 10 months away, Democrats are running a two-track prosecution: one aimed at persuading the Republican-controlled Senate to convict and remove Mr. Trump — an effort that is all but certain to fail — and another at voters who appear more skeptical and will have the final say at the ballot box.

A bungled trial could blow up in Democrats’ faces and cost them their House majority, squandering any chance at cutting short a presidency they view as deeply destructive to the country. A well-executed one could burnish their image and turn voters against Republicans who side with the president.

Republicans are happy to remind the public of the involvement of Ms. Pelosi, whom they have long vilified. Much of their defense of the president, both in the Senate and on television, rests on delegitimizing the House inquiry she blessed. They argue that Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schiff have been driven by raw partisanship and a vendetta against the president, attempting nothing less than a coup.

“It’s not the Senate’s role to mop up the mess that the House made when Speaker Pelosi rammed this thing through,” Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, said on Fox News this week.

Ms. Pelosi’s approach to the Senate trial is no different from how she handled the impeachment process when it was on her side of the Capitol. After months of resisting a move she repeatedly said was too divisive, the speaker dove in headfirst after revelations about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine, carefully stage-managing every public announcement and each major hearing to ensure that she maintained support among Democrats and from the public.

Backing off, her longtime aides and allies say, is not how Ms. Pelosi has retained the trust and control of her caucus for 17 years, longer than any other recent party leader.

“This is the approach which has been used and used successfully,” said John A. Lawrence, a former chief of staff to Ms. Pelosi.

But it could not stand in sharper contrast to how House Republican leaders handled President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1999, when they deliberately ignored the Senate’s trial.

Mr. Clinton’s impeachment coincided with the collapse of the party’s leadership team in the House after Republicans’ unexpected losses in the midterm congressional elections. Newt Gingrich of Georgia was forced to resign as speaker, and his would-be replacement, Robert L. Livingston of Louisiana, abruptly followed suit weeks later when, in the middle of the final debate over whether to impeach Mr. Clinton for sexual transgressions, he confessed in a speech on the House floor to his own extramarital affair.

By the time J. Dennis Hastert, a mild-mannered Republican, was chosen as speaker in early 1999, he was more interested in installing a new leadership team and policy agenda that could broaden the party’s appeal than seeing through an impeachment case that Republicans saw as politically toxic.

“He really wanted to run away from impeachment because he thought it was a loser politically, and he wanted to bring the country back together,” said John Feehery, who was a top aide to Mr. Hastert. Clinton was not going to be kicked out of office, and our view was we had to restore the brand of the party from launching a partisan impeachment to get some stuff done.”

While her initial instincts might have been similar, once Ms. Pelosi embraced impeachment, she remained intimately involved.

As she has traveled this week, Ms. Pelosi has stayed up late in her hotel room, watching the impeachment trial on television as her lieutenants and Mr. Trump’s lawyers feuded over witnesses and trial rules. She is in frequent contact with Mr. Schumer, with whom she has orchestrated an effort to pressure Republicans into calling new witnesses and documents.

Ashley Etienne, Ms. Pelosi’s communications director and a veteran of the Obama administration, is working with a top aide to Mr. Schiff, Patrick Boland, to oversee an elaborate news media strategy around the impeachment effort. Before the trial formally got underway, Ms. Pelosi lent the managers and their staff her spacious Capitol office suite, where they spent the weekend holed away for marathon prep sessions with her aides.

Inside the chamber, Doug Letter, the House general counsel and a veteran Justice Department lawyer, is among only a handful of aides sharing the prosecution table.

In 1999, Mr. Hastert left it to Representative Henry Hyde, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a fellow Illinois Republican, to select a team of a dozen managers to help him prosecute the case.

Ms. Pelosi, by contrast, met with nearly every House manager in person, alone without staff, before she selected them, based not just on courtroom experience but their ability to connect with different segments of the country.

Aside from the occasional check-ins by staff for the speaker, Mr. Hyde and his team had free rein to conduct the trial as they saw fit, said Paul McNulty, who served as a top aide to Mr. Hyde.

“Everything we were doing then was being done strictly by the Judiciary Committee trying to work its way through,” Mr. McNulty said.

In that case, the managers met a less divided Senate, where many Democrats were deeply angry at their own party’s president and some Republicans were trying to help smooth over the bitterly partisan politics of the House. Mr. Clinton’s approval ratings were high, and he was not facing re-election.

The opposite is true this time, as members of both parties eye the election in November, when a deeply unpopular Mr. Trump is on the ballot. Lawmakers are keenly aware that the verdict in his Senate trial is unlikely to be the last word for Mr. Trump — or for them.

“Pelosi believes that impeachment is going to work for her politically, and we believed that impeachment was not,” Mr. Feehery said. “We ran away from it; she is running to embrace it. She hesitated at first, but she is all in.”

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‘Where Is Kevin?’ McCarthy Finds a Place in the Trump Camp

Westlake Legal Group merlin_165482979_5b84e5b9-e435-4ef6-b1f1-789d9759937b-facebookJumbo ‘Where Is Kevin?’ McCarthy Finds a Place in the Trump Camp United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party McCarthy, Kevin (1965- ) impeachment House of Representatives

WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader, hails from an era — four years ago — when gaffes could cost a lawmaker a job. In 2015 he lost his shot at the speaker’s gavel after he said the quiet part out loud: The true purpose of Republicans’ two-year inquiry into a deadly 2012 attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was to dent Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

But in these times, when such impolitic truths are uttered often by the commander in chief, Mr. McCarthy has found a moment. He stayed on as the House Republicans’ No. 2 after failing to grab the speakership, rising to the conference’s top spot last year after Paul D. Ryan retired amid the anti-Trump wave of 2018, which handed the speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi.

Unburdened by Mr. Ryan’s strong ideologies or the self-certainty of a Newt Gingrich, Mr. McCarthy has become the happy warrior of the age, one colleague said, posing for photographs with players in the Ukraine saga, like Lev Parnas, shouting encouragement to his compatriots from his leadership perch and shepherding a fractious Republican conference behind President Trump, wrecker of Republican tradition.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Tom Davis, a former Republican House member from Virginia. “He is made for that role.”

In recent weeks, Mr. McCarthy has called House impeachment “a national nightmare,” “rigged” and a “last attempt to stop the Trump presidency.” He claimed the F.B.I. “broke into” Mr. Trump’s campaign in a “modern-day Watergate.” He suggested that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. should suspend campaigning while many of his top rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, sit as captive jurors in the impeachment trial.

His delivery lacks the razor edge of his fellow House Republican leader Liz Cheney, who announced on Thursday that she would forgo a campaign for Wyoming’s open Senate seat to remain in the House, a veiled threat to challenge Mr. McCarthy for the speakership if Republicans regain the majority. He never attains the volume of Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who has challenged him for Republican leadership posts, or the umbrage of Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican from the California district next door.

“He’s a nice guy,” said Representative Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky, with a verbal shrug.

Five minutes later, Mr. Massie texted an additional thought: “I can say this about Kevin, he’s been far more helpful to the president than Paul Ryan would have ever been during this impeachment sham.”

For now, that may be his main job: making the president happy.

“Where is Kevin McCarthy, the great Kevin McCarthy?” Mr. Trump demanded last week at a China trade event at the White House. When it was clear the minority leader was in the House, preparing for the vote to send articles of impeachment to the Senate, the president added: “Kevin McCarthy, as you know, left for the hoax. Well, we have to do that; otherwise, it becomes a more serious hoax.”

It is no small thing to the president that Mr. McCarthy kept House Republicans unified in their opposition to Mr. Trump’s impeachment. House Republicans include “former prosecutors who probably don’t love the president, moderates who are retiring and thinking, ‘I’m going to vote to impeach the president because I want my grandchildren to talk to me again,’” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist. “That they didn’t is a significant victory for the president, and a significant victory for Kevin McCarthy.”

Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, said House Republicans had gained confidence in their leader since he flubbed the speakership and forced leaders to dragoon Mr. Ryan into action.

“I can’t see him making that Hillary Clinton mistake again,” Mr. King said. “He’s able to get his point across without damaging the party.”

“It’s really brutal warfare right now, and any sign of seeming too reasonable or conciliatory could scare off the Republican base and be looked upon as weakness by the Democrats,” he continued. “These aren’t normal times. Today, if you make a deal you’re a sellout.”

Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, noted, “We need to have a productive relationship with the president.”

The impeachment saga has, however, most likely tainted Mr. McCarthy. Late last year, his awkward defense of the president in the Ukraine affair on “60 Minutes” — he appeared unfamiliar with the rough transcript of Mr. Trump’s now-infamous call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — prompted Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the Republican Party last year over the president’s conduct, to tweet, “Kevin McCarthy again displays his unique brand of incompetence and dishonesty.”

Photographs have trickled out in recent days showing the minority leader hobnobbing with characters central to Mr. Trump’s effort to enlist Ukraine in discrediting Mr. Biden. Those include Mr. Parnas, an associate of the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Robert F. Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate who suggested in encrypted messages to Mr. Parnas that he was secretly tracking the United States ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch.

Ms. Pelosi could not resist taking a dig at Mr. McCarthy on the House floor last week when she referred to “new evidence, pursuant to a House subpoena, from Lev Parnas — recently photographed with the Republican leader.”

On Thursday, Mr. McCarthy could not hide his frustration with a reporter, Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News, when he asked the leader to explain exactly what he had done with Mr. Parnas’s campaign contributions, a question Mr. McCarthy said the reporter asks “every week.”

“I do events every single day, and I do pictures with thousands of people all the time,” he said during one of his exchanges with Mr. Klasfeld, adding that he donated Mr. Parnas’s contributions “to charity.” He has repeatedly declined to say which ones.

Asked whether Mr. McCarthy would agree to be interviewed for this article, his spokesman, Matt Sparks, said, “I’m trying to figure out what he could say that might be interesting.”

That was a question on the mind of some of his political opponents. After Mr. McCarthy suggested that the impeachment trial was a way for establishment Democrats to hurt Mr. Sanders’s presidential campaign, Ms. Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, wrote on Twitter, “As usual, the Minority Leader has no idea what he’s talking about.”

Charlie Dent, a former Republican House member from Pennsylvania, suggested the unsolicited advice to the Democrats was a way to damage Mr. Biden. “This is Kevin McCarthy’s way of invading the Democratic primary, and helping the president,” he said. “That’s why he’s wandered into this minefield.”

Beneath the bravado, Mr. McCarthy may be feeling the walls closing in on him. After Republicans’ 2018 midterm shellacking, he is one of only a half-dozen Republicans left in California’s 53-member House delegation. There were 19 elected in 2006, when he first won his seat.

He must protect his right flank from a restive Freedom Caucus, which counts as one of its founders Mr. Jordan, a ferocious Trump acolyte who helped derail Mr. McCarthy’s bid for the speakership in 2015. Last week, the minority leader’s confines grew even cozier with Ms. Cheney’s political decision.

All this, plus Mr. McCarthy must retain favor with the mercurial Mr. Trump, who makes his displeasure with recalcitrant Republican lawmakers known in ways that have cost them their jobs.

The son of a firefighter, Mr. McCarthy, 54, hails from a solidly Republican, middle-class district in California’s agricultural interior. He was initially skeptical of Mr. Trump: He once suggested that the president-to-be was on the payroll of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

But as Mr. Trump tightened his grip on the party’s base, Mr. McCarthy wooed him with gestures large and small. During the 2016 campaign, he played mediator with outraged Republicans after Mr. Trump was heard bragging about sexual assault on an “Access Hollywood” tape. He issued a statement heralding “a new period in our country’s great history” after Mr. Trump’s “American carnage” inauguration speech. He threw a big party at the Trump International Hotel (Mr. Trump did not show up, despite high hopes) and he sent a handpicked supply of Mr. Trump’s favorite cherry and strawberry Starburst candies to the White House.

In 2010, Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Ryan and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia were hailed as the young, hip, fit future of their party. In their book, “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” they portrayed themselves as “reform-minded Republicans” who were “eager to erase the image of congressional Republicans as big spenders preoccupied with assuring their own re-election.”

Today, Mr. Cantor and Mr. Ryan are gone, along with many of their small-government, free-market, pro-trade ideals, replaced by Mr. Trump’s crackdown on immigrants, his protectionist tariffs, and tax cut and spending deals that have ballooned the federal deficit. Used copies of “Young Guns” sell on Amazon for 10 cents, and Mr. McCarthy is very much focused on his conference’s re-election campaigns, hopping from fund-raiser to fund-raiser late into the night.

“The difference between Eric and Paul and Kevin is that Kevin really likes politics,” Mr. Feehery said. “He’s not particularly ideological, he likes to backslap with his colleagues, and he likes to get around and raise money.”

Mike Franc, a former McCarthy policy aide, remembered Mr. McCarthy serving staff members fast-food Italian during late-night votes and developing a minor obsession with Vine, the now-defunct six-second video app, playing with it for hours in his office.

If the Young Guns’ personalities represented parts of a meal, Mr. Franc said, Mr. Ryan would be “vegetables” and Mr. Cantor “good fish.” Mr. McCarthy, he said, “is the maître d’.”

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‘Where Is Kevin?’ McCarthy Finds a Place in the Trump Camp

Westlake Legal Group merlin_165482979_5b84e5b9-e435-4ef6-b1f1-789d9759937b-facebookJumbo ‘Where Is Kevin?’ McCarthy Finds a Place in the Trump Camp United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party McCarthy, Kevin (1965- ) impeachment House of Representatives

WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader, hails from an era — four years ago — when gaffes could cost a lawmaker a job. In 2015 he lost his shot at the speaker’s gavel after he said the quiet part out loud: The true purpose of Republicans’ two-year inquiry into a deadly 2012 attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was to dent Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

But in these times, when such impolitic truths are uttered often by the commander in chief, Mr. McCarthy has found a moment. He stayed on as the House Republicans’ No. 2 after failing to grab the speakership, rising to the conference’s top spot last year after Paul D. Ryan retired amid the anti-Trump wave of 2018, which handed the speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi.

Unburdened by Mr. Ryan’s strong ideologies or the self-certainty of a Newt Gingrich, Mr. McCarthy has become the happy warrior of the age, one colleague said, posing for photographs with players in the Ukraine saga, like Lev Parnas, shouting encouragement to his compatriots from his leadership perch and shepherding a fractious Republican conference behind President Trump, wrecker of Republican tradition.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Tom Davis, a former Republican House member from Virginia. “He is made for that role.”

In recent weeks, Mr. McCarthy has called House impeachment “a national nightmare,” “rigged” and a “last attempt to stop the Trump presidency.” He claimed the F.B.I. “broke into” Mr. Trump’s campaign in a “modern-day Watergate.” He suggested that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. should suspend campaigning while many of his top rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, sit as captive jurors in the impeachment trial.

His delivery lacks the razor edge of his fellow House Republican leader Liz Cheney, who announced on Thursday that she would forgo a campaign for Wyoming’s open Senate seat to remain in the House, a veiled threat to challenge Mr. McCarthy for the speakership if Republicans regain the majority. He never attains the volume of Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who has challenged him for Republican leadership posts, or the umbrage of Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican from the California district next door.

“He’s a nice guy,” said Representative Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky, with a verbal shrug.

Five minutes later, Mr. Massie texted an additional thought: “I can say this about Kevin, he’s been far more helpful to the president than Paul Ryan would have ever been during this impeachment sham.”

For now, that may be his main job: making the president happy.

“Where is Kevin McCarthy, the great Kevin McCarthy?” Mr. Trump demanded last week at a China trade event at the White House. When it was clear the minority leader was in the House, preparing for the vote to send articles of impeachment to the Senate, the president added: “Kevin McCarthy, as you know, left for the hoax. Well, we have to do that; otherwise, it becomes a more serious hoax.”

It is no small thing to the president that Mr. McCarthy kept House Republicans unified in their opposition to Mr. Trump’s impeachment. House Republicans include “former prosecutors who probably don’t love the president, moderates who are retiring and thinking, ‘I’m going to vote to impeach the president because I want my grandchildren to talk to me again,’” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist. “That they didn’t is a significant victory for the president, and a significant victory for Kevin McCarthy.”

Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, said House Republicans had gained confidence in their leader since he flubbed the speakership and forced leaders to dragoon Mr. Ryan into action.

“I can’t see him making that Hillary Clinton mistake again,” Mr. King said. “He’s able to get his point across without damaging the party.”

“It’s really brutal warfare right now, and any sign of seeming too reasonable or conciliatory could scare off the Republican base and be looked upon as weakness by the Democrats,” he continued. “These aren’t normal times. Today, if you make a deal you’re a sellout.”

Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, noted, “We need to have a productive relationship with the president.”

The impeachment saga has, however, most likely tainted Mr. McCarthy. Late last year, his awkward defense of the president in the Ukraine affair on “60 Minutes” — he appeared unfamiliar with the rough transcript of Mr. Trump’s now-infamous call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — prompted Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the Republican Party last year over the president’s conduct, to tweet, “Kevin McCarthy again displays his unique brand of incompetence and dishonesty.”

Photographs have trickled out in recent days showing the minority leader hobnobbing with characters central to Mr. Trump’s effort to enlist Ukraine in discrediting Mr. Biden. Those include Mr. Parnas, an associate of the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Robert F. Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate who suggested in encrypted messages to Mr. Parnas that he was secretly tracking the United States ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch.

Ms. Pelosi could not resist taking a dig at Mr. McCarthy on the House floor last week when she referred to “new evidence, pursuant to a House subpoena, from Lev Parnas — recently photographed with the Republican leader.”

On Thursday, Mr. McCarthy could not hide his frustration with a reporter, Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News, when he asked the leader to explain exactly what he had done with Mr. Parnas’s campaign contributions, a question Mr. McCarthy said the reporter asks “every week.”

“I do events every single day, and I do pictures with thousands of people all the time,” he said during one of his exchanges with Mr. Klasfeld, adding that he donated Mr. Parnas’s contributions “to charity.” He has repeatedly declined to say which ones.

Asked whether Mr. McCarthy would agree to be interviewed for this article, his spokesman, Matt Sparks, said, “I’m trying to figure out what he could say that might be interesting.”

That was a question on the mind of some of his political opponents. After Mr. McCarthy suggested that the impeachment trial was a way for establishment Democrats to hurt Mr. Sanders’s presidential campaign, Ms. Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, wrote on Twitter, “As usual, the Minority Leader has no idea what he’s talking about.”

Charlie Dent, a former Republican House member from Pennsylvania, suggested the unsolicited advice to the Democrats was a way to damage Mr. Biden. “This is Kevin McCarthy’s way of invading the Democratic primary, and helping the president,” he said. “That’s why he’s wandered into this minefield.”

Beneath the bravado, Mr. McCarthy may be feeling the walls closing in on him. After Republicans’ 2018 midterm shellacking, he is one of only a half-dozen Republicans left in California’s 53-member House delegation. There were 19 elected in 2006, when he first won his seat.

He must protect his right flank from a restive Freedom Caucus, which counts as one of its founders Mr. Jordan, a ferocious Trump acolyte who helped derail Mr. McCarthy’s bid for the speakership in 2015. Last week, the minority leader’s confines grew even cozier with Ms. Cheney’s political decision.

All this, plus Mr. McCarthy must retain favor with the mercurial Mr. Trump, who makes his displeasure with recalcitrant Republican lawmakers known in ways that have cost them their jobs.

The son of a firefighter, Mr. McCarthy, 54, hails from a solidly Republican, middle-class district in California’s agricultural interior. He was initially skeptical of Mr. Trump: He once suggested that the president-to-be was on the payroll of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

But as Mr. Trump tightened his grip on the party’s base, Mr. McCarthy wooed him with gestures large and small. During the 2016 campaign, he played mediator with outraged Republicans after Mr. Trump was heard bragging about sexual assault on an “Access Hollywood” tape. He issued a statement heralding “a new period in our country’s great history” after Mr. Trump’s “American carnage” inauguration speech. He threw a big party at the Trump International Hotel (Mr. Trump did not show up, despite high hopes) and he sent a handpicked supply of Mr. Trump’s favorite cherry and strawberry Starburst candies to the White House.

In 2010, Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Ryan and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia were hailed as the young, hip, fit future of their party. In their book, “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” they portrayed themselves as “reform-minded Republicans” who were “eager to erase the image of congressional Republicans as big spenders preoccupied with assuring their own re-election.”

Today, Mr. Cantor and Mr. Ryan are gone, along with many of their small-government, free-market, pro-trade ideals, replaced by Mr. Trump’s crackdown on immigrants, his protectionist tariffs, and tax cut and spending deals that have ballooned the federal deficit. Used copies of “Young Guns” sell on Amazon for 10 cents, and Mr. McCarthy is very much focused on his conference’s re-election campaigns, hopping from fund-raiser to fund-raiser late into the night.

“The difference between Eric and Paul and Kevin is that Kevin really likes politics,” Mr. Feehery said. “He’s not particularly ideological, he likes to backslap with his colleagues, and he likes to get around and raise money.”

Mike Franc, a former McCarthy policy aide, remembered Mr. McCarthy serving staff members fast-food Italian during late-night votes and developing a minor obsession with Vine, the now-defunct six-second video app, playing with it for hours in his office.

If the Young Guns’ personalities represented parts of a meal, Mr. Franc said, Mr. Ryan would be “vegetables” and Mr. Cantor “good fish.” Mr. McCarthy, he said, “is the maître d’.”

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McConnell Prefers to Hold ’Em, but Also Knows When to Fold ’Em

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-tot1-facebookJumbo McConnell Prefers to Hold ’Em, but Also Knows When to Fold ’Em United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party McConnell, Mitch impeachment

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell never backs down — unless he has to.

Facing a rare revolt from a wide selection of Senate Republicans this week over the rules for President Trump’s impeachment trial, Mr. McConnell swiftly surrendered.

Having written the rules mainly in secret, keeping the final text from even many of his fellow Republican senators until the last moment, Mr. McConnell quickly quelled a brewing backlash from his colleagues by agreeing to relax some of the most stringent aspects he had drafted.

His retreat on Tuesday was a reminder that Mr. McConnell is an astute reader of the desires and political imperatives of the people who have made him the majority leader.

It is a skill he has honed over his years in leadership. But in the Trump era, his mastery is being challenged anew. Mr. McConnell, of Kentucky, must balance the wishes and interests of his members with the whims of a president who cares little for the two things that drive the Senate: consensus and precedent.

Never have those conflicting imperatives collided quite as drastically for Mr. McConnell as now, as he manages Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial with an eye toward protecting the president, his Senate majority and himself.

Mr. McConnell’s strategic withdrawal ultimately paid off by keeping all of his Republican colleagues marching nearly in lock step into the early-morning hours on Wednesday, through 11 votes on Democratic demands for new evidence in the trial and other changes to the rules. Only one, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, defected on a single Democratic proposal, to afford more time for each side to respond to motions in the trial. Republicans stood together to kill the rest.

The results prompted his colleagues to warn not to read too much into the initial pushback against Mr. McConnell, saying Republicans were now firmly on the same page as opening arguments against Mr. Trump began.

“The conference is united in our view of how we move forward over the next six days,” said Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the Republican leadership.

But Mr. McConnell’s rare retreat illustrated the risks he faces of running afoul of fellow Republicans as he tries to align with the wishes of the White House. And his response suggests that as the trial marches forward — with more conflicts to come over whether to subpoena witnesses or hear new evidence — Mr. McConnell will maintain a sharp focus on keeping Republicans happy.

“He leads, and if the conference expresses its will as different, then he leads that way,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota.

Mr. McConnell has shown in the past that he can be pushed from his position if internal pressure becomes great enough. Fearing an embarrassing division among Republicans on a criminal justice overhaul, Mr. McConnell for years resisted putting the bipartisan legislation on the floor despite overwhelming support. Prodded by the president, Mr. McConnell finally relented in 2018 and the measure passed with almost 90 votes — including his own.

In the days leading to the disclosure of Mr. McConnell’s trial proposal, the focus was on whether it would guarantee witnesses, as sought by Democrats, or simply allow a future vote on the matter, following a bipartisan set of rules set in 1999 for President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.

But when the details became public on Monday night, only hours before a debate on them on the Senate floor, the proposal also included an unexpected compressed timetable for opening arguments — 24 hours over two days — and required a separate vote on accepting the House impeachment record into evidence, rather than taking it automatically, as had been done in the past.

Officials with knowledge about the developments said the White House sought the compressed time period. The president’s allies feared that allowing Democrats three days to present their case would allow them to drag it out through Saturday, ending the first week — and heading into the Sunday talk shows — with no formal response from the president’s defenders. The White House did not like that idea, and was not particularly concerned about the optics for Senate Republicans of squeezing the proceedings into marathon, 12-hour sessions that would stretch long into the evening.

But Republican senators quickly raised concerns privately, suggesting that the restrictions would open the door to harsh criticism that they were trying to short-circuit the trial — a claim they were eager to avoid — and also strayed too far from the precedents of the Clinton trial they were relying on to justify their stance on witnesses.

During a Republican lunch shortly before the trial convened Tuesday, Ms. Collins stepped forward to express reservations about the time limits. Her sentiments were quickly embraced by several other senators, including some not known for raising objections. They encouraged Mr. McConnell and his aides to rethink their plans.

Given the resistance, Mr. McConnell acquiesced, with a top aide hurriedly rewriting the resolution to allow three days for the arguments and the acceptance of the House record without a separate vote.

The move allowed Mr. McConnell to avoid the spectacle of a fracture among Republicans at the outset of the trial, and he was willing to break from the White House’s plan if needed to do so. A loss of just four Republicans could swing control of the trial away from the majority leader, an unsettling prospect for him.

“We saw Democrats lighting their hair on fire — ‘this is an outrageous effort, a cover-up’ — to have 24 hours of argument over two days,” said Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. “But you know what?” Mr. Cruz added. “I think Senate Republicans did something wise and right and said, ‘O.K. We’ll make a concession.’”

White House officials appeared relatively undisturbed by the outcome, and the administration now anticipates its defense will begin by Saturday, if not before. White House officials see Mr. McConnell as an extremely powerful ally as they try to fight off the Democrats.

“He’s a strong partner,” said Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs and a veteran Senate staff member with a deep knowledge of the institution.

Democrats tried to claim that public pressure resulting from their campaign for witnesses and a fair trial framework influenced Republicans, calling it a hopeful sign that Republicans might be willing to go their own way and endorse calling witnesses later in the trial. But McConnell allies scoffed at that idea, saying that Democrats are irrelevant to the majority leader as long as he has his members behind him.

Mr. McConnell has certainly demonstrated that he is willing to endure the harshest of Democratic criticism as long as he retains a hold on his own membership. Democrats pounded him for months over his blockade of Judge Merrick B. Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016, but nearly all Republicans backed his maneuver and he never gave an inch.

Resolving the sometimes divergent views of the administration and his Republican colleagues has taken careful management by Mr. McConnell, and he has on occasion had to send a strong message down Pennsylvania Avenue. For instance, when Mr. Trump began making noises last year that he might want the Senate to take up a health care bill — a dismal prospect for senators facing re-election — Mr. McConnell used an interview with Politico to make it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing to with the issue and that the president should save his energy.

Similarly, Mr. McConnell has counseled the White House against seeking a quick vote to dismiss the impeachment charges, warning that there was not enough Republican support for doing so before arguments were made in the trial. Mr. Trump’s team appeared to have listened and declined to offer such a motion when it had the chance on Wednesday.

Now, Mr. McConnell is working to convince his colleagues that expanding the trial to include witnesses — a prospect Mr. Trump’s team wants to avoid at all costs — would be more trouble than it was worth.

“Pursing those witnesses could indefinitely delay the Senate trial and draw our body into a protracted and complex legal fight over presidential privilege,” he said.

That message could well prevail. Far more often than not, Mr. McConnell’s colleagues follow his lead rather than try to persuade him otherwise.

“If I was torn between what he wants to do and what I want to do strategically, I wouldn’t flip a coin,” Mr. Cramer said. “I would just yield it to his expertise, wisdom and frankly, results.”

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