Impeachment trial resumes with closing arguments as Republicans finalize their cover-up

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump resumes at 11 AM ET, with Republicans still determined to make it a full cover-up. The House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team will each have two hours for closing arguments—most likely facts on the one side, conspiracy theories on the other.

Between the closing arguments and Wednesday’s final vote in the trial, senators will have the chance to deliver remarks. In preparation for that, many Republicans have been honing their “Sure, it wasn’t ideal that Trump tried to get Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 elections, but it’s just not worth removing him over attempted election cheating” talking points. Democrats have a little more to work with—like all of the facts of the matter.

Impeachment trial opens with debate of McConnell’s cover-up plan: Live coverage #8

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump started on Tuesday with debate on trial procedures—namely, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's carefully planned cover-up. The debate has been conducted by the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team. On Tuesday McConnell released a slightly relaxed version of the dark-of-night procedure he initially proposed, but make no mistake that he and Trump’s team continue to press for a cover-up.

Republicans have voted down one Democratic amendment after another. The House impeachment managers have been eating the Trump defense team’s lunch on both substance and style, but Republican senators do. not. care.

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:15:05 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Crow finishes a sharp presentation detailing the statements connected with the Defense Department. Cipollone is now up for Trump’s team and is just short of begging for this to end.

And the funniest thing may be that Cipollone is back to making the plea that Hakeem Jeffries smacked down so amusingly in the last sequence. Now Cipollone is once again explaining that the House has to the sole power of impeachment … so long as the White House agrees with how the House does it.

They came prepared with a sticky note worth of talking points. Democrats came with an encyclopedia. 

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:19:25 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Schiff comes in for clean up duties on the request for documents from the Defense Department. He takes after the Trump team’s claims that they get to define how the House conducts impeachment and how they issue subpoenas.

“They made that argument already in court, and they lost.”

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:22:09 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Schiff making a good point about how this series of amendments has turned a generic request for “documents” into a list of specific requests about particular meetings, events, and actions. There’s been a good fit between the wording of the amendments and the arguments, with Schumer’s proposed amendments acting as an introduction.

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:23:57 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Schiff: “We’re making it hard for you. We’re making it hard for you to say no.” 

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:24:51 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

And McConnell immediately moves to table. We’re into the next vote, with no reason to think any Republican has pulled their head out of the nearest Trump orifice. 

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:31:41 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

As expected, Republicans vote down the amendment along strict party lines. Say, weren’t Republicans upset about partisan votes a couple of weeks ago?

In any case, Schumer has demonstrated a level of mercy by combining subpoenas for Robert Blair and Michael Duffy.

Rep. Slyvia Garcia steps up for this presentation. She’s a bit hoarse. Sounds as if she may be fighting off a cold.

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:38:57 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

There are probably at least two more amendments to come — a request for a Bolton subpoena, and a amendment to make structural changes in McConnell’s proposal. Which was where we started back at 1 PM. If anyone remembers 1 PM.

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:50:06 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

You don’t have to like John Roberts to wish that McConnell would call a break at the next vote. The chief justice isn’t allowed to leave his chair during the trial.

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 · 3:52:04 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Garcia is right that Morrison rushed to the attorneys after Trump’s July 25th call. But unlike everyone else, Morrison was concerned about burying the call to protect Trump.