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Trump impeachment trial: How did Democrats’ arguments play out?

Democrats seeking to remove United States President Donald Trump from office via impeachment wrapped up three days of opening arguments late on Friday, urging Republicans to allow witnesses and new evidence to be part of the Senate trial. “Give America a fair trial,” said Adam Schiff, the House of Representatives lead manager, at the end…

Trump impeachment trial: How did Democrats’ arguments play out?

Democrats seeking to remove United States President Donald Trump from office via impeachment wrapped up three days of opening arguments late on Friday, urging Republicans to allow witnesses and new evidence to be part of the Senate trial.
“Give America a fair trial,” said Adam Schiff, the House of Representatives lead manager, at the end of his closing arguments before the Senate.
“She is worth it,” he added. 
Over three often-gruelling days of argument, the Democratic managers from the House of Representatives attempted to persuade members of the US Senate, who will ultimately decide Trump’s fate, that the president is an out-of-control autocrat willing to sacrifice his country’s national interest to further his own political ambitions.
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Trump impeachment: US Senate approves trial rules

The Bottom Line: What to expect in Trump’s impeachment trial

What happened in the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton?

Trump was impeached on December 18 for abuse of power related to his dealings with Ukraine and obstruction of Congress for refusing to participate in the House impeachment inquiry. He has denied any wrongdoing and repeatedly called the impeachment a “witch-hunt”. 
As the trial enters a new phase on Saturday with Trump’s defence team taking the podium, here is a look at how the House managers’ opening arguments unfolded: 
Day 1
During the first hours of opening arguments on Tuesday, Schiff used video clips, along with screengrabs of text messages and emails, to construct a timeline of how Trump withheld nearly $400m in military aid to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and the origins of foreign interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Lead manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff speaking during the continuation of opening arguments on the third day of the Senate impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump [US Senate TV/Handout via Reuters] 

Schiff urged the senators to allow for testimony from witnesses, among them former National Security Advisor John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and for new evidence to be introduced during the proceedings – a prospect that the Republican majority resisted the previous day. Schiff said it was incumbent upon lawmakers to learn the whole story because “the truth is going to come out”.
“More emails are going to come out,” Schiff said. “More witnesses are going to come forward. They’re going to have more relevant information to share. And the only question is, do you want to hear it now? Do you want to know the full truth?”
Day 2
On the second day of their opening arguments, House managers honed in on the question of whether an actual crime has to be committed before a president can be impeached and on whether Biden’s actions in Ukraine justified the Trump administration’s demands for an investigation.
Anticipating what is almost certain to be a central tenet of the Trump defence, the Democrats teed up a number of videotaped comments from constitutional scholars and even Trump supporters – Attorney General William Barr and Trump defence team lawyer Alan Dershowitz among them – stating in the past that a statutory crime was not a prerequisite of impeachment.
“Impeachment is not a punishment for crimes,” New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler told the body. “Impeachment exists to address threats to the political system.”

In attempting to justify the first article of impeachment, that Trump abused his power, Nadler cited what he called a “trifecta” of high crimes and misdemeanours by Trump – abuse of his office to solicit election interference, betrayal of US national security interests and the intent to corrupt the 2020 presidential election.
Nadler and his colleagues also spent a fair part of the day arguing that there was no evidence the Bidens acted improperly in Ukraine – pre-empting another likely argument from the president’s defence team. They argued that Biden was carrying out official US anti-corruption policies when he sought the dismissal of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. Trump, they said, only became interested in Ukrainian corruption after Biden announced that he was running for president in 2020.
“There was no basis for the investigation that the president was pursuing and pushing. None. He was doing it only for his own political benefit,” US Representative Sylvia Garcia said.
During a break in the proceedings on Thursday, Republicans said the House managers may live to regret dwelling on Biden’s role in the affair. Trump’s lawyer said that by doing so they made Biden a relevant subject for the rest of the trial.
“They opened the door. They opened the door and it’s now relevant,” Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer for the president and a member of his defence team, told reporters. “So we will address the appropriate issues as defence lawyers would.”

Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow speaks to the media during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump [Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo] 

As the second day wore on, the hours appeared to take their toll on the senators in the chamber. There were more and more empty seats as legislators traipsed back and forth to the cloakrooms and noted that some senators were seen reading books or dozing at their desks.
Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, described the proceedings as “mind-numbing”. The Democrats, he said, were “over-trying their case”.
Day 3
During their final day of arguments on Friday, the Democrats made the case for the second article of impeachment – obstruction of Congress. House leaders said the president repeatedly stonewalled congressional committees during their investigation, and that he would continue to do so unless brought to heel by the Senate.

In this artist sketch, Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, flanked by Senator Ben Cardin and Senator Tammy Baldwin, listens during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump [Dana Verkouteren/AP Photo] 

“Merely exposing the president’s scheme has not stopped him from continuing his destructive pattern of behaviour that has brought us to this sombre moment,” Schiff said. “He is who he is. That will not change. And nor will the danger associated with him. Every piece of evidence supports that terrible conclusion. That the president of the United States will abuse his power again.”
What’s next?
Trump’s defence team, led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, are expected to begin their efforts to exonerate the president during a shortened session on Saturday and continue on Monday and Tuesday next week. The team will have 24 hours in total to make its case, the same amount of time allotted to the Democrats.
Co-counsel Jay Sekulow described the Saturday hearing as a preview of things to come next week.

“We have three hours to put it out, so we’ll take whatever time is appropriate during that three hours to kind of lay out what the case will look like,” Sekulow told reporters during a break in Friday’s proceedings. “But next week is when you see the full presentation.”
For his part, Trump has taken to his favourite social media platform repeatedly throughout the trial, labelling the impeachment a “hoax” and railing against House managers. 
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Trump impeachment trial day 13: All the latest updates

The United States Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will conclude on Wednesday – its 13th day – with a final vote on whether to convict or acquit the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  A two-thirds vote of senators – 67 out of 100 – is required for conviction. With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority, Trump’s acquittal is…

Trump impeachment trial day 13: All the latest updates

The United States Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will conclude on Wednesday – its 13th day – with a final vote on whether to convict or acquit the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 
A two-thirds vote of senators – 67 out of 100 – is required for conviction. With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority, Trump’s acquittal is all but certain. 
On Monday, House of Representatives managers and Trump’s defence team presented their closing arguments, which were followed by a series of hearings in which senators, who had been gagged by strict rules during the trial, were given the chance to say how they planned to vote.
More: 

Trump impeachment trial: Who are the key players?

What evidence has come out since Trump was impeached?

What happened in the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton?

Democratic House managers, who act as prosecutors, had faced an uphill battle from the trial’s start, with hopes of conviction largely hinging on the ability to introduce new evidence, including the possibility of subpoenaing witnesses and documents, into the proceedings. However, even recent revelations in an unpublished book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton proved not enough to tip the scale, with Friday’s 51-49 vote blocking new evidence and sounding a likely death knell for Democrats. 
As Trump’s impeachment trial enters its final day, here are all the latest updates as of Wednesday, February 5:
Democrats praise Romney
Moments after Republican Senator Mitt Romney made the surprise announcement that he would break from party ranks and vote to convict the president on the abuse of power article of impeachment, Democrats took to Twitter in praise of the move. 
“Thank you @MittRomney for rising to this moment, for choosing to vote your conscience, and for doing what you know in your heart to be right,” wrote Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Thank you @MittRomney for rising to this moment, for choosing to vote your conscience, and for doing what you know in your heart to be right.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 5, 2020

“Senator Romney reminds us that it is not impossible to do the right thing, it’s just hard. That putting country over party isn’t just a slogan, it’s our solemn obligation. That individuals who have courage and conviction can change history, and have an obligation to try,” wrote Senator Brian Schatz.

Senator Romney reminds us that it is not impossible to do the right thing, it’s just hard. That putting country over party isn’t just a slogan, it’s our solemn obligation. That individuals who have courage and conviction can change history, and have an obligation to try.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) February 5, 2020

“A powerful and principled statement on the Senate Floor today, @SenatorRomney. An example for all of us. Thank you,” wrote Senator Jeff Merkley.

A powerful and principled statement on the Senate Floor today, @SenatorRomney. An example for all of us. Thank you.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) February 5, 2020

Meanwhile, Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., in a series of tweets, called for Romney to be expelled from the Republican party. 
Look back: How did the House vote on the articles of impeachment?
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on September 24 of 2018. Nearly two months later, on December 18, the House voted in favour of two articles of impeachment: abuse of power of and obstruction of Congress. 
Republican representatives were unified in their opposition, with 195 voting against the abuse of power article along with two Democrats who broke party ranks. Meanwhile, 229 Democrats and one Independent voted in favour of that article. 
On the obstruction of Congress article, 195 Republicans again voted against the measure, joined by three Democrats. Meanwhile 228 Democrats and one Independent voted in favour of the second article. 
Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, voted “present”, refusing to take a side on either article. 
Here’s a look back on the day the House impeached Trump. 
Romney, in speech on Senate floor, confirms he will break from party and vote to convict Trump
Republican Senator Mitt Romney will vote to convict President Donald Trump on the abuse of power article of impeachment, likely becoming the only Republican senator to favour removing the president from office for his dealing with Ukraine.
“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” said Romney, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, in a speech on the Senate floor. 
“Corrupting an election to keep one’s self in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine,” he said.
Republican Mitt Romney to break from party and vote to convict Trump: Report
Republican Senator Mitt Romney – one of only two Republicans to break from the party line and vote for new evidence in the Senate trial – has said he will vote to convict President Donald Trump on the abuse of power article, the New York Times reported. 
“I think the case was made,” Romney told the newspaper in an interview in his Senate office on Wednesday morning.

Senator Mitt Romney has said he will vote to convict the president on abuse of power. [File: Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press]

“I believe that attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made,” Romney said. “And for that reason, it is a high crime and misdemeanor, and I have no choice under the oath that I took but to express that conclusion.”
He said he would not vote to convict the president on the obstruction of Congress article also passed by the House in December. 
“I recognise there is going to be enormous consequences for having reached this conclusion,” Romney told the Times, adding the fallout would be “Unimaginable”.
Look back: What happened with the trial’s witness vote? 
Democrats had pushed from the beginning of the Senate trial to pass a motion that would permit new evidence to be permitted in the proceedings, which would open the door to subpoena new witnesses and documents. 
Democrats proposed an amendment that would allow new evidence on the second day of trial, which was blocked along with 11 others. The rules resolution passed by Republicans put off debate and a vote on evidence until after House managers, who served as prosecutors, and Trump’s defence team presented their cases. 

Senator Mitt Romney was one of only two Republicans to vote in favour on introducing new evidence in the trial. [J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press]

In the following days, attention turned to several Republicans considered possible swing votes on the evidence motion. Four needed to break from the Republican ranks to give Democrats a simple majority. Reports of revelations in a draft book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton, which emerged during the trial, heightened the debate.  
In the end, only two Republican Senators, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, voted in favour of the new evidence. While closely watched Senators Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander stuck with Republicans. 
US House Democrats ‘likely’ to subpoena John Bolton: Nadler
Democrats in the US House of Representatives are likely to subpoena Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton and continue their investigation into the Republican president, the head of the House Judiciary panel said on Wednesday.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, speaking to CNN, said “I think it’s likely, yes” that their inquiries would continue and that a subpoena for Bolton was also “likely”.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton had said he would testify if subpoenaed in the Senate trial [File: Peter Nicholls/Reuters]

Bolton wrote, according to the New York Times, that Trump had instructed him in May of 2018 to call the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to ensure that he would meet with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who was leading the push for the politically motivated investigations. The directive came during a meeting attended by Giuliani, White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and White House lawyer Pat Cipollone.
Bolton had also recounted an August exchange in which Trump told him to continue to withhold the aid to Ukraine until officials in the country agreed to the desired investigations into the Bidens. The report undercut what had been Trump’s legal team’s main defence – that withholding the aid was unrelated to a push for the investigations. 
Kellyanne Conway: Trial vote will mean Trump is ‘acquitted forever’
White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway says the expected vote in the US Senate on the articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump will mean he is “acquitted forever”.
“I would not be surprised if the opposition to removal of the president is bipartisan. But I think we already know the votes are there…There’s no way there’s no near 67 votes,” Conway said at a news conference on Wednesday. 

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway if Trump acquittal is bipartisan [File: Evan Vucci/The Associated Press]

“There never was. So then I think other people are left to have to explain why they voted the… why they put the country through this, knowing the outcome ahead of time, what was the point?” she said. 
Democratic Senator Jones: I will vote to convict Trump
Senator Doug Jones, one of just a handful of closely watched Democrats who face difficult re-election bids, has said he will vote to convict President Donald Trump. 
In remarks on the Senate floor, Jones said the sum of the evidence produced ” a picture of a president who has abused the great power of his office for personal gain, a picture of a president who has placed his personal interest well above the interest of the nation”.

Senator Doug Jones has said he will vote to convict the president. [File: Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

The announcement was significant for Democrats, who are hoping their party will present a united front by unanimously voting to remove Trump from office in Wednesday’s final votes. Democratic senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are among other Democrats being closely watched for their votes later Wednesday.
What do the articles of impeachment allege? 
House investigators allege that Trump abused the power of his office by withholding nearly $400m in congressionally approved military aid and imposing conditions on a White House visit in an attempt to pressure Ukraine into launching investigations on his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. 
House investigators further charge that the president obstructed Congress by categorically blocking his administration from providing requested documents and witness testimony. 
Read the full text of the articles here.
What did the president’s defence say? 
Trump’s defence team portrayed the House inquiry into the president’s dealings with Ukraine as deeply flawed and rushed. 
While initially denying there was evidence of “quid pro quo” (Latin for a favour for a favour), the defence shifted their arguments to say that even if there was “quid pro quo”, the president’s actions do not rise to an impeachable offence. The president’s defence team further framed the impeachment as an attempt to undermine US democracy.
“This was the first totally partisan presidential impeachment in our nation’s history. And it should be our last,” the president’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said during closing arguments on Monday. “What the House Democrats have done to this nation, to the Constitution, to the office of the president, to the president himself and to this body [the Senate] is outrageous. They have cheapened the awesome power of impeachment.”

What have the House managers said? 
The House managers spent their time on the Senate floor outlining the two articles of impeachment against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of justice. 
They repeatedly argued the need for new witnesses and documents to be presented in the trial, and portrayed the president as a serial interferer in US elections, who will be further emboldened to meddle in the lead-up to the November elections. 
“He has betrayed our national security and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him,” lead House manager Adam Schiff told senators in the impassioned conclusion of closing arguments on Monday. “If you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath – if only you will say, ‘Enough.'”

What happened in the trial? 
The trial officially began with a ceremonial start on January 16 that saw the swearing-in of US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the proceedings, and the 100 members of the Senate.
The next week began, on January 21, with 12 hours of debate culminating in senators voting along partisan lines to approve Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules resolution. Meanwhile, 11 amendments introduced by Democrats were blocked. 

This artist sketch depicts White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaking in the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump [File: Dana Verkouteren/AP Photo]

The Democratic House managers then presented their arguments on January 22, 23 and 24.
Trump’s defence presented their arguments on January 25, 27, and 28.
Senators then had two days to submit written questions to both teams, on January 29 and 30, a process that was followed by the vote that blocked allowing more evidence on January 31. 
Following that, both sides  gave a total of four hours of closing arguments on February 3. 
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Trump impeachment trial: Blow for Democrats in witnesses battle

US Democrats were served a significant blow late on Thursday after a key Republican senator said he would vote against calling new witnesses in the impeachment trial of United States President Donald Trump.  Following hours of questions, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, considered a key holdout, said on Twitter he would oppose calling new witnesses.  “I worked…

Trump impeachment trial: Blow for Democrats in witnesses battle

US Democrats were served a significant blow late on Thursday after a key Republican senator said he would vote against calling new witnesses in the impeachment trial of United States President Donald Trump. 
Following hours of questions, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, considered a key holdout, said on Twitter he would oppose calling new witnesses. 
“I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense,” Alexander tweeted. 
“There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence.'” he added.
Following Alexander’s comments, it appeared that the best Democrats could hope for was a possible tie on the question of witnesses. But even a tie would likely lead to a defeat. 
More: 

Trump impeachment trial: Who are the key players?

What evidence has come out since Trump was impeached?

What happened in the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton?

Republican Senator Susan Collins announced on Twitter she plans to vote for witnesses. Republican Senator Mitt Romney has suggested he too will vote for witnesses. 
The remaining holdout was Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who argued in a submitted question that additional witnesses could be necessary.
“The dispute about material facts weighs in favour of calling additional witnesses with direct knowledge,” Murkowski said. “Why should this body not call Ambassador Bolton?”

Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa [Leah Millis/Reuters] 

Democrats needed four Republicans to join them in voting for witnesses. Only three would result in a tie in the 100-member Senate.
If that were the case, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, could step in to break the tie. But there is so little precedent for impeachment trials – this is only the third of a president in US history – that Senate aides said there was no way to know exactly what would occur. Even if Roberts decided to break the tie in the Democrats’ favour, the Senate could override his decision with a simple majority vote. 
Possible testimony from Bolton was of particular interest after a report – which he has not denied – that he planned to say in an upcoming book that Trump told him he wanted to freeze $391m in US military aid for Ukraine until it investigated Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was vice president.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached Trump in December, formally accusing him of abusing his power for pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. The House also charged Trump with obstruction of Congress.
Two-thirds of the Senate is required to remove Trump from office. He is unlikely to be convicted. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority. 
Trump’s acquittal would allow him to claim vindication just as the Democratic Party holds its first nominating contest for the November 3 election in Iowa on Monday.
Trump held a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday night and slammed the trial, calling it an effort by Democrats to overthrow his 2016 election victory.
“They want to nullify your ballots, poison our democracy and overthrow the entire system of government,” Trump said.
But he also said “This is a happy period for us. We call this Impeachment Light.”
Roberts refuses to read question
The two sides also sparred over the unnamed government official whose whistle-blower complaint about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine spurred the drive to remove him from office.
Trump and some other Republicans have pressed for months to unmask the intelligence official who filed the report and have tried to paint that person as a partisan figure working with Democrats to destroy Trump’s presidency.
The government has provided security to the whistle-blower in response to security threats, according to the person’s lawyers.
On Thursday, the issue boiled to the surface again when Roberts refused to read a question from Republican Senator Rand Paul that included the name of a person that right-wing media have accused of being the whistle-blower. Paul is one of several Republicans, including Trump, who have posted social-media links to some of those news articles.

Chief Justice John Roberts listens after declining to read a question submitted by Senator Rand Paul [Senate TV/AP Photo] 

“The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted,” Roberts said. He had rejected a similar question the day before. It was a rare show of decision-making power Roberts holds on certain issues in the trial.
Paul said his question, which asked whether that person worked with a member of Democratic Representative Adam Schiff’s staff to impeach Trump, was not meant to unmask the whistle-blower.
“My question’s not about the whistle-blower. My question’s about two people who are friends,” he told reporters. 
Democrats disagreed.
“This question was really framed and intended to expose the identity of the whistle-blower and subject that whistle-blower to retaliation,” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal told reporters.
Bradley P Moss, a lawyer whose firm represents the whistle-blower, called the Republican effort “a stain on the legacy of this constitutional republic”.
What’s next?
On Friday, each side is expected to present closing arguments in four hours of debate about whether to call witnesses. 
If the vote on witnesses is 50-50 and Roberts declines to break a tie, the vote deadlock would mean a defeat for Democrats.
Schiff, the lead Democratic prosecutor in the trial, proposed that both sides conduct closed-door witness depositions for a week while the Senate returns to normal business.

Lead manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff delivering opening argument during the second day of the Senate impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump [Senate TV/Handout via Reuters] 

But there was no sign his plea was being considered by Republicans.
If Republicans are able to block witnesses, the trial could come to an abrupt end on Friday or early Saturday.
In the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton, there were several days of closed-door deliberations before a vote to acquit took place.
But Republicans have said if they have the vote, they may push to skip deliberations and move straight to a vote.
It is still unclear if that means a vote could come on Friday, in the wee hours of Saturday morning or later on Saturday. Democrats could try to delay it by presenting a number of motions.
“I can tell you that we have a high level of interest in just getting this done,” CNN quoted Senate Majority Whip John Thune as saying.
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Trump impeachment trial day nine: All the latest updates

The impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump entered a new phase on Wednesday as senators were given their first chance to ask questions to both the Democratic House managers prosecuting the case and the defence team working for the president. Both House managers and the president’s lawyers presented their arguments for and against removing Trump from…

Trump impeachment trial day nine: All the latest updates

The impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump entered a new phase on Wednesday as senators were given their first chance to ask questions to both the Democratic House managers prosecuting the case and the defence team working for the president.
Both House managers and the president’s lawyers presented their arguments for and against removing Trump from office over the last six days.
Democrats spent most of their allotted 24 hours over three days outlining the two articles of impeachment on which the House voted to impeach Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They argued that failing to remove the president would set a dangerous precedent for future leaders of the country to use their office in a self-serving way. 
Meanwhile, Trump’s defence team, leaving over 10 hours on the timer in much briefer arguments, framed the impeachment as an attempt to undermine US democracy. They also repeatedly returned to the fact that the president had not committed a crime, portraying the grounds for impeachment outlined by Democrats as dangerously subjective. 
More: 

Trump impeachment trial: Who are the key players?

What evidence has come out since Trump was impeached?

What happened in the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton?

On Wednesday and Thursday, senators, who are banned from speaking during the trial, will submit written questions to presiding officer Chief Justice John Roberts, who will pose them to the prosecution and defence.
After this phase of the trial, the proceedings will move into the much-anticipated debate over whether more evidence – including subpoenaing witnesses and documents – will be permitted. That debate has grown more fraught in recent days, with reported revelations in a draft book by former National Security Adviser John Bolton further stoking Democrats calls for the former White House official to testify.
As the trial moves into the question and answer portion, here are all the latest updates as of Wednesday, January 29:
Senate adjourns for the night
The Senate has adjourned until Thursday, when senators will have eight more hours for questions.
McConnell: Four more questions for the night
McConnell said there are two more questions or the Republicans and two more for the Democrats before the Senate adjourns for the night. 
Quotes from Wednesday
From Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer:
“We’ve always said it’s uphill. There’s tremendous pressure from a vindictive, nasty president on every Republican senator, but I think they sit there as they listen to these questions … and we’ve got a real shot to get witnesses and documents.”
Trump lawyer Patrick Philbin:
“It’s not just a question of, ‘Well should we just hear one witness?’ That’s not what the real question is going to be. For this institution, the real question is: ‘What is the precedent that is going to be set for what is an acceptable way for the House of Representatives to bring an impeachment of a president of the United States to this chamber?'”
Democratic impeachment manager Adam Schiff:
“When you have a witness as plainly relevant as John Bolton who goes to the heart of the most serious and most egregious of the president’s misconduct, who has volunteered to come and testify – to turn him away, to look the other way I think is deeply at odds with being an impartial juror.”
Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz:
“Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest. And mostly you’re right. Your election is in the public interest. And if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono on Dershowitz:
“That was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard as a response. That means that basically anybody, even someone who is totally off-base or even insane, if that person happens to be the president … that’s A-OK.”
Trump on Twitter:
“There is much talk that certain Democrats are going to be voting with Republicans on the Impeachment Hoax, so that the Senate can get back to the business of taking care of the American people. Sorry, but Cryin’ Chuck Schumer will never let that happen!”
And we’re back
The next part off the session is expected to be the last before the Senate adjourns for the night. 
Senators take a short break
The Senate is breaking for about 15 minutes. Questions will resume after the break. 
Trump defence: Ukraine ‘quid pro quo’ not impeachable
One of the defence’s main lines of argument on Wednesday that that a trade of U.S. military aid for political favours – even if proven – could not be grounds for his impeachment.
It was a striking shift from Trump’s claims of a “perfect call” with his Ukrainian counterpart – a call that has become the basis off the president’s impeachment.
Trump’s defense spotlighted retired professor Alan Dershowitz, a member of their team who said that every politician conflates his own interest with the public interest. Therefore, he declared, “it cannot be impeachable.”
Roberts reviewed questions: Report
CNN reported that Chief Justice John Roberts had a chance to review the question before the start of Wednesday’s proceedings. 
The cable news station, citing two unnamed sources, reported that Roberts would not read the name of the whistle-blower if included in the question. 
Republican Senator Rand Paul’s question was reportedly rejected. US media reported that Paul’s question had to do with the whistle-blower. 
Ukraine part of Bolton manuscript should not be classified: lawyer
Bolton and his lawyer do not believe any information in a chapter on Ukraine in Bolton’s book manuscript should be considered classified, the lawyer wrote last week in a letter to the White House.
Bolton’s lawyer, Charles Cooper, released his letter on Wednesday after an earlier letter he had received from the White House became public. In that letter, the White House National Security Council said Bolton’s book manuscript appeared to contain “significant amounts of classified information” and could not be published in its current form.
Trump: GAME OVER! 
Trump tweeted a video of his former national security adviser, John Bolton, describing the calls between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart as “warm and cordial”. 
The only thing he wrote about the video was “GAME OVER!” 
Bolton has become a central part of the impeachment trial as senators battle over whether he and others should be called as witnesses. 

GAME OVER! pic.twitter.com/yvMa6bPqfy
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020

54 questions so far
At the time of the dinner break, 59 senators had asked a total of 54 questions so far. 
Break for dinner
The Senate is on a 45-minute break for dinner. After the break, they will return for several more hours of questions. 
Battle over witnesses
As the Senate prepared to open its first day of questions from senators, Republicans and Democrats were battling privately over whether to call witnesses and extend the trial. As senators were milling about before taking seats, Republican Senator Susan Collins, a potential swing vote, was surrounded by four Republican colleagues including John Thune, the party whip, who are trying to prevent her from breaking ranks.  Democrats want to call former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Collins was peeled away from the group by Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell. Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema crossed over the Republican side and spoke with Republican senators Dan Sullivan, Rob Portman and John Boozman. Senator Mitt Romney, who has already said he wants to hear witnesses, stood alone by his desk near the northeast corner of the chamber. In the public gallery, Lev Parnas lawyer Joseph Bondy, a guest of Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, peered down on the Senate floor as senators began to ask questions. Parnas was not allowed into the proceedings because he is wearing a court-ordered ankle bracelet. Senate rules prohibit electronic devices.
‘Let Bolton testify’
Sheet cakes were delivered to all 53 Republican senators demanding that John Bolton and witnesses testify in the trial. Each cake was decorated with a different message, including “don’t dessert democracy,” “you’re in the room where it happens,” “this trial is half-baked without witnesses,” and “this is history in the baking,” along with the statement, “let Bolton testify.”
A GoFundMe campaign raised over $7,000 this week and asked a bakery in Brooklyn to make and decorate the cakes.

These sheet cakes are being delivered today to ALL Republican Senators. 🍰 #ImpeachmentCakes #JohnBoltonMustTestify pic.twitter.com/KQ2FQaVIe6
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) January 29, 2020

‘Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go!’
As part of the #SwarmTheCapital action on Wednesday demanding witnesses, documents and justice in the Senate trial, dozens of protesters raised their fists outside of the US Capital chanting: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go!”

— Colleen Boland 🌎⌛️🐝 (@ColleenBoland) January 29, 2020

‘Momentum’ to end impeachment by Friday
US Republican Senator John Barrasso told reporters that Republicans have the “momentum” to move to end Trump’s impeachment trial by Friday, without calling witnesses.
Schumer: It was a ‘good afternoon for us’
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer explained why Democrats almost completely questioned Democratic House managers presenting the case for removing the president, and not President Donald Trump’s defence team. 
“They needed the chance to rebut the false argument, the fallacious reasoning, the half-truths and even no truths” that president’s defence made during three days of arguments, Schumer said.
Twenty-six questions asked so far
Senators posed 26 questions to President Trump’s defence team and the House managers prosecuting the case before taking the first break of the day. 
Questions have centred on the possible inclusion of witness testimony, the details outlined in the House case, whether a crime is needed to impeach a president, whether “quid pro quo” matters in impeachment, and what the “implications” of calling witnesses will be, among others. 
Republican asks defence team to discuss ‘implications’ of calling more witnesses
Senate Republicans asked the defence team for President Trump what the implications would be for more witnesses to be called in the Senate. 
“The implications here, in our constitutional structure, for trying to run things in such an upside-down way would be very grave for this body as an institution,” said Lawyer Patrick Philbin, saying giving the Senate the “investigatory task” of collecting more evidence will “slow down” and “hinder” the Senate regular roles. 
In a subsequent question, House manager Hakeem Jeffries argued that, based on the rate in the House inquiry, witness depositions in the Senate can be done in an “expeditious fashion”. 
Cruz question to defence: ‘Does it matter if there was quid pro quo?’
Republican Senator Ted Cruz asked President Trump’s legal defence if it matters “if there was quid pro quo” (Latin for a favour for a favour) in the president’s dealings with Ukraine. 
In response, Trump defence lawyer Alan Dershowitz referenced his attendance at the unveiling of Trump’s Middle East plan on Tuesday. 
He said, if in executing that plan, a president tells Israel that they will not get aid if they do not “stop all settlement growth” or tells officials from the Occupied Palestinian Territories that they will not get aid if they do not stop harbouring “terrorists”, that would be acceptable quid pro quo. 
Dershowitz also said if Trump thought he was acting in the public interest by helping himself get re-elected: “That cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
“All quid pros are not the same. Some are legitimate and some are corrupt, and you don’t need to be a mind reader to figure out which is which,” Schiff said in a subsequent question, adding: “For one thing, you can ask John Bolton”. 
National Security Council says Bolton manuscript ‘may not be published’
The National Security Council (NCS), in a letter to former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s lawyer, has said that Bolton’s unpublished manuscript contains classified information at a “top secret level” and “may not be published or disclosed without the deletion of this classified information”. 
In the draft book, Bolton reportedly wrote that President Trump told him he wanted to continue to withhold military aid from Ukraine until officials from the country agreed to help with investigations into Democratic rivals. The revelations have increased calls for Bolton to testify in the impeachment trial.

The National Security Council has said former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s unpublished manuscripts contain classified information and may not be published [File: Luis M Alvarez/The Associated Press]

The NSC letter said that the information contained in the draft book “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security of the United States”. 
“We will do our best to with you to ensure your client’s ability to tell his story in a manner that protects US national security,” the NCS representative said in the letter. Bolton’s manuscript had been given to the NSC for standard review before publishing. 
Democrats first question ask if senators can fairly make judgement without Bolton testimony
Senate Democrats first question addressed the spectre of former National Security Adviser John Bolton that has hung over the proceedings since this week, asking if Senators can render a fair judgement without hearing from Bolton and other relevant witnesses. 
“To turn [Bolton] away, to look the other way … is deeply at odds [with being] an impartial juror,” lead House manager Adam Schiff said. 
In a following question, Trump Lawyer Patrick Philbin argued that allowing witnesses in the Senate trial will set a precedent that House impeachment inquiries can be “done in a hurried, half-baked partisan fashion”.
Senator Collins gives first question to Trump’s defence team 
Republican Senator Susan Collins submitted the first question on Wednesday, which she said was also on behalf of Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mitt Romney – all considered possible swing votes from the Republican majority. 
“How should the Senate consider more than one motive in its assessment of article one?” The question asked, referring to the abuse of power article of impeachment. 
Trump lawyer Patrick Philbin responded that once it’s established there is at least a portion of “legitimate public interest” behind the president’s actions, the allegations are null. 
“Once you’re into mixed-motive land, it’s clear that their case fails,” he said. 
Lead House Manager Adam Schiff, in responding to a subsequent question, said that if Trump’s political desires were “in any part a causal factor” in his actions, “that’s enough to convict”. 
Representative Engel says Bolton told him to look into removal of US Ambassador to Ukraine
The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel has said that former National Security Council Adviser John Bolton had told him to look into the removal of former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch shortly after Bolton was fired by President Trump in September of 2019. 
“He and I spoke by telephone on September 23. On that call, Ambassador Bolton suggested to me – unprompted – that the committee look into the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. He strongly implied that something improper had occurred around her removal as our top diplomat in Kyiv,” Engel said in a statement. 

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel has said that former National Security Council Adviser John Bolton had told him to look into the removal of former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch [File: Andrew Harrer/Reuters]

“At the time, I said nothing publicly about what was a private conversation, but because this detail was relevant to the Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight Committees’ investigation into this matter, I informed my investigative colleagues. It was one of the reasons we wished to hear from Ambassador Bolton, under oath, in a formal setting,” he said. 
Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, was removed following a campaign against her by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his associates. A video recently provided to congressional investigators from April 2018 shows Trump calling for Yovanovitch’s removal while speaking to Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
Parnas not allowed into trial
Lev Parnas, an indicted businessman who says he worked to pressure Ukraine to investigate one of President Trump’s political rivals, arrived on Capitol Hill trailed by TV cameras, photographers and a sign that read “FAIR TRIAL”. 
Parnas took a selfie with a pink hatted woman before picking up tickets for the trial on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office. 

Lev Parnas walks with media on Capitol Hill in Washington [Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press]

“It’s a surreal feeling,” Parnas said, according to Reuters News Agency. “Right now, I’m just going on adrenaline”.
Parnas was not allowed into the trial, where electronics are banned, due to the ankle monitor he wears as part of his house arrest, after being indicted for campaign finance fraud. 
Jared Kushner says witnesses would help Trump
Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump and a senior adviser, said on Wednesday that witnesses would be “unfortunate” but would ultimately help the president in the impeachment trial. 
“What you will find is what was the whistle-blower doing? What were the Bidens up to?” Kushner said on the Fox and Friends programme on the Fox News network. “There was a lot of dirty things that have been happening for a long time.”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said witnesses would help Trump [File: Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

“A witness phase will give the American people the opportunity to learn about that,” he said. 
Kushner also dismissed a reported revelation in former National Security Security Adviser John Bolton’s new book, saying “I find that everyone leaves [the administration], writes books about what a hero they were, how they knew better”.
Graham warns that attacking Bolton’s credibility makes it more likely he will testify
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham warned on Wednesday that attacking former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s credibility “makes it more likely some will feel the need to call him as a witness”.

However, I am concerned when John Bolton’s credibility is attacked, it makes it more likely some will feel the need to call him as a witness. In that event, it would be important for the President and his team to call witnesses on other issues.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 29, 2020

Parnas expected at Capitol Hill to show ‘support’ for witnesses and evidence
Lev Parnas, the former associate of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is expected to come to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to show “support for a fair proceeding” that includes witnesses and evidence, his lawyer tweeted. 
Parnas “will be joining us, as we walk to the Capitol” his lawyer, Joseph Bondy tweeted. Parnas is still under house arrest and will not be able to enter the Senate chamber because he is wearing an ankle monitor and electronics are banned. He had been given a ticket by Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, his lawyer had previously told a federal judge. 

We’re headed to Washington DC, to watch the historic Senate trial & show our support for a fair proceeding, with witnesses & evidence. Lev Parnas will be joining us, as we walk to the Capitol. #StephanieSchuman @LeafLegal #JosephBondy @josephabondy #LetLevSpeak #CallTheWitnesses pic.twitter.com/7QTFH4ABop
— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) January 29, 2020

Parnas, who has been indicted for campaign finance fraud, has recently been on a media tour claiming Trump new of he and Giuliani’s efforts to push Ukraine to conduct politically motivated investigations into Trump’s rivals. He also recently provided investigators with a recording of a 2018 meeting with Trump in which th president apparently demanded the removal of then Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. 
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says Hunter Biden a ‘relevant witness’
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has broken from his party’s ranks, saying Hunter Biden is a “relevant witnesses” in the impeachment trial. 
Democratic Senators have said they would not do a witness swap involving Hunter Biden, presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, who Republicans have said should testify. House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the younger Biden is not relevant to the proceedings. 
Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe programme Manchin said he would be open to voting with Republicans for Hunter Biden to testify, saying he wanted to know “everything” he can related to the investigation. 
Trump derides Bolton on Twitter
Reported revelations in the draft of a book by former National Security Adviser Bolton have shifted the dynamic in the debate over whether more witnesses will be called in the trial, and Trump has been quick to criticise his former official. 
On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump derided Bolton, saying if he had listened to his former adviser “we would be in World War Six by now” and referencing the repeated blocking of a vote to confirm Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations in the Senate under President George W Bush. Bush later circumvented the chamber and installed Bolton to the post. 

For a guy who couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, “begged” me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying “Don’t do it, sir,” takes the job, mistakenly says “Libyan Model” on T.V., and..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020

Trump also referenced Bolton’s public use of the term the “Libya model” when referring to North Korean nuclear disarmament. The phrase enraged Pyongyang, who saw the comparison as suggesting the US wanted to disarm North Korea while offering little in return.

….many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020

Who is on Trump’s defence team?
Read more about the key players in the trial here. 

Who are the House managers? 
Seven House Democrats presented the case against President Trump over three days of arguments. 

You’ll hear more from Chief Justice John Roberts Wednesday
Chief Justice John Roberts will become more visible as the trial enters the questioning phase, before moving into the debate over allowing more evidence. 
Roberts is constitutionally mandated to preside over a presidential impeachment trial, and under current Senate rules can make rulings on procedural motions – including the questions of evidence – before senators vote. However, the chief justice is not required to make such rulings and can be overruled by a simple majority. 
During Roberts’s career on the highest court in the land he has espoused maintaining an apolitical federal judiciary. Read more here about how he is expected to approach the very political impeachment trial. 
What happens next? 
Senators will now be given 16 hours, which according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, to ask questions to the House managers and Trump’s defence. 
The questions will be submitted in writing and read by Chief Justice Roberts, alternating between the Republican majority and the Democratic minority. Roberts has asked that responses and rebuttals be kept to five minutes.
Following the questions, the chamber will have four hours of debate before a vote on whether to allow more evidence to be submitted in the trial, followed by subsequent votes on witnesses and documents. Read more about what’s coming up here.

This artist sketch depicts White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaking in the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump [File: Dana Verkouteren/The Associated Press]

Catch up on the trial so far 
As the ninth day of the impeachment trial begins, catch up on what has happened over the last two weeks. 
The trial officially began with a ceremonial start on January 16 that saw the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the proceedings, and the 100 members of the Senate.
The next week began with nearly 12-hours of debate culminating in senators voting along partisan lines to approve Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules resolution. Meanwhile, 11 amendments introduced by Democrats were blocked. Read more about that day here. 
The Democratic House managers then presented their arguments for three days on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday , followed by Trump’s defence arguments Saturday, Monday , and Tuesday.
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