Trump impeachment trial day four: All the latest updates

The Republican-controlled United States Senate will hear a second day of arguments against President Donald Trump as the impeachment trial enters its fourth day on Thursday.

In six days of presentations, the president’s defence team and Democratic legislators from the House of Representatives will attempt to convince senators to join their side to either acquit or convict Trump.

Democratic House managers on Wednesday began arguing their case first, detailing in eight hours of proceedings the timeline of Trump’s politically motivated pressure campaign on Ukraine. The managers have a total of 24 hours over three days to make their arguments, before Trump’s defence team will be given the same amount of time to make their case. 

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The trial began in earnest on Tuesday with a marathon session of debate that ultimately culminated in a partisan vote in favour of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s resolution outlining the rules for the impeachment trial, while 11 amendments proposed by Democrats were voted down. 

As Democrats present the second day of their case against Trump, here are all the latest updates as of Thursday, January 23:

Dem Senator accuses White House of hiding evidence

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said a classified document related to Vice President Mike Pence’s September 18 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy should be made part of the public record. 

Hiding evidence of wrongdoing through bogus classification is unacceptable,” he tweeted.

Murphy said he had viewed the document in the secured room of the chamber.

Nadler begins second day of presenting case against Trump

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has begun the second day of arguments laying out the impeachment case against President Donald Trump.

The House managers are expected to lay out the constitutional grounds for removing Trump from office. 

Report: Gum-chewing, snacking, yawning and alleged napping during Senate trial

Despite strict rules meant to keep Senators attention on the proceedings, at least one legislator was seen taking what appeared to be a nap during Wednesday’s arguments by House managers. 

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia could be seen at his desk in the back row, leaning on his right arm with a hand covering his eyes. He stayed that way for around 20 minutes, then shifted to rest his chin in the same hand, eyes closed, for about five more minutes, the Associate Press reported. 

Impeachment trial Senate floor rules include no coffee or snacking on the floor, no pacing, note-passing, working on other matters or talking. But during two days of lengthy proceedings so far, Senators have appeared increasingly restless, and less concerned about the rules. 

Three stories you might have missed while following impeachment

Outbreak of coronavirus in China has world on edge:

At least 17 people have died from a new coronavirus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, and more than 550 cases have been reported globally – leading the World Health Organisation to weigh declaring a global health emergency. 

Read more about the outbreak here.

ICC ruling on Rohingya:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that Myanmar had “caused irreparable damage to the rights of the Rohingya” and ordered the country to take emergency measures to prevent genocide of the minority Muslim group. 

Read more about the ruling here.

US imposes new ‘birth tourism’ visa rules for pregnant women:

President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday published new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism”. Applicants will be denied tourist visas if they are determined by consular officers to be coming to the US primarily to give birth, according to the rules published in the Federal Register.

Read more about the rule here

Schumer optimistic after first day of arguments

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer struck an optimistic tone on Thursday, shortly before Democrat House managers are set to begin their second day of arguments for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

“It may have been the first time that many of my Republican colleagues heard the full story, the complete narrative from start to finish, uninterrupted,” Schumer told reports at a press conferences.

“It may have planted the first seed in their minds that, yes, perhaps the president did something very wrong here,” he added. 

Trump begins day with tweet storm

Trump began the fourth day of the impeachment trial against him by tweeting and retweeting at least eight times deriding the process and Democrats involved.

“The Democrat House would not give us lawyers, or not one witness, but now demand that the Republican Senate produce the witnesses that the House never sought, or even asked for? They had their chance, but pretended to rush. Most unfair & corrupt hearing in Congressional history!” he wrote in one tweet.

In another tweet, he referenced a letter signed by 21 Republican state attorneys general, reported by local media, calling for the articles of impeachment to be rejected by senators.

On Wednesday, Trump broke his record for most tweets or retweets in a single day while in office, according to Factba.se, a service that compiles and analyses data on Trump’s presidency.

Who are the House Managers?

The House of Representatives appointed seven Democrats to make their case against Trump, which they began on Tuesday. They will have 24 hours over three days to lay it all out. 

Read more about them here

Interactive - Trump impeachment managers

What evidence has come out since Trump was impeached? 

Democrats have been vocal about wanting more witnesses and documents for the Senate trial. During his opening arguments, lead House manager Adam Schiff referenced the new evidence that has emerged since Trump was impeached in December. 

That evidence includes:

  • Statements from Ukrainian businessman Lev Parnas
  • An offer from former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify if subpoenaed by the Senate
  • A government watchdog report saying the Trump administration broke key federal budget laws in unilaterally withholding aid from Ukraine
  • Emails and media reports that shed further light on the machinations surrounding the withheld aid. 

Read more about the new evidence here

Impeachment

This artist sketch depicts impeachment manager Schiff presenting an argument in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump [File: Dana Verkouteren/The Associated Press]

Refresher: What rules did the Senate approve for the trial? 

Here is a breakdown of how the trial will work based on the resolution passed early on Wednesday

  • Each side will get 24 hours over three days to present their case (that means opening arguments could last up to six days). 
  • After arguments, senators will have 16 hours to ask questions, submitted in writing. 
  • After the question and answer session, the Senate will likely discuss whether to subpoena witnesses and documents. 
  • House evidence will be admitted automatically for the record unless there is a motion to throw out any evidence. 

What has happened so far? 

On Tuesday, technically the second day of the trial but the first full day of proceedings, the Senate voted along partisan lines to approve Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules resolution after nearly 12 hours of debate.

Meanwhile, 11 amendments introduced by Democrats were blocked.

Read more about what happened here

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the lead House manager in the trial, began the presentation of the case against Trump by laying out the timeline of his alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine. 

Read more about Wednesday’s proceedings here

source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/trump-impeachment-trial-day-latest-updates-200123142652669.html

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