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Trump impeachment trial: Live updates from the Senate

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Sen. Tom Cotton was spotted earlier today drinking two glasses of milk with some chocolate he was sneaking from under his desk.

Surprisingly, milk and water are the only beverages allowed on the Senate floor during the impeachment trial.

So why milk, and not coffee? The reason is simple: It was designed to help senators with ulcers.

According to Alan Frumin, the former Senate Parliamentarian and CNN contributor, a precedent from Jan. 24, 1966, stated, “Senate rules do not prohibit a Senator from sipping milk during his speech.”

Frumin said this is a “precedent” and not a formal “rule” of the Senate.

GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who is a physician, said the practice was started to aid senators suffering from peptic ulcer disease because “way back when, in the ‘50’s” there was no treatment for the condition other than drinking milk.

“There was no medicine for pectic ulcer disease so people would drink milk and so the senators were allowed to drink milk because they had ulcers,” he said. 

Cassidy said all senators know they can’t bring outside drinks on the floor. But once there, sparkling water is also served in addition to water and milk. 

He said snacks and coffee are available in the cloakroom but the coffee is “as a rule awful.” 

“It’s miserable coffee. You would wish it on a Democrat but no one else,” he said. “Just joking.”

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Dems must end this sham impeachment, says … former Clinton adviser?

Count Mark Penn among those unimpressed by the House Democrats’ impeachment of Donald Trump. Penn, who worked as Bill Clinton’s pollster during the 1998-9 impeachment and later on Hillary Clinton’s Senate and 2008 presidential campaigns, blasts Adam Schiff as a political hitman for Democrats angry over Donald Trump’s win in 2016. Americans may not like Trump or even the phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky, but Penn argues that it doesn’t come close to a reason to reverse an election and remove a president.

In an essay for The Hill, Penn argues that Democrats may pay a steep price for their abuse of the system, but that the institutional credibility of Congress will take even more damage:

There is definitely something about all this that the American public doesn’t like, that reasonable people can judge as wrong, but that is quite different than removing a president from office through a process designed to use impeachment as a political vehicle. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was not a truth-seeker — he is on tape soliciting naked pictures of Trump, and he repeatedly exaggerated evidence against Trump over the last three years. He was simply a weapon jamming through impeachment and ignoring fair procedure or legal process.

The last few days in the media have underscored this bias with the release of material from Lev Parnas, who — like Christopher Steele and his dossier before him, or like Michael Avenatti, now out on bail — is a questionable character with obviously wild claims for which he has no proof, including claims against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr, whom Parnas has never met. It was a political dirty trick to release his information and him on the eve of the Senate impeachment trial, and this act alone would have gotten any real prosecutor’s case thrown out.

The second article of impeachment — obstruction of the House by the assertion of executive privilege — is, in my view, wholly without merit. Despite endless allegations of lawlessness, this administration has implemented every court ruling it has lost without exception. Asserting executive privilege is not the same as paying hush money or suborning perjury, as was alleged in the Clinton and Nixon impeachment efforts. President Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, frequently asserted privilege in response to investigations and Holder was even held in contempt of Congress, a resolution he promptly ignored.

That is precisely the same point made by Jay Sekulow yesterday during the presentment of the defense case at the Senate trial. Moreover, Sekulow noted, both Schiff and Jerrold Nadler defended the refusal of Obama and Holder to comply with subpoenas from the House at that time, and called the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious nothing more than a politically motivated witch hunt. That issue had a body count to go along with it, too, and clear violations of federal gun laws to boot.

Penn warns that we are about to see George Washington’s worst nightmare come true if this proceeds:

George Washington’s farewell address about the excesses of partisanship was never truer than today. As America’s only truly independent president, Washington predicted that the growth of factionalism would undermine the execution of our laws and that the “alternate domination” of one party over another would lead to efforts to “exact revenge” and “raise false alarms.”

Washington does indeed seem particularly prescient about this moment in history. While he was at the time concerned by rising factions based on geographical interests rather than ideological or strictly partisan point-scoring, his farewell address warning does indeed sound all too accurate:

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

In my column today at The Week, I argue that we’re almost at the debacle Washington predicts here:

Given the partisan warfare around the impeachment, the trial outcome is all but certain. Of more concern, however, should be the damage done to the legislative branch over the last two decades. This poisonous atmosphere of majoritarian flexing has transformed Congress from a co-equal branch to either the wingman or the executioner of the president. With this partisan war as context, succeeding House majorities will feel freer to impeach any president of the opposing party on any pretext, especially by launching constant investigations that encroach on the executive’s co-equal status and automatically considering any objection to be obstructive. We will either have parliamentary systems with the executive under the thumb of the House, or presidencies entirely unencumbered by an independent legislature.

At some point, we need leadership on Capitol Hill that restores its own prerogatives while respecting the prerogatives of the executive. This would benefit both parties in the long run, and it would return the federal government to actual representative democracy. Unfortunately, after two decades in the trenches of the Democrat-Republican war, there doesn’t seem to be any leaders emerging of that quality — nor a lot of demand from anyone else to produce them.

To prevent this outcome, Penn insists that Democrats need to withdraw their articles of impeachment. Let the voters decide whether Trump’s behavior disqualifies him from another term, as setting this precedent would be far more damaging than anything alleged in the impeachment. This is nothing more than brute-force majoritarianism, and the Senate trial will be more of the same.

If Democrats insist on seeing this through, however, Penn advises that the Senate needs to “end this quickly” and “get back to the business of the country.” That indeed would be a nice change of pace from the past twelve months.

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Democrats make their case against Trump

Senate impeachment trial live updates: Democrats make their case against Trump originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

-House managers begin 3 days of opening arguments

-The president’s lawyers make no motion to dismiss the charges

-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calls Tuesday ‘a dark day and a dark night’

-President Trump says he will be watching, calls trial ‘a disgrace’

Here is how the day is unfolding. Please refresh for updates.

5:17 p.m. Nadler raises Rudy Giuliani’s role in Ukraine

After Schiff, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler returns to the lectern to tell more of what Democrats’ call the president’s Ukraine scheme.

PHOTO: Democratic House Manager Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020, at the Capitol. (ABC News)

After being admonished by the chief justice last night, Nadler begins by striking an apologetic tone.

“Before I begin, I would like to thank the chief justice and the senators for your temperate listening and your patience last night as we went into the long hours,” Nadler, D-N.Y., says. “Truly, thank you.”

Nadler then asserts that the president’s actions were driven by a desire “to obtain a corrupt advantage for his re-election campaign.”

“As we will show the president went to extraordinary lengths to cheat in the next election,” Nadler says, recounting the president’s efforts to remove Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Kyiv.

“The truth is that Ambassador Yovanovitch was the victim of a smear campaign organized by Rudy Giuliani, amplified by President Trump’s allies, and designed to give President Trump the pretext he needed to recall her without warning,” Nadler says.

“With Ambassador Yovanovitch out of the way, the first chapter of the Ukraine scheme was complete. Mr. Giuliani and his agents could now apply direct pressure to the Ukrainian government to spread these two falsehoods,” Nadler says. “And who benefited from this scheme? Who sent Mr. Giuliani to Ukraine in the first place? Of course we could rephrase that question as the former Republican leader of the Senate Howard Baker first asked it in 1973: ‘What did the president know and when did he know it?’”

– ABC News’ John Parkinson

4:35 p.m. While some senators take detailed notes, one works the crossword

ABC News’ John Parkinson was observing from the press gallery above the chamber during Schiff’s presentation.

Here’s what he wrote in his reporter’s notebook:

Republican Sen. Rand Paul appears to be the least-interested senator at the trial, filling in answers on his crossword puzzle multiple times in the two o’clock hour. The Kentucky Republican still appears to be trying to hide his activities, using a piece of paper torn 90 percent from bottom to top to conceal both the crossword’s clues and the puzzle itself.

He lifts one side when he needs another clue, and the other when he is prepared to fill in an answer.

A little later, Paul had left the chamber but was soon spotted him through the doors of the GOP cloakroom, where he had kicked back in a leather chair and seemed to be watching the trial on television.

A spokesman for the senator explains: “All smart people do crossword puzzles.”

PHOTO: Senate floor during the impeachment trial for President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington, DC. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Senate floor during the impeachment trial for President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington, DC. (ABC News)

Republicans and Democrats — except Rand Paul, that is — seemed to be following Schiff’s presentation closely, with Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee taking meticulous notes that filled the page from margin to margin.

The Senate pages appear to be in a contest with each other – seemingly racing to replace half-empty glasses of water at the senators’ desks — without any encouragement from the senators. It seems that the refills are their primary task, much like a busser at a fancy steakhouse who never wants you to go thirsty.Neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nor Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have taken any notes but both seem to be paying close attention.

During the first hour of Schiff’s presentation, the chamber appeared almost filled. But toward the end of his two-hour argument, several senators stood to take bathroom breaks. At this point, I counted 26 senators not at their desks, whereas the previous hour it was rare to find an empty seat. Score one for the Senate pages.

4:15 p.m. Outside the Senate chamber, Republicans argue nothing is getting done during trial

Republicans are honing their argument against witnesses, making an appeal to voters who say they’re fed up with Washington politics and want Congress to get stuff done.

“There’d be nothing else we could do in the interim,” said GOP Sen John Cornyn of Texas. “It would basically hijack the Senate.”

“Let’s say a witness like Mick Mulvaney or John Bolton come. invariably the White House would claim executive privilege. There’d be a lawsuit filed in District Court in the District of Columbia that would then go to the Court of Appeals and then potentially the Supreme Court. That could take months,” he said. “In the meantime, the Senate can’t do anything else, we can’t confirm judges we can’t have hearings, we can’t even introduce legislation.”

Sen John Barrasso of Wyoming offered a similar argument, saying the longer the impeachment trial goes on the less time the Senate spends on other issues.“I chair the committee that oversees infrastructure roads, bridges. we got it out of our committee, but because we’re stuck with this and the longer you are going and the longer you’re dealing with witnesses, the harder it is to get to the things that I hear about in Wyoming and I’ve heard about this past week,” he told reporters.

–ABC News’ Devin Dwyer

3:30 p.m. Trump tweets while Schiff speaks

After Schiff finishes what he calls his “introduction,” McConnell asks that the Senate take about a half-hour break.

While Schiff was still speaking about the pressure campaign on Ukraine, President Trump tweeted “NO PRESSURE” while flying back from Davos, Switzerland.

Trump is expected back in Washington this evening.

2:32 p.m. Both Republicans and Democrats seem engaged with Schiff’s presentation

Republicans and Democrats both seem very engaged, for the most part, with their binders filled with both sides briefs and taking notes.

During the arguments so far, the president’s attorneys are listening — sometimes White House counsel Pat Cipollone turns around to look at Schiff directly. They are passing notes but not smirking or laughing as anything is played. Their faces remain pretty neutral as the House presents their case and plays the video clips.

Four key GOP moderates — GOP Sens. Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Gardner — are all taking diligent notes, especially when Schiff discusses the need for witnesses and evidence.

PHOTO: Lead manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivers an opening argument during the second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in this frame grab from video shot at the Capitol, Jan. 22, 2020. (Reuters)
PHOTO: Lead manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivers an opening argument during the second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in this frame grab from video shot at the Capitol, Jan. 22, 2020. (Reuters)

When Schiff says this: “In 2016 then candidate Trump implored Russia to hack his opponent’s email account, something that the Russian military agency did only hours later, only hours later. When the president said, hey Russia, if you’re listening, they were listening.” Sen. Lindsey Graham sat there and shook his head.

Later, when Schiff plays the video of the president saying “Russia if you’re listening,” he laughed quietly and smirked.

Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, also a lead manager, has been absent for most of Chairman Schiff’s presentation. The reason is unclear but it could be that he is prepping for the Judiciary portion of the arguments given that the House Intelligence lawyers have a larger presence at the House impeachment managers table currently.

All other managers are seated at the table.

It’s interesting to note the video clips Schiff and the Democrats are playing thus far. A lot of clips from former National Security Council Russia expert Fiona Hill and the former top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor — some of their most credible witnesses in the open hearings.

At the same time, they play multiple video clips of Trump and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney — with them saying publicly what they have denied.

One example is Trump on the White House South Lawn on Oct. 3: “They should investigate the Bidens. Because how does a company that’s newly formed and all these companies, if you look — and by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

Another example: clips of Mulvaney’s infamous exchange with ABC Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl on Oct. 17, admitting on camera what he completely reversed hours later in a paper statement denying he said anything of the sort.

“Mulvaney didn’t just admit that the president withheld the crucial aid appropriated by Congress to apply pressure on Ukraine to do the president’s political dirty work. He also said that we should just get over it,” Schiff said, then playing the clip.

‘Should the Congress just get over it? Schiff said after playing two of Karl’s exchanges with Mulvaney back to back. “Should the American people just come to expect that our presidents will corruptly abuse their offices to seek the help of a foreign power to cheat in our elections? Should we just get over it? Is that what we’ve come to? I hope and pray the answer is no.”

Schiff played a clip from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland speaking bluntly about the quid pro quo. “Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said in the clip of his testimony in the public House Intelligence hearings.

“This quid pro quo was negotiated between the president’s agents, Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian officials throughout the summer of 2019 in numerous telephone calls, text messages and meetings including during a meeting hosted by then national security adviser John Bolton on July 10th. —– Near the end of that July 10th meeting, after the Ukrainians again raised the issue of a white house visit, ambassador sondland blurted out there would be agreement for — once the investigations began,” Schiff said.

Schiff made the argument that the White House is downplaying the call, saying it’s just about the call and not the preparation leading up to the phone call and all the conversations around it and about it.

“As you consider the evidence we present to you, ask yourselves whether the documents and witnesses that have been denied by the president’s complete and unprecedented obstruction could shed more light on this critical topic,” Schiff said. “You may agree with the House managers that the evidence of the president’s withholding of military aid to coerce Ukraine is already supported by overwhelming evidence and no further insight is necessary to convict the president,” he said. “But if the president’s lawyers attempt to contest these or other factual matters, you are left with no choice but to demand to hear from each witness with firsthand knowledge.”

-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders

1:57 p.m. Schiff says the president’s legal team can’t contest the facts

Schiff attempts to bring all the threads of the Ukraine affair together for senators, accusing President Trump of using his office to pressure a foreign country to aid him politically ahead of the next election.

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

“In this way the president used official state powers available only to him and unavailable to any political opponent to advantage himself in a democratic election. His scheme was undertaken for a simple but corrupt reason, to help him win re-election in 2020,” Schiff continues.

Schiff defends the “overwhelming evidence” and record assembled by the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, despite Trump’s “unprecedented and wholesale obstruction” of their investigation.

In gentler terms than yesterday, Schiff appeals to the Senate to vote in favor of hearing from additional witnesses.

“The House believes that an impartial juror upon hearing the evidence that the managers will lay out in the coming days will find that the Constitution demands the removal of Donald J. Trump from his office as president of the United States. But that will be for you to decide. With the weight of history upon you and as President Kennedy once said” “A good conscience is your only sure reward,” he says.

He also takes a shot at the president’s defenders and their argument, saying that former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and others are claiming a president can’t be impeached for abusing power because they aren’t contesting that he did so.

“When you focus on the evidence uncovered during the investigation you will appreciate there is no serious dispute about the facts,” he says. “This is why you will hear the president’s lawyers make the astounding claim that you can’t impeach a president for abusing the powers of his office, because they can’t seriously contest that that is exactly, exactly what he did,” he says.

— ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel

1:53 p.m. Schiff: ‘remarkably consistent evidence of President Trump’s corrupt scheme and cover-up’

Schiff offers an outline of what the managers have called President Trump’s “scheme” to pressure the Ukrainian prime minister and muddle the U.S. intelligence committee findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

“Over the coming days you will hear remarkably consistent evidence of President Trump’s corrupt scheme and cover-up,” Schiff says.

1:08 p.m. Schiff takes lead as Democrats begin 3 days of opening arguments

Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House manager, begins to make the House case, arguments that could go as long as 24 hours over the next three days.

He starts by thanking the senators, referencing the late night less than 12 hours before.

PHOTO: Lead House Manager REp. Adam Schiff delivers his opening argument in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020, at the Capitol. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Lead House Manager REp. Adam Schiff delivers his opening argument in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020, at the Capitol. (ABC News)

“We went well into the morning as you know, until I believe around two in the morning, and you paid attention to every word and argument that you heard from both sides in this impeachment trial, and I know we are both deeply grateful for that,” Schiff says, in a noticeably less combative tone than he took on Tuesday.

“You have the added difficulty of having to weigh the facts and the law, so I want to begin today by thanking you for the conduct of the proceedings yesterday and for inviting your patience as we go forward,” Schiff says.

PHOTO: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts addresses the Senate on the second day of the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Jan. 22, 2020. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts addresses the Senate on the second day of the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Jan. 22, 2020. (ABC News)

Schiff then outlines the history of why he says the framers included the power of impeachment in the Constitution.

He then lays out the specifics of the charges against President Trump.

Countering claims by Republicans and the president’s lawyers that the articles of impeachment are invalid because they do not allege a specific crime, he quotes Alexander Hamilton as saying impeachment was warranted in when there is an “offense against the body politic’ — including “the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

Schiff calls Trump’s conduct “a betrayal of his sacred oath of office.”

12:20 p.m. GOP senators call Democrats’ efforts so far a failure

Republican senators ABC News talked to this morning don’t think their Democratic colleagues accomplished much during Tuesday’s marathon session, although at least one acknowledged the fiery tone, which drew criticism from Chief Justice John Roberts, was not ideal.

“I thought the presentations had the unfortunate tone that impeachment is almost always going to have. Impeachment is not a pleasant process. It’s largely a political process and political juices get flowing much hotter than they should in my view, and that was also the Chief Justice’s thinking,” says GOP Sen. Roy Blunt. He acknowledged the atmosphere in the Senate is generally much more cordial than in the House, and senators are used to working across the aisle with one another.

Overall though, he said he would categorize Tuesday’s effort by the Democrats as a failure: “I think where House Democrats failed yesterday and maybe Senate Democrats failed, was trying to use the time in a way that would wear us out, or the chief justice, out, and deny the president’s response, any response this week. Clearly, if they could have kicked this into today, and they would have started their three days tomorrow, the President wouldn’t have had any chance to respond at all before the weekend was over and I think that was what they were trying to do. I think that’s what we all thought they were trying to do,” Blunt says.

Sen. Ron Johnson says, “I thought Chairman Nadler was, certainly didn’t help the case, accusing Republican senators of complicity in some kind of cover up. That’s not helpful. I think the chief justice was very wise to try and bring them back into little, little more appropriate decorum.”

Chief Justice Roberts scolded both House manager Jerry Nadler and the president’s legal team – White House counsel Pat Cipillone and his personal lawyer Jay Sekulow for their tone and language as the debate stretched into the early hours of this morning.

— ABC News’ Sarah Kolinvosky

11:25 a.m. Schumer: ‘A dark day and a dark night for the Senate’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says that the reason the Senate debate last until almost 2 a.m. this morning was that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to “interfere” with his promise to President Trump to get the impeachment trial over with as quickly as possible.

“It seems the only reason senator McConnell refused to move votes back a day is because it would interfere with the timeline he promised the president,” Schumer says.

Appearing at a news conference with fellow Senate Democrats, Schumer tells reporters that McConnell refused to move votes to today and once again claimed Republicans ” don’t want a fair trial.”

Noting the party-line votes in which Republicans repeatedly rejected Democratic amendments to call witnesses and subpoena documents now from the White House, State Department, Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget, Schumer calls Tuesday “a dark day and dark night for the Senate.”

PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) calls on reporters during a news conference at the Capitol, Jan. 22, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) calls on reporters during a news conference at the Capitol, Jan. 22, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

When a reporter asks, “Are you willing to let Republicans bring in former Vice President Biden or his son Hunter Biden in order to get the witnesses you want?” Schumer responds, “Look, the bottom line is that the witnesses should have something to do with and direct knowledge of the charges against the president. You know, we don’t need witnesses that have nothing to do with this that are trying to distract Americans from the truth.”

Then, when asked, “Would you cut a deal of any kind with Republicans?” Schumer answers,”Well right now, right now we haven’t heard them wanting any witnesses at all, so our first question is to continue to focus our efforts and focus the American people on the need for a fair trial which means witnesses and documents — witnesses and documents that, again, reflect reflect the truth.

And the bottom line is this: We don’t know what these witnesses and documents will reveal. They could be exculpatory of the president. They could be incriminating of the President. These are certainly not Democratic witnesses or Democratic documents. We want — as both of my colleagues said — the truth. And that’s what we’re going to focus on,” he says.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar tells ABC’s Devin Dwyer she’s “less and less encouraged” but “still holding out hope” there will be witnesses in the trial.

Asked about reports that some Democrats are considering a possible deal in which they would get former national security adviser John Bolton if Republicans got the Bidens, the Democratic presidential candidate answers, “I know negotiations are going on but all I care about are relevant witnesses.”

PHOTO:Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives during the Senate impeachment trial at the Capitol against President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO:Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives during the Senate impeachment trial at the Capitol against President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

11 a.m. Senate set to hear opening arguments, Trump calls trial ‘a disgrace’

In about two hours, the Senate will begin to hear arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, following a marathon opening day of acrimonious debate over the rules for the trial.

PHOTO: House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff speaks during impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (ABC News)
PHOTO: House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff speaks during impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (ABC News)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, was forced to revise his resolution outlining the Senate proceedings after several Republican senators privately voiced concerns about elements of the proposal.

The resolution, adjusted to allow House managers and President Trump’s lawyers to make arguments over three days instead of two, and change the rules for the admission of evidence, was adopted early Wednesday morning in a 53-47 vote along party lines.

Neither side filed motions ahead of proceedings Wednesday morning, clearing the way for House managers to begin their arguments after 1 p.m.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump gives a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: President Donald Trump gives a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Traveling overseas, President Trump said he would be watching today’s session and said his lawyers were doing a good job. He called the trial a “disgrace.”

Under the rules of the trial, the president’s lawyers and Senate allies could introduce a motion to dismiss the charges against Trump later in the Senate proceedings – though top GOP senators have suggested they lack the 51 votes needed to end the trial.

The Senate spent Tuesday in silence, listening to the House managers and Trump’s defense team argue over eleven amendments introduced by Democrats to alter the resolution and issue subpoenas for witnesses and records.

PHOTO: Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lindsey Graham are directed to a different entrance to the Senate Chamber before the start of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lindsey Graham are directed to a different entrance to the Senate Chamber before the start of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Each measure was defeated in succession along party lines, though Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate who urged McConnell to alter the underlying resolution, broke with Republicans to support one resolution giving more time for managers and the president’s lawyers to respond to motions.

Near the end of proceedings Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts, who spent most of the first day of the trial in silence, scolded both sides following a sharp exchange between Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, the lawyers leading Trump’s defense team.

PHOTO: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2020. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2020. (ABC News)

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

Nadler had urged the Senate to call former national security adviser John Bolton to testify, and called Cipollone a liar in a later exchange. The top White House lawyer told Nadler to apologize to the president his family, and the Senate.

ABC News’ Trish Turner and Katherine Faulders contributed reporting.

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Supreme Court Must Crack Down on Google

After 21 years, the internet juggernaut Google has become pervasive in the lives of people throughout the world.

It started as the world’s largest search engine, but has expanded to include Chrome, the most popular search engine; Gmail, the most popular email service; Android, the most popular smartphone operating system; and YouTube, the most popular video site.

Google grows every year, fueled by lucrative digital advertising. Parent company Alphabet generated over $136 billion in revenue in 2018 — and billions more in 2019.

But how, some may be asking, did a mere search engine come to dominate the tech marketplace so dramatically?

If you hear it from Google, the company’s enormous success is due to its amazing array of services and products that impact the lives of billions of people every day in countless ways.

TRENDING: As House Dems Get Out of Impeachment Quagmire, Maxine Waters Drags Them Right Back In

But that pithy explanation fails to capture the whole story. Many people question whether the company wields too much power and whether Google uses that power for nefarious purposes. Google’s success, many claim, stems not from its impressive capitalistic endeavors, but from the underhanded, legally nebulous tactics its business model relies upon.

And at least in one instance, Google’s critics have found solid footing: Under the search engine’s impressive success story lies a dark reality of abusive behavior.

In 2018, the European Union determined that Google illegally promoted its products in its search engine and Android system. The EU levied a massive $5.1 billion fine on Google for those activities. It was a hefty penalty and a strong reminder that regulators are closely looking at the company’s competitive activities.

Along with other EU investigations, U.S. regulators at the federal level and in almost every state are examining Google’s business activities to make sure a wide array of laws are being followed.

Uncompetitive behavior, they allege, is rampant within Google’s business practices — and unfortunately for the search engine company, there’s plenty of evidence that America’s regulators are absolutely correct.

On Jan. 7, Sonos, an American electronics company, filed a lawsuit against Google alleging patent infringements. The company had developed software that allows smart speakers to synchronize and play music wirelessly in multiple rooms. Sonos contends that Google stole its technology without compensation. As a result, Sonos is suing Google for five separate patent violations, although it believes many more illegal infringements were committed.

Google faces lawsuits as often as it faces regulators, but an upcoming court case will likely be given extra attention by the attorneys for the corporate giant. On Nov. 15, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Google v. Oracle, a longstanding copyright case involving intellectual property. Oracle sued after Google copied an alleged $8.8 billion worth of code from their Java program, which was protected by copyright, and tried to market the technology as its own product.

Google is arguing that certain portions of intellectual property should not be protected by copyright.

In addition to altering the current understanding of copyright, such a ruling would have the added effect of making it easier for Google to engage in the “legally sanctioned” theft. The case will have major implications for Google and other technology companies.

RELATED: Google Has Lost Its Way – Just Ask Its Former Employees

The Supreme Court will determine whether intellectual property will be protected and whether Google and other companies will be prevented from engaging in ongoing theft from competitors.

Throughout its short history, Google has enjoyed phenomenal growth and success. Unfortunately, corporate innovation and creativity started diminishing as corporate theft became more widespread.

Instead of respecting private property rights, Google often engages in disturbing collectivist tactics, which is detrimental to a thriving and competitive business environment.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will rule that Google does not have the right to the intellectual property of its competitors. It should be forced to create its own competitive advantages.

Future progress for Google should occur through corporate innovation, not corporate theft.

Google has found tremendous success engaging in what could only be described as legally dubious behavior, but now the Supreme Court has the opportunity to curb Google’s worst ambitions moving forward.

For the sake of the free market, America should hope they take it.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

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The fight between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders over Social Security, explained

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and his campaign have attacked former Vice President Joe Biden over his record on Social Security stretching back to the 1980s.

Biden counter-attacked at an Iowa campaign event, accusing the Sanders campaign of publishing a “doctored” video of him. The video wasn’t altered, but it didn’t tell the full story about Biden’s comments in 2018 related to former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and Social Security.

Biden and Sanders released dueling digital ads about Social Security about two weeks before the Iowa caucus. Sanders tweeted that Biden “fought for decades to cut Social Security,” while Biden said in his ad that he had “repeatedly voted to save Social Security.”

Here’s the bottom line: Biden and Sanders each highlight the part of Biden’s 40-year record that’s favorable to their own arguments. Sanders emphasizes Biden’s statements decades ago that show a willingness to slow spending in an effort to reduce the federal deficit. Biden emphasizes his current position in favor of protecting or expanding benefits.

Related story: Social Security: A critical program with an uncertain future

Biden’s record of statements on Social Security

Sanders said told CNN  on Jan. 6 that “Joe Biden has been on the floor of the Senate talking about the need to cut Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid.”

During the 1980s and 1990s, Biden spoke in favor of freezes to Social Security as part of an effort to reign in all spending to reduce the deficit.

“The only way that Congress will ever be able to come to grips with deficits is by dealing with all federal programs as a package,” Biden said in 1984.

In 1984, Biden co-sponsored a proposal with two GOP senators to broadly freeze spending. The proposal would have meant no cost-of-living adjustments for one year, but it was defeated.

In 1995, Biden voted in favor of an amendment to exclude reducing Social Security benefits in any legislation to implement a balanced budget amendment. But Biden ultimately supported the balanced budget amendment when its final form didn’t include the exemption. Sanders said the balanced budget amendment would lead to “the destruction of the Social Security system as we know it.”

Sanders’ digital ad uses audio of Biden’s comments in 1995 calling for a broad freeze on spending, including Social Security. The context was Biden calling for a balanced budget amendment.

“When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well,” Biden said at the time. “I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.”

In 2007, NBC’s Tim Russert asked Biden if he would consider making changes to the age of eligibility and cost of living increases due to projections about a large growth in the number of recipients. Biden replied, “Absolutely.”

He acknowledged the political risk:

“The political advisers say to me is, ‘Whoa, don’t touch that third (rail)’ — look, the American people aren’t stupid. It’s a real simple proposition. … Social Security’s not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you’ve got to put all of it on the table.”

But as vice president, Biden generally changed his focus to protecting Social Security — and that’s what he emphasizes in his digital ad.

The ad includes Biden’s statement during the 2012 vice presidential debate with Ryan when he said: “We will be no part of a voucher program or the privatization of Social Security.”

Biden’s ad also states that the Obama-Biden administration fought privatization. Obama kept his promise to avoid privatization, which wasn’t a heavy lift since it was maintaining the status quo.

In 2012, Biden promised voters in Virginia: “I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security. I flat guarantee you.” 

Biden’s ad omits that in 2014 the Obama administration proposed a way to change how Social Security cost-of-living increases were calculated known as chained CPI. The method would have reduced benefits by 1 to 2 percent over the course of the average retirement, according to the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Sanders, who had called the method  “an economic, moral disaster”, was among the Democrats who pushed back. Obama dropped the idea.

During his current campaign, Biden called for “urgently needed action to make the program solvent and prevent cuts to American retirees.”

Biden would increase the minimum benefit for lifelong workers and make payments for the oldest people more generous. To shore up Social Security’s finances, he would raise taxes on upper income households, although his plans doesn’t say by how much.

“We should be increasing, not decreasing, Social Security,” Biden said at an AARP Iowa forum in July. 

Sanders has also called for expanding Social Security.

What Biden said in 2018 about Paul Ryan

The Sanders campaign in a January newsletter said, “In 2018, Biden lauded Paul Ryan for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare.” In a fact-check that specifically examined  whether Biden lauded Ryan, we rated that claim False. The article, however, did not entail an examination of  Biden’s complete history on Social Security.

Feuding between the Biden and Sanders camps about Biden’s record over Social Security continued. On Jan. 18, Biden brought up the Sanders campaign attack at an event in Iowa. 

“There’s a little doctored video going around, put out by one of Bernie’s people…saying that I agreed with Paul Ryan, the former vice presidential candidate, about wanting to privatize Social Security.” Biden was talking about a 20-second video clip from the 2018 event tweeted by Sanders advisor Warren Gunnels.

Biden then referenced PolitiFact, and called the video “doctored” and “a fake.” We didn’t declare the video fake or doctored, though it was taken out of context and misrepresented Biden’s positions.  

The video ignored the complete passage which showed that Biden wanted Social Security and Medicare protected.

“Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What’s the first thing he decided we had to go after?” Biden said, with a slight smirk. Biden then leaned into the microphone and said in a deep menacing voice: “Social Security and Medicare.” (If you listen to the audio, Biden appears to be mocking Ryan.)

Biden continued: “Now, we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare.” He then sarcastically whispered: “That’s the only way you can find room to pay for it.” 

The Sanders campaign omits what Biden said next (our emphasis is in bold):

“Now, I don’t know a whole lot of people in the top one-tenth of 1 percent or the top 1 percent who are relying on Social Security when they retire. I don’t know a lot of them. Maybe you guys do. So we need a pro-growth, progressive tax code that treats workers as job creators, as well, not just investors; that gets rid of unprotective loopholes like stepped-up basis; and it raises enough revenue to make sure that the Social Security and Medicare can stay, it still needs adjustments, but can stay; and pay for the things we all acknowledge will grow the country.”

Some PolitiFact readers interpreted Biden’s comment about the programs needing “adjustments” to mean a cut, but that’s up for debate. 

G. William Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said “adjustments” generally can be interpreted many different ways. It could mean a reduction in the rate of growth, actual cuts in what benefits would have been under current law, or increases in benefits. 

Eugene Steuerle, an expert at the Tax Policy Center, said “adjustments” usually mean tax increases or cuts in the rate of growth in benefits to restore trust fund balance. 

“Someone must pay for spending,” Steuerle said. “That means either tax cuts or spending increases today or tomorrow to pay for deficits, which are rising perpetually faster than our income and almost no matter what the rate of economic growth.”

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“It’s Like Being in a Room when Someone’s Vacuuming. You Can’t Wait for it to Stop” – BOOM!

“It’s Like Being in a Room when Someone’s Vacuuming. You Can’t Wait for it to Stop” – BOOM! – Jesse Watters Goes Off on Epic Tirade After Schiff’s Marathon Impeachment Speech (VIDEO)

Adam Schiff went off on a deranged Trump-Russia screed during his opening arguments at the Senate Impeachment Trial.

Schiff went from lie to conspiracy throughout his 40 minute opening argument.

It was outrageous and insane!

Schiff opened up calling President Trump a “king” and “cheat” and then moved on to assert that President Trump is a puppet of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

This afternoon on The Five Jesse Watters WENT OFF on an epic tirade after Adam Schiff’s marathon impeachment open.

Jesse Watters:  The Democrats have done a lot of dumb things in Trump’s first term but putting Adam Schiff on television for two straight hours might be up there with the dumbest.   The man looks like a rotten dandelion.  Listening to him is like being in the room  when someone’s vacuuming.  You just can’t wait for it to stop.

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U.S. And Other World Leaders Gather In Israel To Discuss Anti-Semitism And Iran At World Holocaust Forum

More than 45 world leaders are in Jerusalem for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum this Wednesday. This is the largest diplomatic delegation ever to visit Israel, which includes U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Special adviser to President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner was scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponent, Blue and White alliance leader Benny Gantz, to discuss the option of releasing the Trump administration’s plan for Middle East peace ahead of Israel’s March 2 election. However, Kushner’s trip was cancelled after his flight from Davos was delayed due to inclement weather. He will return to Washington instead.

75 Years Since The Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

“It is important that they remember where we came from, and it is important that they see what we have achieved,” said Benjamin Netanyahu.

This year marks 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where more than 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were murdered by the Nazis. In total, more than six million Jews perished across Eastern Europe during the Holocaust.

The title of this year’s gathering in Jerusalem is ‘Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism.’ The forum began Wednesday night at Beit HaNassi, the residence of the President of Israel, with an “official reception and dinner.” It continues Thursday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

Including Pelosi (D-CA), seven members of the House are at the forum: Elliot Engel (D-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ted Deutsch (D-FL), Debbie Wasserman-Schulz (D-FL), Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Joe Wilson (R-SC). Before arriving in Israel, this delegation visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Warsaw Ghetto.

“I welcome the leaders from around the world who are coming here, to Jerusalem, to mark with us 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp,” Netanyahu said Tuesday. “It is important that they remember where we came from, and it is important that they see what we have achieved.”

Spike in Anti-Semitic Attacks Around The World

In recent years, there has been a spike in anti-Semitic attacks around the world. These incidents have sharply increased in New York. Israel’s PM plans on discussing the importance of combatting the growing threat from Iran as a way to prevent another Holocaust.

“Iran is openly declaring every day that it wants to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth and, by the way, Israel today has a population of more than six million Jews,” Netanyahu told Trinity Broadcasting Network. “A third of the Jewish people went up in flames; there was nothing we could do. Now, after the Holocaust, the State of Israel has been established and the attempts to destroy the Jewish people are not disappearing.”

Netanyahu is set to address the growing threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran, which he has been pointing out for years as a threat to Israel and the entire world.

“We now have the capacity to defend ourselves, and I think the lesson of Auschwitz is, One, stop bad things when they’re small, and Iran is a very bad thing,” said Netanyahu. “It’s not that small but it could get a lot bigger with nuclear weapons. And the first thing is stop that. And second, understand that the Jews will never ever again be defenseless in the face of those who want to destroy them.”

CNN President Denies Wolf Blitzer Interview With VP

The White House offered CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, the son of Auschwitz survivors, an exclusive interview with the Vice President at the World Holocaust Forum on Thursday. According to sources, he ‘enthusiastically’ agreed to the opportunity. However, CNN president Jeff Zucker would not allow Blitzer to leave the country because of his assignment to cover President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate due to his role as the network’s lead political anchor.
Blitzer worked for The Jerusalem Post (1973-1990) before joining CNN as a military affairs correspondent in May of 1990.

World Leaders Attend Forum

World leaders in attendance include Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron. Leaders of the European Union are at the forum, along with Britain’s Prince Charles and heads of state including Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the first Jewish president in Ukraine’s history.

Kremlin diplomat Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Wednesday that Putin may briefly meet in private with Vice President Pence and the Ukrainian president.

Additionally, Netanyahu plans to meet with Putin to discuss a request to pardon Naama Issachar, a dual Israeli-American citizen imprisoned in Russia, with Putin. Issachar was arrested last April and sentenced in October to seven-and-a-half years in a Russian prison for allegedly possessing nine grams of marijuana in her luggage while on a layover in Moscow on her way from India to Israel. While Issachar was in a detention facility, a Russian prosecutor changed her charge from ‘possession for personal use’ to ‘drug smuggling.’

Ushakov says Putin will arrange a meeting to negotiate Issachar’s release with her mother and PM Netanyahu.

Two European Leaders Backed Out of Forum

Meanwhile, two European leaders backed out from the forum less than a week out. Lithuania’s president Gitanas Nauseda will not attend the event in Israel, which is being boycotted by his Polish counterpart, President Andrzej Duda, due to a dispute with Russia over Poland’s role in The Holocaust. Duda elected to declined his invitation to the event after being denied the opportunity to make a speech.

Nauseda said he will attend next week’s Holocaust commemoration in Poland. He added, “the citizenships of the victims of Auschwitz have no bearing on the choice of leaders who will address the World Holocaust Forum.”

Lithuania, a former Soviet republic, and Poland, which was invaded by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the last century, have tense relations with Russia based on actions during World War II and beyond.

Both nations called out Putin for downplaying the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which reconstructed Eastern Europe at the onset of World War II. Meanwhile, Putin and senior Russian officials have recently said that Poland should bear some responsibility for the war’s outbreak, which Poland and some Western allies reject.

On Wednesday afternoon, Putin dedicated a memorial to the victims of the siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park.

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Trump Lead Impeachment Lawyer Pat Cipollone Shuts Down Nadler, ‘You’re Not in Charge Here!’ (VIDEO)

Trump Lead Impeachment Lawyer Pat Cipollone Shuts Down Nadler, ‘You’re Not in Charge Here!’ (VIDEO)

President Trump’s lead impeachment lawyer Pat Cipollone went off on Dem impeachment manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in a midnight lashing.

Nadler went off on the Senate in a crazy, late night rant accusing Republican senators of casting “treacherous votes,” participating in a “cover-up” and voting “against the United States” for blocking every proposal by Democrats for witnesses and new evidence at the outset of the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Nadler lost his mind Tuesday night after all Republican Senators united and blocked SIX amendments brought forth by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, seeking subpoenas on documents related to Ukraine and rules regarding the trial’s procedures.

Pat Cipollone blasted Nadler and shamed him for his crazy rant and false allegations against Republican Senators.

“The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you. You’re not in charge here!” Cipollone said.

WATCH:

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How senators stuck in D.C. for impeachment are keeping their 2020 campaigns going

Nashua, New Hampshire – Seven inches of fresh snow and sub-freezing temperatures couldn’t stop voter Sharon Giglio from trekking to a corner café to attend “office hours” with Amy Klobuchar’s campaign, even without the presence of the presidential candidate. 

With the Iowa caucuses twelve days away and New Hampshire’s primary soon after, the 2020 presidential candidates who are sitting senators have decamped to Washington. But while they’re stuck serving in silence as jurors in the impeachment trial of President Trump, these senators have launched contingency plans, sending surrogates across early-voting states to talk them up with voters.

New Hampshire State Senator does surrogate duty for Amy Klobuchar, who is in Washington for President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, January 2020.

CBS News / Nicole Sganga



In New Hampshire, Klobuchar’s team has booked surrogate meet-ups through the first week of February, inviting voters to sit down with a local lawmaker backing the Minnesota lawmaker. New Hampshire Executive Councilor Deborah Pignatelli and former Attorney General Joe Foster waved Giglio over to a table stocked with campaign literature, green “Amy for America” stickers and stacks of policy bullet points.

“The senators need to be in Washington right now,” Giglio said. “I think I would have been disappointed if she had chosen to be on the campaign trail instead.” The grandmother of two handed her personal cell to Pignatelli who promised to call her personally the next time the Minnesota lawmaker makes a swing through New Hampshire.

Perhaps the biggest star hitting the early-state trail is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s slated to hold campaign events for Sanders at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University on Friday and Saturday. Sanders is still expected to make an appearance at the Saturday night rally depending on the impeachment schedule. Under the impeachment rules, senators will also be participating in the trial on Saturdays.

Other Sanders surrogates, including filmmaker Michael Moore, will be making the rounds of college campuses around Iowa as the Sanders campaign tries to drum up enthusiasm among young voters in the weeks leading up to the caucuses. Popular indie bands “Vampire Weekend” and “Bon Iver” will host free “caucus concerts” in the weekend leading up to the first-in-the-nation contest, with VIP sections reserved for top campaign canvassers. Sanders led the latest Des Moines Register/CNN poll with 36% of people under 35 saying he was their top choice.

“We need your help now more than ever,” Sanders said told supporters in Des Moines Monday. “I’m going to be stuck in Washington for God knows how long.”

While Sanders rallied voters in three of the four early states this past holiday weekend, his supporters worried about the time away from the trail. 

“It’s bad for Bernie. It’s bad for Elizabeth Warren — to be taking them off the campaign trail,” Logan Peterson of Lancaster, New Hampshire, told CBS News. “It’s a free pass for Joe Biden. He doesn’t have to take time off.” Peterson shook his head. “This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.”

Sanders remains optimistic, telling reporters in Conway, New Hampshire, “As we speak, people are knocking on doors, making the phone calls. And they’re going to have to do what I can’t.”

Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are roadtripping to New Hampshire Thursday, hosting movie and ice cream socials on college campuses. On Saturday, Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, is going to Las Vegas to stump for him. Sanders surrogate Philip Agnew of Black Lives Matter toured South Carolina’s barber shops this week.

Warren has enlisted a former Democratic presidential candidate, Julián Castro, for a stint in Iowa this week to campaign for Warren before heading west to Nevada. He’ll be joined in Iowa by his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro, who also recently endorsed Warren for president. The two will tour western parts of the state, where Warren has spent little time campaigning since the summer.

Warren supporter, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney shook hands with business owners in Concord, New Hampshire, this weekend, popping into businesses adjacent to the State Capitol.

image4.jpg
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney drops by businesses on Elizabeth Warren’s behalf in Concord, New Hampshire, while Warren is in Washington for the Senate impeachment trial.

CBS News / Nicole Sganga



It’s far from a sure bet that surrogates will have much, if any, impact on the race. Shop owner Michael St. Germain, who has already met a dozen candidates, shrugged off Kenney’s visit. “I think it just shows a broad spectrum of the kinds of people in favor of someone,” St. Germain, who has already committed to voting for Warren, conceded. “But does it matter to me as a voter? Probably not.”

Later this week, Congressmen Joe Kennedy, Jim McGovern and Andy Levin will host canvass kick-offs up and down New Hampshire, joined by Elizabeth Warren’s husband Bruce Mann. Actress and activist Ashley Judd makes her 2020 campaign debut Friday, hosting campaign meet-and-greets in Dartmouth, Lebanon and Nashua.

Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow “squad” member, Ayanna Pressley plans to swing through South Carolina Thursday for Warren. On Sunday — the senators’ day off from trial duty — Warren is scheduled to appear at a town hall event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with Netflix’s “Queer Eye” host Jonathan Van Ness, who has endorsed her.

In a rare move, Michael Bennet’s campaign has sworn off campaign fundraising until the end of the impeachment trial. “Michael will also use Telephone Town Halls and Facebook Lives to stay in contact with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire throughout the trial,” campaign spokesperson Shannon Beckham released in a statement. The senator’s wife, Susan Daggett, will head to Exeter, New Hampshire, Thursday to campaign, along with former Ohio Governor Dick Celeste.

As Amy Klobuchar tries to break into the top tier of candidates, her campaign will also be deploying surrogates to Iowa, including her husband and daughter, at hot dish parties around the state. (A hot dish is Minnesota-speak for a casserole.) State legislators touting “Amy for America” signs held group press conferences at the state capitols in Iowa and New Hampshire Monday, doubling down on their support.

Klobuchar has been touting her extensive support from local leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire, even as other campaigns are bringing more nationally recognizable names into the state.

“I have the mayor of Fertile, Iowa. She’s a pop culture icon,” Klobuchar joked with reporters earlier this month when asked how she’ll compete with more high powered surrogates for other campaigns. She also regularly encourages Iowans to call friends and family in Minnesota to get their opinions on Klobuchar. 

LaCrai Mitchell, Alex Tin and Musadiq Bidar contributed to this report.

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Senate impeachment trial live updates: Democrats make their case against Trump

-House managers begin 3 days of opening arguments


-The president’s lawyers make no motion to dismiss the charges

-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calls Tuesday ‘a dark day and a dark night’

-President Trump says he will be watching, calls trial ‘a disgrace’

Here is how the day is unfolding. Please refresh for updates.

3:30 p.m. Trump tweets while Schiff speaks

After Schiff finishes what he calls his “introduction,” McConnell asks that the Senate take about a half-hour break.

While Schiff was still speaking about the pressure campaign on Ukraine, President Trump tweeted “NO PRESSURE” while flying back from Davos, Switzerland.

Trump is expected back in Washington this evening.

2:32 p.m. Both Republicans and Democrats seem engaged with Schiff’s presentation

Republicans and Democrats both seem very engaged, for the most part, with their binders filled with both sides briefs and taking notes.

During the arguments so far, the president’s attorneys are listening — sometimes White House counsel Pat Cipollone turns around to look at Schiff directly. They are passing notes but not smirking or laughing as anything is played. Their faces remain pretty neutral as the House presents their case and plays the video clips.

Four key GOP moderates — GOP Sens. Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Gardner — are all taking diligent notes, especially when Schiff discusses the need for witnesses and evidence.

When Schiff says this: “In 2016 then candidate Trump implored Russia to hack his opponent’s email account, something that the Russian military agency did only hours later, only hours later. When the president said, hey Russia, if you’re listening, they were listening.” Sen. Lindsey Graham sat there and shook his head.

Later, when Schiff plays the video of the president saying “Russia if you’re listening,” he laughed quietly and smirked.

Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, also a lead manager, has been absent for most of Chairman Schiff’s presentation. The reason is unclear but it could be that he is prepping for the Judiciary portion of the arguments given that the House Intelligence lawyers have a larger presence at the House impeachment managers table currently.

All other managers are seated at the table.

It’s interesting to note the video clips Schiff and the Democrats are playing thus far. A lot of clips from former National Security Council Russia expert Fiona Hill and the former top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor — some of their most credible witnesses in the open hearings.

At the same time, they play multiple video clips of Trump and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney — with them saying publicly what they have denied.

One example is Trump on the White House South Lawn on Oct. 3: “They should investigate the Bidens. Because how does a company that’s newly formed and all these companies, if you look — and by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

Another example: clips of Mulvaney’s infamous exchange with ABC Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl on Oct. 17, admitting on camera what he completely reversed hours later in a paper statement denying he said anything of the sort.

“Mulvaney didn’t just admit that the president withheld the crucial aid appropriated by Congress to apply pressure on Ukraine to do the president’s political dirty work. He also said that we should just get over it,” Schiff said, then playing the clip.

‘Should the Congress just get over it? Schiff said after playing two of Karl’s exchanges with Mulvaney back to back. “Should the American people just come to expect that our presidents will corruptly abuse their offices to seek the help of a foreign power to cheat in our elections? Should we just get over it? Is that what we’ve come to? I hope and pray the answer is no.”

Schiff played a clip from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland speaking bluntly about the quid pro quo. “Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said in the clip of his testimony in the public House Intelligence hearings.

“This quid pro quo was negotiated between the president’s agents, Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian officials throughout the summer of 2019 in numerous telephone calls, text messages and meetings including during a meeting hosted by then national security adviser John Bolton on July 10th. —– Near the end of that July 10th meeting, after the Ukrainians again raised the issue of a white house visit, ambassador sondland blurted out there would be agreement for — once the investigations began,” Schiff said.

Schiff made the argument that the White House is downplaying the call, saying it’s just about the call and not the preparation leading up to the phone call and all the conversations around it and about it.

“As you consider the evidence we present to you, ask yourselves whether the documents and witnesses that have been denied by the president’s complete and unprecedented obstruction could shed more light on this critical topic,” Schiff said. “You may agree with the House managers that the evidence of the president’s withholding of military aid to coerce Ukraine is already supported by overwhelming evidence and no further insight is necessary to convict the president,” he said. “But if the president’s lawyers attempt to contest these or other factual matters, you are left with no choice but to demand to hear from each witness with firsthand knowledge.”

-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders

1:57 p.m. Schiff says the president’s legal team can’t contest the facts

Schiff attempts to bring all the threads of the Ukraine affair together for senators, accusing President Trump of using his office to pressure a foreign country to aid him politically ahead of the next election.

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

“In this way the president used official state powers available only to him and unavailable to any political opponent to advantage himself in a democratic election. His scheme was undertaken for a simple but corrupt reason, to help him win re-election in 2020,” Schiff continues.

Schiff defends the “overwhelming evidence” and record assembled by the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, despite Trump’s “unprecedented and wholesale obstruction” of their investigation.

In gentler terms than yesterday, Schiff appeals to the Senate to vote in favor of hearing from additional witnesses.

“The House believes that an impartial juror upon hearing the evidence that the managers will lay out in the coming days will find that the Constitution demands the removal of Donald J. Trump from his office as president of the United States. But that will be for you to decide. With the weight of history upon you and as President Kennedy once said” “A good conscience is your only sure reward,” he says.

He also takes a shot at the president’s defenders and their argument, saying that former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and others are claiming a president can’t be impeached for abusing power because they aren’t contesting that he did so.

“When you focus on the evidence uncovered during the investigation you will appreciate there is no serious dispute about the facts,” he says. “This is why you will hear the president’s lawyers make the astounding claim that you can’t impeach a president for abusing the powers of his office, because they can’t seriously contest that that is exactly, exactly what he did,” he says.

— ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel

1:53 p.m. Schiff: ‘remarkably consistent evidence of President Trump’s corrupt scheme and cover-up’

Schiff offers an outline of what the managers have called President Trump’s “scheme” to pressure the Ukrainian prime minister and muddle the U.S. intelligence committee findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

“Over the coming days you will hear remarkably consistent evidence of President Trump’s corrupt scheme and cover-up,” Schiff says.

1:08 p.m. Schiff takes lead as Democrats begin 3 days of opening arguments

Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House manager, begins to make the House case, arguments that could go as long as 24 hours over the next three days.

He starts by thanking the senators, referencing the late night less than 12 hours before.

“We went well into the morning as you know, until I believe around two in the morning, and you paid attention to every word and argument that you heard from both sides in this impeachment trial, and I know we are both deeply grateful for that,” Schiff says, in a noticeably less combative tone than he took on Tuesday.

“You have the added difficulty of having to weigh the facts and the law, so I want to begin today by thanking you for the conduct of the proceedings yesterday and for inviting your patience as we go forward,” Schiff says.

Schiff then outlines the history of why he says the framers included the power of impeachment in the Constitution.

He then lays out the specifics of the charges against President Trump.

Countering claims by Republicans and the president’s lawyers that the articles of impeachment are invalid because they do not allege a specific crime, he quotes Alexander Hamilton as saying impeachment was warranted in when there is an “offense against the body politic’ — including “the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

Schiff calls Trump’s conduct “a betrayal of his sacred oath of office.”

12:20 p.m. GOP senators call Democrats’ efforts so far a failure

Republican senators ABC News talked to this morning don’t think their Democratic colleagues accomplished much during Tuesday’s marathon session, although at least one acknowledged the fiery tone, which drew criticism from Chief Justice John Roberts, was not ideal.

“I thought the presentations had the unfortunate tone that impeachment is almost always going to have. Impeachment is not a pleasant process. It’s largely a political process and political juices get flowing much hotter than they should in my view, and that was also the Chief Justice’s thinking,” says GOP Sen. Roy Blunt. He acknowledged the atmosphere in the Senate is generally much more cordial than in the House, and senators are used to working across the aisle with one another.

Overall though, he said he would categorize Tuesday’s effort by the Democrats as a failure: “I think where House Democrats failed yesterday and maybe Senate Democrats failed, was trying to use the time in a way that would wear us out, or the chief justice, out, and deny the president’s response, any response this week. Clearly, if they could have kicked this into today, and they would have started their three days tomorrow, the President wouldn’t have had any chance to respond at all before the weekend was over and I think that was what they were trying to do. I think that’s what we all thought they were trying to do,” Blunt says.

Sen. Ron Johnson says, “I thought Chairman Nadler was, certainly didn’t help the case, accusing Republican senators of complicity in some kind of cover up. That’s not helpful. I think the chief justice was very wise to try and bring them back into little, little more appropriate decorum.”

Chief Justice Roberts scolded both House manager Jerry Nadler and the president’s legal team – White House counsel Pat Cipillone and his personal lawyer Jay Sekulow for their tone and language as the debate stretched into the early hours of this morning.

— ABC News’ Sarah Kolinvosky

11:25 a.m. Schumer: ‘A dark day and a dark night for the Senate’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says that the reason the Senate debate last until almost 2 a.m. this morning was that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to “interfere” with his promise to President Trump to get the impeachment trial over with as quickly as possible.

“It seems the only reason senator McConnell refused to move votes back a day is because it would interfere with the timeline he promised the president,” Schumer says.

Appearing at a news conference with fellow Senate Democrats, Schumer tells reporters that McConnell refused to move votes to today and once again claimed Republicans ” don’t want a fair trial.”

Noting the party-line votes in which Republicans repeatedly rejected Democratic amendments to call witnesses and subpoena documents now from the White House, State Department, Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget, Schumer calls Tuesday “a dark day and dark night for the Senate.”

When a reporter asks, “Are you willing to let Republicans bring in former Vice President Biden or his son Hunter Biden in order to get the witnesses you want?” Schumer responds,
“Look, the bottom line is that the witnesses should have something to do with and direct knowledge of the charges against the president. You know, we don’t need witnesses that have nothing to do with this that are trying to distract Americans from the truth.”

Then, when asked, “Would you cut a deal of any kind with Republicans?” Schumer answers,”Well right now, right now we haven’t heard them wanting any witnesses at all, so our first question is to continue to focus our efforts and focus the American people on the need for a fair trial which means witnesses and documents — witnesses and documents that, again, reflect reflect the truth.

And the bottom line is this: We don’t know what these witnesses and documents will reveal. They could be exculpatory of the president. They could be incriminating of the President. These are certainly not Democratic witnesses or Democratic documents. We want — as both of my colleagues said — the truth. And that’s what we’re going to focus on,” he says.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar tells ABC’s Devin Dwyer she’s “less and less encouraged” but “still holding out hope” there will be witnesses in the trial.

Asked about reports that some Democrats are considering a possible deal in which they would get former national security adviser John Bolton if Republicans got the Bidens, the Democratic presidential candidate answers, “I know negotiations are going on but all I care about are relevant witnesses.”

11 a.m. Senate set to hear opening arguments, Trump calls trial ‘a disgrace’

In about two hours, the Senate will begin to hear arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, following a marathon opening day of acrimonious debate over the rules for the trial.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, was forced to revise his resolution outlining the Senate proceedings after several Republican senators privately voiced concerns about elements of the proposal.

The resolution, adjusted to allow House managers and President Trump’s lawyers to make arguments over three days instead of two, and change the rules for the admission of evidence, was adopted early Wednesday morning in a 53-47 vote along party lines.

Neither side filed motions ahead of proceedings Wednesday morning, clearing the way for House managers to begin their arguments after 1 p.m.

Traveling overseas, President Trump said he would be watching today’s session and said his lawyers were doing a good job. He called the trial a “disgrace.”

Under the rules of the trial, the president’s lawyers and Senate allies could introduce a motion to dismiss the charges against Trump later in the Senate proceedings – though top GOP senators have suggested they lack the 51 votes needed to end the trial.

The Senate spent Tuesday in silence, listening to the House managers and Trump’s defense team argue over eleven amendments introduced by Democrats to alter the resolution and issue subpoenas for witnesses and records.

Each measure was defeated in succession along party lines, though Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate who urged McConnell to alter the underlying resolution, broke with Republicans to support one resolution giving more time for managers and the president’s lawyers to respond to motions.

Near the end of proceedings Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts, who spent most of the first day of the trial in silence, scolded both sides following a sharp exchange between Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, the lawyers leading Trump’s defense team.

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

Nadler had urged the Senate to call former national security adviser John Bolton to testify, and called Cipollone a liar in a later exchange. The top White House lawyer told Nadler to apologize to the president his family, and the Senate.

ABC News’ Trish Turner and Katherine Faulders contributed reporting.