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Jan 21 2020

Impeachment: The Senate Trial 1.21.2020

Coverage of the Senate Trial of Donald John Trump begins live via PBS at about 12:30 PM ET. The Senate session is set to start at 1:00 PM ET. Today’s session is going to be mostly a fight over the rules that Senate Majority Leader “Midnight in Moscow” Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has put forward which the Senate Democrats find unacceptable. Democratic Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called these a “national disgrace” and an attempt by Republicans to cover up for an out of control president who has abused the powers of the office. There will be up to two hours of debate for each amendment, but they will not pass unless four Republicans support the Democrats’ proposals, which currently seems unlikely.

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  1. ek hornbeck

    Well, that was really horrible. Worse than I imagined and I wasn’t imagining much except disaster.

    1. TMC

      They are obviously doing the bidding of their master

  2. TMC

    Cipollone’s statement was nothing more than the litany o lies and misinformation we have heard from Trump and all his sycophants. After the first minute, I had to mute the TV and just read the closed captions. The sound and tone of his voice was making me nauseous. I was waiting for him to call Rep. Schiff “shifty.” He did in so many words. Just a disgrace. .It was almost as if Trump has written the words minus the name calling.

    Not once did Cipollone address the charges or offer a defense, He just attacked the process, the Constitution and House Democrats.

  3. TMC

    The Senate has voted to table the Schumer amendment asking for White House documents, 53-47.

  4. TMC

    McConnell’s proposed rules for the Senate trial now allows for 24 hours of opening statements from each side, over the course of three session days. Originally McConnell had proposed two days, which would make for very late nights, when public attention would be lower.

    I’ll bet he got a lovely not from the Chief Justice, too.

    Also changed is the rule on House evidence. It will now be admitted automatically into the Senate record.

  5. TMC

    Vote to table the request to subpoena for State Department documents passes 53 – 47.

    Apparently vulnerable Republicans are willing to take the fall for Trump in November.

  6. TMC

    Both of Trump’s lawyers have told outright lies in front of the Chief Justice.

    https://www.vox.com/2020/1/21/21075791/trump-impeachment-lawyers-jay-sekulow-pat-cipollone-opening-statement

    Falsehood No. 1: Trump’s lawyers claimed Republicans didn’t have access to key information during House impeachment inquiry

    Cipollone at one point complained that “not even [House Intelligence Committee chair and impeachment manager Adam] Schiff’s Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF,”

    (N)ot only did Republicans involved in the impeachment have access to the SCIF, but many of them also used it.

    Falsehood No. 2: Schiff “manufactured” Trump’s comments during the July Zelensky call

    “When Mr. Schiff saw that his allegations [about Trump abusing his power] were false, and he knew it anyway, what did he do? He went to the House and he manufactured a fraudulent version of that phone call. He read it to the American people, and he didn’t tell them it was a complete fake,” Cipollone said,

    But those comments are a gross mischaracterization of what Schiff did. Schiff paraphrased the phone call for dramatic effect and made clear he was doing so.

    Falsehood No. 3:

    Sekulow’s opening statement, which served as an extended complaint about process, also managed to mangle the facts (he claimed House Democrats delayed transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a longer period of time than was actually the case) and mischaracterize the impeachment process (he said Trump “was denied the right to cross-examine witnesses” during the House inquiry when, in fact, the White House declined to do so).

    MSNBC commentator Claire McCaskill Rips Trump Lawyer’s ‘Demonstrable Lie’ In Front of Chief Justice Roberts: Either ‘Purposely Lying, or Ignorant’

    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/claire-mccaskill-rips-trump-lawyers-demonstrable-lie-in-front-of-chief-justice-roberts-either-purposely-lying-or-ignorant/

    So for the lawyer for the president of the United States, White House counsel, to stand up in the United States Senate in front of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and lie. First of all, if he’s knowingly lying, it’s an ethical problem for him as a lawyer. And if he’s not knowingly lying, he’s just ignorant! I mean, incredibly ignorant, or he’s gotten into the Trump ethos. That is, when you’re cornered, just lie.

  7. TMC

    Senate votes to table an amendment to subpoena Budget office documents. Passes 53 – 47.

  8. TMC

    Sen. Schumer request a subpoena for acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Moscow Mitch states he will move to table the request after debate.

    Senate recesses for dinner break.

  9. TMC

    The trial is back in session. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is discussing the need for Mulvaney to testify

  10. TMC

    Senate votes to table a subpoena for Mick Mulvany to testify by party line vote 53 – 47.

    This is the fourth amendment tabled by the Republicans.

  11. TMC

    Moscow Mitch proposed that further amendments be “stacked.” The idea was rejected by Sen. Schumer. There was a quorum call by Moscow Mitch in order to decide the next move.

    They are now back in session and the 5th amendment for Department of Defense records is being read, after which Moscow Mitch will again state that he will move to table it after 2 hours of debate.

    This is going to be a long night

  12. TMC

    Seems like quite a few people have picked up on how unprepared and incompetent Trump’s lawyers are

    What Digby said:

    Nobody had any idea what he as ranting about. He kept angrily shouting about “lawyer lawsuits” obviously all worked up.

    It was “FOIA lawsuits.”

    Dear God.

  13. TMC

    The fifth amendment to the rules is again tables on a totally partisan vote. 53 – 47

  14. TMC

    Debate continues. The sixth amendment is for a subpoena for officials of the Office of Management and Budget

  15. TMC

    Amendment #6 is now tabled 53 – 47. Wash, Rinse, Repeat

  16. TMC

    The seventh amendment has been read, objected to and then a “5 minute” recess that so far over 15.

  17. TMC

    Moskow Mitch looks exhausted. I can’s imagine him and some of the older members doing 12 hour days. The three 8 hour days are going to be tough enough

  18. TMC

    And on we go for two hours of debate

  19. TMC

    And a motion to table. 53 – 47 as usual

  20. TMC

    Now the subpoena for John Bolton. Amendment #8

  21. TMC

    This is almost as good as a filibuster

  22. TMC

    Chief Justice Roberts chastised both sides for the rhetoric which is getting pretty heated.

    Amendment was table 53 – 47

  23. TMC

    Amendment #9 sparring over procedural matters

  24. TMC

    I’m impressed with the energy of the House managers after 12 hours of debate. The White house lawyers seem to be fading and have no rebuttal, not that they had any from the start of this.

  25. TMC

    as expected amendment #9 to the rules is tabled on partisan lines 53 -47

  26. TMC

    Amendment #10 is now being read and debated. The game is on

  27. TMC

    #10 is now being up for a vote. There is no doubt at this point what the out come will be. Tabled 53 – 47

  28. TMC

    Somebody crossed the line 52 – 48

  29. TMC

    Amendment #11 now being debated. Last one of the night

  30. TMC

    Amendment to allow the Chief Justice to decide the relevance of witnesses

  31. TMC

    Naturally, WH lawyers oppose the amendment

  32. TMC

    The amendment is tabled again on party lines. Sadly

  33. TMC

    Vote to approve the the rules tomorrow, passes 53 – 47

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