Impeachment Day 1 Includes Scolding From Roberts

Oral arguments set to begin later Wednesday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2020 6:43 AM CST
Impeachment Day 1 Includes Scolding From Roberts
Senators vote on approving the rules for the impeachment trial against President Trump in the Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.   (Senate Television via AP)

The Senate approved the rules for President Trump's impeachment trial along party lines early Wednesday, setting the stage for oral arguments that could begin later in the day. After a long, tense hearing, the resolution to approve Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's trial plan passed by 53 votes to 47. Under a last-minute change, the 24 hours in which each side gets to present its case will be spread over three days, not two. Democratic impeachment managers strongly denounced McConnell's plan, which delays the debate over calling new witnesses until well after the trial is underway, the New York Times reports

  • Schiff speaks out. "If the Senate votes to deprive itself of witnesses and documents, the opening statements will be the end of the trial,” said lead impeachment manger Adam Schiff, who likened McConnell's plan to saying, “Let’s have the trial, and maybe we can just sweep this all under the rug.”

  • All amendments rejected. Republicans defeated 11 Democratic amendments to subpoena documents and new witnesses. The only GOP defection came from Sen. Susan Collins, who voted in favor of an amendment to allow more time to file motions, the AP reports. It was defeated 52-48.
  • Admonishment from chief justice. Chief Justice John Roberts told House impeachment managers and administration lawyers to remember where they were, Washington Post reports. "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 was speaking after an angry exchange between House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Trump lawyers Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow.
  • Impeachment rules. Vox takes a detailed look at the battle over the impeachment rules, which Democrats have denounced as "completely partisan. "The McConnell rules seem to be designed by President Trump, for President Trump," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.
  • Key players. Politico looks at five factions in the Senate most likely to affect how the trial goes—and whether Trump is found guilty, though most analysts see that outcome as highly unlikely.
  • Trump: Speaking in Davos, Trump praised his legal team and called the proceedings "such a hoax," reports the AP. "I think it's so bad for our country.”
(Read more Trump trial stories.)

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