Impeachment trial live updates: Senate rejects Democratic effort to subpoena White House for Ukraine documents in Trump’s impeachment trial
BREAKING: The amendment from Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) focused on acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and any “documents, communications and other records” kept by the White House, including the National Security Council.
The White House stonewalled the House impeachment probe, denying access to documents and witnesses.
It was a party-line vote, 53 to 47
Trump Impeachment: Live Updates From the Senate Trial
- President Trump’s historic impeachment trial began with acrimony as lawyers for the president and House members known as impeachment managers clashed in personal and bitter arguments over the rules that will govern the trial.
- The Senate has voted to block an attempt by Democrats to subpoena documents for the impeachment trial that the White House has refused to provide to the House investigators. The vote was cast along party lines.
- Senator Mitch McConnell’s proposed rules were changed even since he had unveiled them, allowing both sides to present their cases for and against removing Mr. Trump from office over three days, not two (though each side is still limited to 24 hours total). He also allowed the House’s evidence from its inquiry to be admitted into the Senate record.
Trial resumes at 5pm ET.
Schumer introduces amendment to subpoena State Dept. records
Schumer introduced his second amendment, to subpoena State Department documents related to the charges against the president. They are reading the text of the amendment now.
Why it’s important: The State Department is in possession of highly relevant records and communications involving officials in the Office of the Secretary as well as officials covering Ukraine who have direct knowledge of the key events in question. These records were requested as part of House impeachment inquiry, but the Trump administration refused to produce these and other key documents.
More information about why these specific State Department documents are so important can be found in Sen. Schumer’s Dec. 23 letter to his colleagues.
After hearing debate, McConnell will make a motion to table the amendment, which is expected to pass.
Still TBD on how many amendments we will see today.
I hope we see a ton of them. Force the Republicans to go on the record over and over again as they block documents and witnesses. We need these recorded votes to shame them in the upcoming election.
That is my hope also. Every amendment they vote down in lockstep is another nail in their coffins come the election.
I understand it now. The Dems knew the GOP would stonewall. So Schumer puts up the amendments and the House lays out the evidence during its time in a way Mitch can’t stop and Team Trump was not prepared for.
Schumer’s 2nd amendment has failed.
Senate rejects a Democratic push for State Dept. documents
The Senate blocked a Democratic attempt on Tuesday to subpoena State Department documents, emails and other correspondence for President Trump’s impeachment trial, including records involving Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union. The vote — the second push for documents — was 53 to 47, with the Republican majority prevailing.
Mr. Sondland, a wealthy business executive and Trump donor, told lawmakers that he did not have access to his written records before his testimony in the House impeachment inquiry. Mr. Sondland testified he worked with others to pressure Ukraine “at the express direction of the president” and confirmed that there was a clear “quid pro quo” linking a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president to the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.
The State Department had refused demands by House investigators to turn over documents from Mr. Sondland and other diplomats who testified in the impeachment inquiry. In arguments Tuesday evening, House managers said the documents were essential to fully understand Mr. Trump’s actions. White House lawyers argued that the administration had the right to assert privileges over documents like those from the State Department.
So, how do you all like impeachment so far?
Senate rejects a third bid by Democrats to subpoena records
Democrats push to hear witness testimony from Mulvaney
After recessing for dinner, Democrats began debate over an amendment to subpoena Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
The push for his testimony raises the larger question of whether any Republican senators will join Democrats in insisting that senior administration officials appear before the Senate and recount what they knew about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign against Ukraine. But Democrats are particularly interested in hearing from Mr. Mulvaney given his proximity to Mr. Trump and his role in enacting a freeze on vital military aid that Congress had appropriated to go to Ukraine.
“The Senate has always taken its duty to obtain evidence, including witness testimony, seriously,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, one of the House impeachment managers. “This is the only way to ensure fundamental fairness for everyone involved.”
Senate rejects bid to subpoena Mick Mulvaney for testimony
GO, SCHUMER, GO!!!
We don’t care if it takes all night! Don’t budge an inch. Introduce motion after motion after motion that shows the Republicans for what they are: co-conspirators with the President in covering up a crime against our nation. Mr. Trump – you extorted a foreign government, using our tax dollars, to help you cheat in an election. We want the truth. We want to see the documents. We want to hear the witnesses. If you have nothing to hide, then why are you relentlessly blocking access to every document and every witness? You want to stay up all night playing this game? Bring it, you’re on!!!
OMB RELEASES 192 PAGES OF UKRAINE RECORDS TO AMERICAN OVERSIGHT
At 11:58 p.m. on Jan. 21, minutes before the deadline, the Office of Management and Budget released 192 pages of Ukraine-related documents, including records that have not been produced to Congress in its impeachment investigation.
We are reviewing the documents and will be posting updates here. The documents are below, and you can download them here.
Why Bolton Must Testify - Info-graphics from Nadler’s presentation:
This slide summarizes the 5 reasons why Bolton’s testimony is crucial to a fair trail:
The following slides cover the 5 reasons, point by point:
And finally, why executive privilege does not apply:
Nadler was actually pretty cutting in his delivery. Welcome to the 12 hour. We are on the eighth amendment to be tabled along party lines. And the clerk is reading yet another amendment…
FYI, NPR’s feed works pretty well on the go.
I am really rather happy to find, upon getting home, that the Dems have continued to utterly frustrate the GOP by presenting the very evidence the GOP is trying to bury.
Last amendment, they have two hours to argue. 11 amendments in total.
Update: All amendments have been tabled. In the People vs. Donald John Trump, the people will not be allowed to call witnesses.
I do not think they’ll take that long. Schiff is treating it like a closing statement, having made all of his points.
Very clever for the Dems to make the GOP deny power to the Chief Justice.
Interesting side note, Collins apparently voted “no” for the 9th amendment being tabled.
Last vote, it’s the organizing resolution that sets the rules for how the impeachment trial will be conducted.
Senate adopts ground rules for impeachment trial, delaying a decision on witnesses until after much of the proceedings
What the trial rules say
The Senate is expected to pass the resolution dictating the rules for the first phase of the trial, incorporating a few important changes that Mr. McConnell made at the last minute at the behest of some Republican senators, including Susan Collins, a moderate vote who will be crucial to both parties. Here are four of the key provisions.
Mr. McConnell gave the House managers and Mr. Trump’s defense team an extra day to argue their cases, meaning both sides will be allowed to split their 24-hour presentations over three days. The initial proposal he circulated gave each side just two days — a time frame that could have pushed testimony into the early morning.
The other important alteration was the Senate agreeing automatically — not by vote — to enter the evidence collected by the House impeachment inquiry into the record of the trial, similar to how evidence was handled during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial.
After opening statements, senators will have 16 hours total to question the managers and Trump lawyers. They will then have to decide whether they want to consider new evidence at all. If a majority of senators agree to do so, the managers and prosecutors will be allowed to propose and argue for specific witnesses or documents — each of which would require another vote.
If the Senate allows either the managers or Mr. Trump’s lawyers to subpoena witnesses, those witnesses would first have to be deposed before being allowed to testify.
What happened away from the Senate floor
The action wasn’t just in the Senate chamber. As the trial got going, there was other news that could influence how the trial plays out this week and next.
Democrats submitted one last batch of paperwork. Just before the trial began, the House managers submitted a final written brief — a 34-page filing that included a point-by-point rebuttal of arguments put forward by Mr. Trump’s lawyers on Monday, and an appeal to senators to convict him.
Senate Democrats called on constituents to flood phone lines. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii tweeted the phone number of the Senate switchboard, urging people to call and demand that lawmakers allow new witnesses and evidence to be considered.
A key Republican said he would wait a little while to decide on witnesses. Senator Mitt Romney, who has said he is interested in hearing from John Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, said in a statement Tuesday he would consider a vote to call witnesses only after opening arguments are complete, which, under Mr. McConnell’s plan, could be as soon as next week.
The White House responded angrily to demands that Mr. Cipollone turn over documents. The requests suggested that Mr. Cipollone, the White House counsel, might have conflicts representing the president in a trial that revolved around events in which he played a part. “The idea that the counsel to the president has to turn over protected documents and confidential information is ludicrous,” a White House spokesman said Tuesday.
White House lawyers are preparing for the possibility that witnesses will be allowed. They’re planning contingencies for Mr. Bolton getting called, according to my colleague Maggie Haberman. Objections to his testimony would most likely involve arguing that portions of it are classified, then taking that argument to federal court.
It’s over, yes. The GOP won the votes but lost the points. They were utterly unprepared for this fight, and the Dems laid everything out while they were helpless to do anything but lie and whine. Probably why Trump’s team got frustrated and started insulting the Dems.