EVENT ENDED

Trump impeachment trial live coverage: Democrats make case for obstruction

In their final day of arguments, House Democrats presented their case alleging Trump obstructed Congress.
Image: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House voted to send impeachment articles against President Donald Trump to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially received the House managers on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House voted to send impeachment articles against President Donald Trump to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially received the House managers on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

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The Democratic House managers used their final day of arguments on Friday — the fourth full day of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial — to make their case that President Donald Trump obstructed Congress in denying them witness testimony and documents.

Follow us here for all of the latest breaking news and analysis on impeachment from NBC News' political reporters, as well as our teams on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

Highlights from the Senate trial

  • Democrats finished hours of arguments in which managers called Trump a "dictator" and a danger to the nation with a plea to the Senate: "Give America a fair trial, she's worth it," lead House manager Rep. Adam Schiff said.
  • The White House is set to begin laying out Trump's defense Saturday morning.
  • "Get rid of her": A voice appearing to be Trump's is heard on tape demanding Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's ouster.
  • Schiff warned his fellow lawmakers that "the next time, it just may be you" who Trump targets.
  • Democratic House manager Rep. Val Demings says the evidence is "pretty painful" for senators.

Download the NBC News mobile app for the latest news on the impeachment inquiry.

Live Blog

Trump's allies in the House take in Senate debate

As Schiff spoke on the floor, Trump's House allies Mark Meadows, R-N.C., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., watched from the back row on the Republican side of the chamber.

Gohmert occasionally whispered something to the others that he appeared to find entertaining, while they sat silently.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., appeared to nod off during the presentation. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., seemed among the least impressed of the senators about the arguments being presented.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, passed a handwritten note to McConnell’s aide in the front row.

Upon the Senate’s vote to block the Democrats’ amendment calling for White House documents, Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., chatted at the back of the chamber. Murphy initially addressed Romney, who listened intently, before the two exchanged their thoughts, smiling.

Two impeachment managers make history

Rep. Zoe Lofgren on Tuesday became the first female manager of a presidential impeachment.

And just a few moments ago, Rep. Val Demings became the first African American to serve in the role.

Cheryl Mills was the first woman, and first African American to speak on the Senate floor during an impeachment trial. She was on Clinton's defense team.

Schiff argues House is ready to present case — if Senate will allow witnesses

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 the 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 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 how many amendments we will see today.

Senate kills first Schumer amendment on party lines

The Senate voted on party lines to kill the first Schumer amendment, which would have subpoenaed the White House for documents related to Ukraine.

"In keeping with the model used in President Clinton’s trial, prior to hearing the case and the answers to Senators’ questions, I will vote to table any attempts by either side to subpoena documents or witnesses before that stage in the trial," Collins said in a statement.

GOP senators take notes. McConnell appears to take a nap.

During Lofgren’s presentation, McConnell appeared to nod off in the front row.

Gardner, Romney and Lee all took a great deal of notes. Collins did so sporadically. 

Republicans Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Ben Sasse of Nebraska were passing notes between them and appeared to be laughing in the back of the chamber. 

Ex-GOP rep. calls for allowing docs, witnesses

Dershowitz says he was wrong during Clinton trial to say impeachment doesn't require 'technical' crime

Dershowitz on Tuesday said he was retracting comments he made in 1998 about then-President Bill Clinton's impeachment.

In an interview with CNN's Larry King that year, Dershowitz said impeachment "certainly doesn't have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty. You don't need a technical crime."

Lofgren: 'A trial without all the relevant evidence is not a fair trial'

House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., argued that evidence should be introduced into the impeachment so that the Senate could conduct a "fair trial."

Lofgren, the first woman to act as an impeachment manager, laid out the timeline of events surrounding Ukraine and argued that more evidence was needed so that senators can get a full picture of the president's conduct.

She also took the White House to task for stonewalling Congress' efforts to hear from eyewitnesses.

Watch her arguments below:

Schumer assails 'name calling' and 'finger pointing' by Trump defense team

Schumer, speaking to a group of reporters outside the Senate chamber during the recess, said that the "public realizes how unfair the McConnell proposal is" and that the pressure that Democrats put on Republicans forced the changes made earlier. 

On the president’s counsel, Schumer said they did "a lot of finger-pointing" but "not a single sentence as to why there shouldn't be witnesses and documents in this trial."

"I think they're weak. They duck," he said. "The arguments that we heard are not too different than the arguments we've been hearing all along, diversionary, nothing to do with the actual argument that we're making, documents and witnesses. We'll see if they can answer it in reference to my amendment, but so far zero, zero rebuttal."

Asked how many amendments would be offered, Schumer replied, "Stay tuned."

Fact check: White House lawyer omits whistleblower, flubs impeachment timeline

Cipollone falsely described the genesis of the president’s impeachment on Tuesday, with a confusing timeline that completely omitted the whistleblower complaint that led to the House inquiry and blames it all on Democrats. 

"Let's remember how we all got here: They made false allegations about a telephone call. The president of the United States declassified that telephone call and released it to the public. How's that for transparency? When Mr. Schiff found out that there was nothing to his allegations, he focused on the second telephone call,” Trump’s attorney began. 

Trump’s impeachment inquiry began when a whistleblower filed a complaint alleging the president was holding up foreign aid and had sought political favors in a July telephone call. It did not begin with Democratic complaints.

There were two calls — one in July, in which Trump asked for Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political rival — and another in April, which was not substantive and has largely been irrelevant to the impeachment inquiry. Democrats did not seek the April call.

Cipollone continued: “When Mr. Schiff saw that his allegations were false, and he knew it anyway, what did he do? He went to the House and he manufactured a fraudulent version of that call. He manufactured a false version of that call, he read it to the American people and he didn't tell them it was a complete fake.”

We’ve been over this before: Schiff parodied — with disclosure — Trump’s words.