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.
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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.
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Republicans decline to dismiss charges against Trump
Senate Republicans on Wednesday declined to dismiss the impeachment articles against President Donald Trump.
The GOP had until 9:00 a.m. to file the motion and did not do so.
Such an effort had been considered unlikely to succeed in any event.
What does Trump think?
President Donald Trump was absolutely engaged in the impeachment proceedings on Tuesday, getting "minute-by-minute" updates, according to Rep. Mark Meadows — one of the president's closest allies and an impeachment team member.
White House legislative affairs head Eric Ueland backed that up, telling NBC's Hill team that the president is "very impressed" with what's been happening on the Hill.
But take all that with a grain of salt: Trump likes to see impressive TV performances, and we have reason to believe that he may have more mixed feelings than what aides are letting on.
Trump says he wants to attend his own trial and 'stare into their corrupt faces'
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he'd like to see former National Security Adviser John Bolton and other top officials testify at his Senate impeachment trial — but suggested he would block their testimony because it’s a national security risk.
"I would rather interview Bolton. I would rather interview a lot of people. The problem with John is, that it's a national security problem," the president said during an impromptu press conference in Davos, Switzerland.
Trump also coyly said he’d love to attend his own Senate trial.
"I'd love to go, wouldn't that be great," Trump told reporters. "I'd love to sit in the front row and stare in their corrupt faces."
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One senator took a bathroom break at the worst time. Giggles ensue.
The last hour before the Senate adjourned early Wednesday morning was filled with stretching, clapping, chatting, yawning. And an ill-timed call from Mother Nature.
The same cast of Republican senators remained chatty until the very end, including Sens. Perdue, R-Ga., Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb. Some Democrats grew talkative as well, with 2020 candidates Klobuchar and Warren standing off to the side in conversation. Sanders stood on his own stretching his legs a few rows down.
But others…definitely sleepy.
Sen. Murray, D-Wash., nudged Sen. Feinstein, D-Calif., to pay attention when her name was called during the 11th amendment roll call. Sen. Alexander came back from the cloakroom to find Sen. Rand Paul accidentally in his seat. Many senators ended up standing — although McConnell had asked them to remain seated — to keep themselves from slumping in their chairs.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., took a bathroom break at the wrong time, during the vote on the rules resolution — the last vote before the Senate adjourned.
During his absence, McConnell was standing and waiting at his podium. Schumer and fellow Democrats were giggling. Moments later, Sen. Manchin, D-W.Va., emerged from the cloakroom and said "one minute" to more giggles from Democrats. Finally, when Heinrich re-entered the chamber to cast his vote, which meant adjournment was imminent, Democrats and Republicans cheered and clapped.
Heinrich looked pretty uncomfortable.
When the Senate adjourned after nearly 13 hours, senators dashed off of the floor. Aides had senators’ coats and belongings ready to go for hours in the Senate reception room where many waited for their members.
Senate passes McConnell impeachment rules after nearly 13 hours of debate
The Senate passed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's resolution laying out a blueprint for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial along party lines early Wednesday after a daylong back-and-forth between House prosecutors and lawyers for the White House.
The Republican majority had earlier voted down several amendments proposed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to subpoena documents and call witnesses.
The vote came just before 2 a.m. Wednesday and after Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., suggested senators were voting for a "cover-up," something that drew sharp responses from the president's legal counsel.
Senators prepare to vote on McConnell plan after last amendment fails
The Senate voted 53-47 to table the 11th amendment.
Senators will now vote on the final passage of McConnell's organizing resolution.
OMB releases 192 pages of Ukraine-related documents to watchdog group
Just before midnight, the White House Office of Management and Budget released a trove of Ukraine-related documents, "including records that have not been produced to Congress in its impeachment investigation," the watchdog group American Oversight said.
American Oversight obtained the records as part of a number of Freedom of Information Act requests.
"We have an email from the night before the call with the president of Ukraine saying they were drafting the footnote to put that hold in place," Austin Evers, the group's executive director, told MSNBC's Ali Velshi. "So, again, this is black-and-white evidence of the machinations that the president was putting the entire government through to execute his corrupt scheme."
Many of the documents are so redacted as to render them unreadable, according to an initial NBC News review. The pages include emails and letters from several GOP lawmakers and staffers asking for an explanation of the withheld Ukraine aid.
In addition, there are emails from OMB's acting director, Russell Vought, and associate director of national security programs, Michael Duffey, on the morning of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on July 25.
First GOP defection: Collins breaks with party to vote for a Schumer amendment
As expected, Schumer's 10th amendment failed. Unlike with the previous nine amendments, however, the vote did not come down exactly along party lines. Susan Collins of Maine became the first Republican defection of the day, and the amendment was killed, 52-48.
The amendment was to allow senators more time to file responses to motions.
Collins, a moderate Republican who is up for re-election this year, is considered one of the most likely in her party to vote to call witnesses and hear new evidence. She had also pushed McConnell on Tuesday to soften the rules in his proposed blueprint for the trial.