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.
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Images show senators playing with fidget spinners during trial
Courtroom sketch artist Bill Hennessy depicted Sens. Tom Cotton and Richard Burr with their fidget spinners.
Just catching up on impeachment news? Here's what you missed today
Democrats on Thursday honed in on their charge that President Donald Trump abused his power, turning to past statements from some of the president's top allies to help make their case on the third day of his Senate impeachment trial.
House prosecutors used old comments from Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Attorney General William Barr and Trump impeachment defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz to bolster their argument that abuse of power is grounds to remove a president — and pointed to Trump's own statements to illustrate his guilt.
If you're just catching up on the news of the day, here's what you missed.
Garcia: 'Inescapable documentary proof' of quid pro quo
“There was a corrupt deal, an Oval Office meeting for investigations. Quid pro quo, this for that. You also saw inescapable documentary proof that completely proves a corrupt quid pro quo,” Rep. Garcia said in remarks after the Senate trial dinner break.
She argued that the House inquiry depositions offered overwhelming evidence of the president’s wrongdoing and pointed particularly to Ukrainians’ reaction to Trump’s team’s requests.
“Even Ukraine, a struggling new country, knew this was wrong,” she said.
Sen. Blackburn slams Vindman, suggests he's unpatriotic
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., criticized Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman on Thursday, suggesting he was unpatriotic for testifying in the House impeachment inquiry. Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient and Iraq War veteran, listened in on the Trump-Zelenskiy call in July.
He told impeachment investigators that "there was no doubt" what Trump was asking Zelenskiy for.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where the gain would be for the president in investigating the son of a political opponent," Vindman said during his closed-door deposition last year.
Giuliani teases his podcast
It truly does seem like everyone has a podcast these days — including, apparently, Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who has been teasing his for a little while now without a concrete launch date.
"Starting tomorrow we will begin cracking through the Swamp media’s cover-up of TOP level Democrats selling their public office, resulting in multi-millions, in Ukraine and the conspired attempt with foreign officials to 'destroy' the Trump candidacy," Giuliani claimed on Twitter Thursday evening.
House prosecutors have used Giuliani's involvement in Ukraine to underscore their point that if Trump had truly been concerned about corruption as a matter of U.S. policy, his personal lawyer wouldn't have been a central figure in running what impeachment witnesses have described as a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine.
Trial resumes with Jeffries' arguments on alleged Ukraine pressure campaign
The trial resumed at 7:14 p.m.
McConnell said after consulting with Schiff they will be going until around 10:30 p.m. tonight, so they will take a short break around the midpoint.
At 7:15 p.m., Jeffries resumed arguments. He ran through the series of events surrounding Trump's July call with Zelenskiy, reading text messages and call logs that took place on the alleged diplomatic backchannel in Ukraine.
Democrats had Taylor Gourmet sandwiches for dinner (Schumer says he actually had steak and potatoes homemade by his wife), and Republicans had Carmine's Italian food.
"I was a trial judge for 6 years so I made a point of never eating a heavy meal before you go back on the bench in the afternoon,” said Texas Sen. Cornyn. "It was a mix of pasta and meatballs. It’ll be a killer."
"They’re fattening us up," said South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds.
What's Trump up to today?
What's the latest from the defense team?
Bubbling up tonight: what their opening arguments will look like starting Saturday. Behind the scenes, we continue to hear about the president’s desire to have his broader team aggressively rebut the impeachment managers’ arguments. And officials at the White House have blasted reporters with no fewer than 15 emails over the course of the day trying to make their case.
So where's the president now?
He’s on the ground in South Florida at his Doral resort, getting ready to speak with party bigwigs at the RNC winter retreat. It’d be shocking if he didn’t mention his impeachment trial tonight. Based on new reporting this morning, there’s "huge frustration" on the part of the president and his allies that the House managers still have today and tomorrow to present arguments before the defense can formally begin its rebuttal so it puts a big emphasis on messaging.
You should expect to see another full-court press from the president’s defense team during breaks, and from his allies in Congress on TV today. The strategic teams have been huddling twice daily ahead of arguments as well, and the president has been working the phones with his allies. Overall, though, multiple sources say the president has generally been pleased with his defense team’s presentations (though those only took place on Tuesday during the rules debates.)
Jeffries jokes that Congress should 'subpoena the Baseball Hall of Fame' to see who voted against Jeter
There was a brief moment of levity in the chamber just before 6 p.m. as Jeffries told a short story about running into a fellow New Yorker in D.C. The man asked Jeffries if he had heard the “latest outrage.” Jeffries assumed he was speaking about something Trump had done so he asked the man to explain.
“Someone voted against Derek Jeter on his Hall of Fame ballot,” the man replied.
“Life is all about perspective,” Jeffries said. “Perhaps we can all agree to subpoena the Baseball Hall of Fame.” This elicited a big round of laughter from senators on both sides of the aisle.
Weekend impeachment trial to start early, GOP senator says
Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., offered more definitive guidance to the trial schedule for Saturday, when Trump's team is set to begin arguments in his defense.
Thune said proceedings are likely to begin around 9 a.m. ET, though it could be "closer to 8 than 9" or "closer to 9 than 10."
Thune said he expects arguments to wrap by early afternoon.
"I’d say noon-ish," he said, noting that giving people time to catch flights was a consideration.
Break for dinner (and cake)
The trial recessed for a "30-minute" dinner break shortly before 6:30 p.m. There is also cake for Sen. Tom Carper's birthday.