The latest on President Trump's impeachment

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9:42 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

Mitch McConnell: The House let "partisan rage at this particular President create a toxic new precedent"

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now speaking on the Senate floor the morning after the House impeached President Trump.

He began:

"Democrats have conducted the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history. Now their slap-dash process has concluded in the first purely partisan presidential impeachment since the wake of the Civil War."

"This particular House of Representatives has let its partisan rage at this particular President create a toxic new precedent that will echo well into the future," McConnell said.

McConnell is under fire from House Democrats who question how he expects to take the oath to serve as an impartial juror in an upcoming Senate trial after his comments that he's working with the White House on impeachment.

9:01 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

SOON: Mitch McConnell speaks about impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will speak on the Senate floor at 9:30 a.m. ET today.

According to a copy of his prepared remarks, McConnell will address what he's calling “the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.”

Now that the House has impeached President Trump, the Senate is expected to hold a trial to decide if he should be removed from office.

But last night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not commit to sending the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Republican-held Senate, a surprise move that injects new uncertainty into Congress' timeline of the President's trial in the chamber.

9:12 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

Trump's son: He's "still your president, Merry Christmas"

Donald Trump, Jr., just tweeted a photo of his father in a Santa hat, with the caption "I'm still you president, Merry Christmas."

Remember: Yesterday's House vote to impeach Trump was not a vote to remove him from office.

The Senate will now hold a trial, and if a two-thirds majority of senators find Trump guilty of the articles of impeachment, then he would be removed from office.

8:33 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

Trump tweets: "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!"

President Trump is again emphasizing unity within the Republican party in his morning tweets about impeachment. 

Some context: Last night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not commit to sending the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Republican-held Senate, a surprise move that injects new uncertainty into Congress' timeline of the President's trial in the chamber.

Later, Trump tweeted this:

8:12 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

McConnell will say this is "the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will speak on the Senate floor at 9:30 a.m. this morning. CNN’s has obtained excerpts from his prepared remarks from a GOP aide:

Here are the key points he'll make:

  • Leader McConnell will call this “the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history."
  • He will say the two House-passed articles are “fundamentally unlike any articles that any prior House of Representatives has ever passed.”
  • He will discuss Democrats’ backpedaling, which began “when Senator Schumer began searching for ways the Senate could step out of our proper role and try to fix House Democrats’ failures for them." He'll say it continued last night “when Speaker Pelosi suggested that House Democrats may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate."
  • The Leader will conclude by explaining how the Senate’s duty is to rise to this occasion. “The framers built the Senate to provide stability… To keep partisan passions from boiling over. Moments like this are why the United States Senate exists.”
7:56 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

3 key events we're watching today

The US House of representatives voted to impeach President Trump yesterday. He's now the third president in US history to be impeached.

Next, the Senate will hold a trial and decide if Trump should be removed from office. We're not exactly sure when that trial will start.

Here's what we're watching today:

  • 9:30 a.m. ET: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will speak on the Senate floor about impeachment.
  • 10:45 a.m. ET: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have her weekly news conference. Questions about yesterday's impeachment vote will likely come up.
  • 11:30 a.m. ET: House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy will have his weekly news conference.
7:44 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

Trump's first tweet today is about impeachment

President Trump’s first tweet of the day is on impeachment, and he's touting Republican unity.

No Republicans supported impeachment, but Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who left the GOP this past summer over his outspoken opposition to Trump and is now an independent, did. Two members missed the votes for personal reasons. Rep. Duncan Hunter, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, has been told by leaders not to vote. 

7:27 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

Putin says Trump was impeached over 'made-up reasons'

The Russian President said in his annual news conference Thursday that Trump's impeachment was based on "made-up reasons," and expressed doubts that he will be removed from power.

"Regarding the continuation of our dialogue till the end of Trump's presidency, you make it sound as if it's already coming to an end," Putin said, answering a question about whether Russia has a strategy for continuing dialogue with the US until the end of Trump's presidency.

I actually really doubt that it is ending, it still has to go through Senate where as far as I know the Republicans hold the majority so it's unlikely they will want to remove the representative of their party for some made-up reasons," Putin continued.

Putin dismissed Trump's impeachment as "just the continuation of the internal political battle" in the US.

"One party that lost the elections, the Democrats, and are now trying to find new ways by accusing Trump of collusion with Russia. But then it turns out there was no collusion, this can't be the basis for the impeachment," he said.

Read more:

7:05 a.m. ET, December 19, 2019

The Republican strategy seems to be that impeachment is an attack on voters

CNN's Marshall Cohen reflected on the President's language at the Battle Creek rally Wednesday night as an indicator of what GOP game plan for handling impeachment may be.

"If you listen closely to what he said, he actually said 'doesn't feel like we're being impeached, does it?’ And that’s part of the strategy,” Cohen said.

"What the White House has been saying, what the Trump campaign has been saying is: Ladies and gentlemen, they're going against you, the voters, the people that put me here. And for everybody out there that thinks this is just in Washington, don't be so fooled. This is an attack against you: the hardworking American, the forgotten American," Cohen continued.

"It was very much a royal 'we' saying, 'don't let them do this to us. Let's give it to them next year at the polls,'" Cohen said, adding that a clear theme yesterday from Republicans was that impeachment the President was Democrats trying to undo an election.