The latest on President Trump's impeachment
The Senate has drafted a document on decorum guidelines for the impeachment trial, including rules senators — who will be serving as jurors — must follow.
John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, will preside over the trial, and senators have been told hey must be in attendance for all proceedings.
Here are a few of the rules mentioned in the guidelines:
- They must be quiet: "Members should refrain from speaking to neighboring senators while the case is being presented."
- They can't have their phones: "No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber."
- They have to call Roberts by this title: During the course of the proceedings the Chief Justice should be referred to as "Mr. Chief Justice."
- When they vote, they must stand: "Should votes be required during the proceedings, Senators will stand and vote from their seats."
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said “there may very well be” more evidence from Lev Parnas that could be used in Senate trial.
Asked today if that would be admissible in the Senate trial, Nadler told CNN's Manu Raju: “Of course it would be if the Senate is a real trial.”
Nadler added: “We will work that out” when asked how the impeachment managers would divide up their work.
More on Parnas: The indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani turned over photos, dozens of text messages and thousands of pages of documents to House impeachment investigators in an effort to win his client an audience with lawmakers.
Joseph A. Bondy, Parnas' New York attorney, traveled to Washington, DC, last weekend to hand-deliver the contents of an iPhone 11 to Democratic staff on the House Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, according to a series of Bondy's tweets.
Parnas has also provided investigators with documents, recordings, photos, text messages on WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging platform, and materials from a Samsung phone, according to Bondy. Material from two other devices, an iPad and another iPhone, are also expected to be shared with them.
Parnas, his business partner Igor Fruman, and two others were charged with funneling foreign money into US elections and using a straw donor to obscure the true source of political donations. They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said the President is still comfortable with going to Davos, Switzerland next week for the World Economic Forum, even under the cloud of impeachment,
But pressed on whether Trump would actually go, Gidley said: “He is scheduled to go and we are prepared to go but we’ll see what happens.”
On other scheduling matters, Gidley said there was no announcement or change to State of the Union plans, which could potentially be delivered during the trial.
The seven House impeachment managers are having a strategy meeting right now in the House Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility.
CNN spotted Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Hakeem Jeffries, who both told CNN that they learned of their appointments yesterday. Lofgren said it was a “serious group.”
CNN also spotted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walking into the House SCIF earlier.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski saluted the just announced Senate rules for the impeachment trial that are designed to ensure senators are not distracted and can pay close attention to the proceedings.
The rules include a ban on smart phones, a requirement senators sit at their desks and not talk to their neighbors, and not read any materials not directly associated with the ongoing testimony.
“Paying attention is significant and important and I’m glad that we can put these devises down, I’m glad we will be sitting in our chairs, I’m glad that we are going to be focused on what’s in front of us at that time. I think it’s important, it’s beautifully old fashion, and I think we should stick to it,” she said.
Brad Parscale, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's decision to wait to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate "proves that there was never any urgency."
Earlier today, the House voted to send the articles to the Senate, weeks after representatives voted to approve the articles of impeachment last month.
"This was a sham impeachment from the beginning and never anything more than Democrats trying to interfere in an election that is now less than ten months away," he said in a statement.
Here's his full statement:
House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said his committee is still going through the materials provided by Lev Parnas and additional documents could be released.
"We are still going through, because the volume is so large, the materials we received," Schiff said. "We are translating materials, so it's entirely possible there will be new and important evidence that comes out of the information that we've been receiving."
Schiff also said the text messages that appeared to show surveillance of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch were was "deeply disturbing."
He said he didn't know if it shed new light on President Trump's comments with Zelensky about Yovanovitch or the message from the State to Yovanovitch that she had to return to Washington because of concerns about her security.
"Any way you slice it, it's deeply disturbing because it also implies that somebody within the embassy was supplying information to the President's team in a way that potentially jeopardized her security," Schiff said.
He declined to discuss the impeachment managers named today.
The House just voted to formally transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the impeachment trial will likely begin on Tuesday, after the Monday Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
It's not clear exactly how long the trial could last — there's no time limit or minimum, and procedures are largely up to the Senate. But it's beginning at a busy time in Washington, DC, and on the campaign trail.
Here's a look at some of the events the trial could overlap with:
- Feb. 3: Iowa caucuses
- Feb. 4: Trump gives the State of the Union address
- Feb. 7: Democratic debate
- Feb. 11: New Hampshire primaries
Remember: Four of the 12 Democrats running for President are sitting senators, meaning they'll serve as jurors in the trial. They are Michael Bennett, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said she thinks the impeachment managers who were just approved through a House vote are “a great team.”
“I think it’s a great team... I think what’s most important now is that we have a very clear message about not only what we are already learned in the House that clearly shows that the President abused his power and obstructed Congress but also that the evidence that’s coming out now is showing very clearly that this was a personal mission for the President to collect dirt on an opponent,” Jayapal said.
Rep. Mike Quigley, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also said he thinks Pelosi has a “good team.”
“She has a good team and she would have had a good team no matter who she picked,” he said.
Quigley said he thinks the team will be led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.
Rep. Anthony Brown said “sure there’s probably some disappointed,” when asked if there were any hurt feelings after the impeachment manager team announcement.
“It’s an honor to be a House manager, to serve on behalf of the American people, something that’s only happened now three times in American history,” Brown said.
“We’ve got a great seven-person team,” he said.