Impeachment trial of President Trump

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11:27 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

Trump's new defense team members will all speak on the Senate floor during trial

Left to right: Robert Ray, Kenneth Starr and Alan Dershowitz
Left to right: Robert Ray, Kenneth Starr and Alan Dershowitz Getty Images

The five new legal members on the President’s defense team will all have speaking roles on the Senate floor. They will supplement the lead attorneys Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow.

In case you missed it, the five members are: 

  • Robert Ray
  • Alan Dershowitz
  • Ken Starr
  • Jane Raskin
  • Pam Bondi 

11:13 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

Here's what happens next in the impeachment trial

The Senate trial has adjourned until next week. But a few things are scheduled to happen between now and Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, when arguments are expected begin.

Here's what's on the schedule:

  • Tomorrow: House trial brief due at 5 p.m. ET
  • Monday: Trump's trial brief due at 12 p.m. ET
  • Tuesday: House rebuttal brief due at 12 p.m. ET
  • Also Tuesday: Senate reconvenes for opening arguments

10:24 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

Trump still hasn't decided whether to add House allies to his defense team

A decision on allowing House GOP allies to participate in the defense is still fluid, people with the matter said. 

President Trump plans to add three seasoned lawyers to his legal defense team, people familiar with the matter said, including Kenneth Starr, the hard-charging prosecutor whose work led to the country’s last impeachment trial.

The list also includes Alan Dershowitz, the constitutional lawyer, and Robert Ray, Starr’s successor at the Office of Independent Counsel during the Clinton administration.

The three are expected to join a legal team headed by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and outside attorney Jay Sekulow, who are still expected to deliver statements on the President’s behalf on the Senate floor.

What's this about: Trump has been considering adding House Republicans he considers allies to his defense team for the impeachment trial. The list of possible members includes Trump defenders like Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows.

11:11 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

Former Florida attorney general and Trump's personal counsel will also be on the defense team

Pam Bondi speaks during a meeting with President Trump in February 2018.
Pam Bondi speaks during a meeting with President Trump in February 2018. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi and President Trump's longtime personal counsel Jane Raskin will also supplement the President's impeachment legal team, a person familiar with the matter said.

They join Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz and Robert Ray as attorneys who will assist the lead counsels, Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, in defending Trump.

Bondi has been working at the White House as an adviser during the impeachment proceedings. Raskin is a white collar defense lawyer who, along with her husband, worked for Trump during the Mueller investigation.

11:10 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

These 3 lawyers are expected to be on Trump's legal team

Left to right: Robert Ray, Kenneth Starr and Alan Dershowitz
Left to right: Robert Ray, Kenneth Starr and Alan Dershowitz Getty Images

President Trump plans to add three seasoned lawyers to his legal defense team, people familiar with the matter said, including Kenneth Starr, the hard-charging prosecutor whose work led to the country’s last impeachment trial.

The list also includes Alan Dershowitz, the constitutional lawyer, and Robert Ray, Starr’s successor at the Office of Independent Counsel during the Clinton administration.

The three are expected to join a legal team headed by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and outside attorney Jay Sekulow, who are still expected to deliver statements on the President’s behalf on the Senate floor.

Starr and Ray are expected to play a constitutional and historic role during the proceedings to support Cippolone and Sekulow. 

Trump has relied on Dershowitz for advice throughout the Mueller investigation and during his impeachment. The two have been in discussions about Dershowitz joining for several weeks and he is now slated to join, though it’s unclear when it will be announced. 

Officials have been hesitant to speak about who they are adding to the legal team after a botched attempt to hire Trey Gowdy last fall. Gowdy became the new face of Trump’s impeachment defense team for only a matter of hours before Trump said federal lobbying rules wouldn’t allow him to begin until January. He has continued to speak to Gowdy privately about the situation. 

Given what happened then, a source cautioned the situation is fluid and not final until announced. 

Dershowitz declined to comment to CNN. 

9:28 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

Schumer: "No witnesses would be a dramatic break with precedent"

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Lev Parnas’ allegations and the Government Accountability Office's report “strengthen our push” for witnesses and documents in the Senate trial.

He added that “no witnesses would be a dramatic break with precedent.” 

During a news conference, Schumer said he expects votes on Tuesday to try to force Republicans to take a position on witnesses. But he said he won’t know for sure until he sees Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s organizing resolution. 

About Parnas and the report: Parnas, the Soviet-born businessman whose work in Ukraine with President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani stands at the center of the impeachment inquiry, implicated the President Wednesday in an interview with CNN in which he said that their efforts were "all about 2020" and not about working in the interest of the United States.

Earlier today, the GAO said the Trump administration broke the law when it withheld US security aid to Ukraine last year that had been appropriated by Congress, a decision that's at the heart of the House's impeachment case against Trump.

The GAO, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog, said in a decision that the White House budget office violated the Impoundment Control Act, a 1974 law that limits the White House from withholding funds that Congress has appropriated.

8:57 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

What we still don't know about how the Senate trial will work

The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump officially began yesterday as the senators, who will serve as jurors, were sworn in. The trial will begin in earnest on Tuesday, when arguments begin.

The Senate is likely to take up a resolution setting the rules of the trial on Tuesday. Until then, we're not exactly sure how many aspects of the trial will play out.

Here are three key questions we still don't have answers to:

  • How long will the trial be? There's no time limit on how long an impeachment trial can run. Bill Clinton's started on Jan. 7, 1999 and ended with his acquittal on Feb. 12, 1999 — almost five weeks later.
  • Will there be witnesses? This question has divided the parties: Democrats wanted a deal up front, before the trial even began, to hear from witnesses, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the matter should be dealt with later after opening statements.
  • How will evidence be handled? The initial evidentiary record will be submitted by the House managers and admitted into the record once the trial begins. But if more evidence emerges during the trial, it's an open open question about whether that would be allowed to be presented. 
8:42 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

Here are some of the rules senators must follow during the trial

The Senate has drafted a document on decorum guidelines for the impeachment trial, including rules that 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 they 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."

8:17 a.m. ET, January 17, 2020

The Senate is in recess until Tuesday

A day after senators were sworn in for President Trump's impeachment trial, the chamber is in recess.

They'll be out Monday, too, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They're scheduled to come back at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, when arguments in the trial are expected to begin.