Impeachment trial of President Trump
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced his 11th proposed amendment to the rules of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial early Wednesday and said it would be his last. The previous 10 had all been defeated either on, or mostly on, party lines.
The 11th amendment would allow Chief Justice John Roberts to decide on whether to allow motions on subpoenas for witnesses and documents.
The Senate just voted to kill the 10th amendment proposed to the rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. This amendment dealt with the amount of time allotted for written motions and responses during the trial.
That amendment was -- like the previous nine -- defeated, but this one wasn't completely on party lines: It went down 52-48. Maine Sen. Susan Collins was the lone Republican to cross party lines and vote with the Democrats.
Senators were definitely at the end of their rope during the debate over the ninth proposed amendment to the rules of the impeachment trial. The corner of the chamber has become a popular spot on both sides for congregating, pacing and quiet conversations.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, huddled while House impeachment manager Jerry Nadler was talking, and Sen. Bernie Sanders wound up there pacing back and forth.
Several senators are struggling to keep their eyes open, including Gillibrand.
The managers had to find a way to pass the time too. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, grabbed the special badge for the impeachment trial from a House Judiciary Committee aide to inspect it.
Sens. Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, sat intently listening to Nadler, and did not react when he accused Republicans of a cover up with their votes today.
Nadler also did not react when President Donald Trump's legal team attacked him by name. He took notes while they criticized him, staring straight ahead at his aides across the table.
The Senate killed another proposed amendment to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposed rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, this one to force votes on witnesses and documents.
The amendment died on party lines, 53-47.
The amendment would have forced a vote of the Senate on any motion to subpoena witnesses and documents. The current proposed rules have a procedural vote that must pass before any actual vote on subpoenas for witnesses and documents.
The Senate voted 53-47 along party lines to kill a proposal from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that would have issued a subpoena for President Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton's testimony.
Bolton has said he would testify if subpoenaed in the trial, and that still may come if a majority of senators vote to issue a subpoena later on in the trial. The amendment discussed Wednesday would have inserted the subpoena into the rules of the trial itself.
Schumer has asked for eight amendments to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposed rules for the impeachment trial and all have been defeated on party lines.
The Senate is now debating a ninth amendment, which requires a vote of the Senate on any motion to subpoena witnesses and documents. The current proposed rules have a procedural vote that must pass before any actual vote on subpoenas for witnesses and documents.
Chief Justice John Roberts admonished the House impeachment managers and President Donald Trump’s legal team after a feisty exchange in the early morning hours.
“I think it is appropriate for me to admonish both the House managers and the President's counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world's greatest deliberative body,” Roberts said. “One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse.”
Roberts had just listened to the impeachment manager and Trump’s legal team rip into each other after House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler made the case for issuing a subpoena for former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony.
During that argument, Nadler accused Republican senators of “voting for a coverup” by killing amendments for documents and testimony of additional witnesses.
"So far, I'm sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a coverup. Voting to deny witnesses and obviously a treacherous vote,” Nadler said. “A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States.”
That led to White House counsel Pat Cipollone to fire back at Nadler, saying, "The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you. For the way you addressed this body. This is the United States Senate. You're not in charge here.”
Roberts said that kind of exchange was not appropriate and the legal teams need to be on their best behavior.
“I think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are,” Roberts said.
Watch moment here:
White House counsel Pat Cipollone chastised House impeachment manager Jerry Nadler for his argument in favor of former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony, during which Nadler repeatedly accused Senate Republicans of participating in a coverup if they denied Democratic requests for witnesses.
Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, harangued the Senate just after midnight on Wednesday on multiple occasions, saying, “The Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people” and voting in favor of restricting witnesses was akin to being “complicit in the President’s coverup.”
“Will you vote to allow all of the evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray your pledge to be impartial juror?” Nadler said. “Will you bring Bolton here and permit us to present you with the entire record of the President's misconduct? Or choose to be complicit in the President's cover up."
"So far, I'm sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a coverup. Voting to deny witnesses and obviously a treacherous vote. A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States.”
That led Cipollone to say Nadler owed the Senate an apology.
“We have been respectful of the Senate. We have made our arguments to you. And you don't deserve, and we don't deserve, what just happened,” Cipollone said. “Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team, he made false allegations against all of you. He accused you of a cover up. He's been making false allegations against the President."
"The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you. For the way you addressed this body. This is the United States Senate. You're not in charge here.”
Jay Sekulow, another one of Trump’s attorneys, continued the onslaught against Nadler.
“We hopefully are closing the proceedings. Not on a high note,” Sekulow said. “’Only guilty people try to hide evidence’? So I guess when President Obama instructed the attorney general to not give information, he was guilty of a crime.
"That's the way it works, Mr. Nadler? Is that the way the United States Constitution works? Because that's not the way it was written. That's is not the way it is interpreted. And there's not the way the American people should have to live. I'll tell you what's treacherous -- coming to the floor of Senate and say, 'Executive privilege and other non-sense.' ”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered his eighth amendment to the proposed rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial: Issuing a subpoena for former national security adviser John Bolton.
Bolton is seen as perhaps the most important person who has not yet been heard from in the impeachment investigation into Trump's dealings in Ukraine. He's a central figure who had been present for many of the events that are crucial to the investigation, but did not comply with a subpoena to testify in the House investigation.
Bolton, earlier this month, said he would testify if subpoenaed in the Senate impeachment trial.
"He stated his willingness to testify in the trial," said Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat who is one of the House impeachment managers. "He's prepared to testify. He says he is relevant evidence not disclosed to the public."
The Senate killed the seventh proposed amendment to the proposed rules to President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. This amendment had to do with rules on how evidence is handled during the trial. The amendment died on a party line 53-47 vote.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has previously offered six amendments, all of which have died on 53-47 votes.