Impeachment trial of President Trump
The Senate impeachment trial just kicked off for the day.
The Democratic House impeachment managers are expected to begin their opening statements today.
They'll have 24 hours over the course of three days to present their case.
Democratic House manager Rep. Adam Schiff, speaking to reporters today, said he believes the House put forth a powerful case yesterday.
"Yesterday, we feel that we laid out a very powerful case for why this trial should be no different than any other trial in America," he said.
Schiff, a Democrat from California, also called on the Senate to allow House managers to put on a fair trial.
"The House should have the opportunity to prove its case. If we prove our case, the Senate should convict and remove the president from office. But the Senate should allow us a fair trial. The Senate should allow us a fair trial to the American people, one that allows the House to call relevant witnesses," he said.
"It should involve the calling of witness, it should involve the production of documents," he added.
House manager Rep. Adam Schiff said the team will begin today by laying out the "factual chronology" of President Trump's actions.
"We will go into extensive detail about what happened and when and how we know that it happened. We do not assume everyone in the Senate was able to watch all of the house testimony. Some of you in the press were not able to do that. We can't assume the senators were even as we were, let alone the American people were able to do so. We will lay out the facts and chronology and new facts continue to come to light.
He said they believe we will make "an overwhelming case" to convict President Trump.
The seven House Democrats serving as impeachment managers are talking to reporters. These Democrats are serving as the prosecutors in the Senate impeachment trial.
The trial is scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. ET.
Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, said sitting in the Senate chamber for almost 12 hours yesterday was “like sitting on a tractor.”
He said he thought the House managers did a “fine job” of laying out their case, and while he thought the President’s lawyers were prepared, “it just didn’t seem to me that they had a particularly strong case yesterday.”
Trump defense attorneys Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow just arrived at the Capitol building through the Senate carriage entrance.
Sekulow said "hopefully it doesn't go through 3:00 a.m." before getting on the elevator.
Rep. Mark Meadows, a top Trump ally in Congress, said he doesn't believe former national security adviser John Bolton has "anything to add" as a possible witness at the Senate impeachment trial.
"Listen, when we start to look at it, the executive privilege aspect of that, I don't know that John Bolton has anything to add," Bolton said.
Remember: Bolton has said he's ready to testify if subpoenaed. Some Republicans have argued that witnesses should not be called during the trial, since they were not a part of the House's impeachment inquiry.
When CNN's Dana Bash asked why Meadows doesn't want Bolton to even try, Meadows said the investigation should have happened in the House — not the Senate.
"Let's take the impeachment articles back, let's go back to the House," he said. "I was there. You know, here's what we've done. We've actually put forth a case to be tried and then all of a sudden we're saying, 'Well, we want more people to come in to bolster a case that is flawed to begin with.' You don't do that, not to the President of the United States, but more importantly not to the American people."
President Trump’s impeachment trial continues in Washington, but The Brief’s Bianca Nobilo has been keeping track of the day’s headlines outside Capitol Hill.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Coronavirus spreads: The US has its first confirmed case of the new virus, with cases also confirmed in South Korea, Thailand and Japan. A deadly outbreak emerged in the city of Wuhan, China last month. Beijing says there are now nearly 500 cases in mainland China.
- Prince Charles in Davos: The heir to the British throne has been speaking about the environment at the World Economic Forum. He also sat down with CNN’s Max Foster for an interview.
- Jeff Bezos hack: A forensics firm hired by the Amazon CEO has concluded, with medium to high probability, that a hack of his phone originated from an account controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia denies responsibility, with the kingdom’s US embassy calling the claims “absurd”.
- Harvey Weinstein trial: Opening statements in the movie mogul’s sexual assault trial are set to begin today. Weinstein faces five felony counts and could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison if convicted. His lawyers deny that there was any non-consensual sexual activity.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over Senate impeachment hearings until around 2 a.m. ET, took his usual seat at the center of the Supreme Court bench this morning at 10:00 a.m. ET to hear a major dispute that could open the door to more state funds going toward religious education.
Roberts — wearing his black robe, glasses perched on his nose — showed no outward signs of fatigue after his marathon day. He asked a handful of questions to lawyers on both sides.
The Supreme Court case is yet another high profile issue the justices will decide this term.