Trump's second impeachment trial: Day 2

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:41 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021
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10:31 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

How the Senate is dealing with Covid-19 rules during the impeachment trial

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju and Lauren Fox

Senate TV
Senate TV

Unlike former President Trump's first impeachment trial, senators will not be required to sit at their desk throughout the proceedings this time around, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They will be able to instead watch from the gallery above the Senate chamber or in a room off the floor that will show the trial on television.

Masks will not be required on the floor, unlike on the House floor, but the expectation is the House impeachment managers and Trump's lawyers will wear masks unless they are speaking.

As the trial got underway Tuesday, all senators were wearing masks except Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who has long argued that he's immune after having Covid early last year. It's still unclear if those who have had coronavirus remain immune to the virus. Other senators, however, who have had coronavirus or been vaccinated for the disease, still wear masks.

Senators are not allowed to speak during the trial as jurors.

10:28 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Trump's second impeachment trial is entering day 2. Here's what you need to know.

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju and Lauren Fox

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Today is day two of former President Trump's second impeachment trial, and the House impeachment managers will begin their two-day presentation of their case against Trump.

The managers will show never-before-seen Capitol security footage in their presentation to demonstrate the extent of the violence that occurred and the threat the rioters posed to everyone in the Capitol, according to senior aides on the House impeachment team.

Yesterday, Trump's attorneys and the managers gave their opening statements. The Senate also ruled that Trump's impeachment trial was constitutional, voting 56 to 44.

In case you missed it, here's what you need to know about yesterday's proceedings and what's to come:

  • Video footage of Capitol riot shown: Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the lead impeachment manager, opened his presentation with a video showing disturbing footage of how protesters overran police and ransacked the Capitol, forcing lawmakers in the House and Senate to flee their chambers. The video was spliced with Trump's speech on Jan. 6 ahead of the riots, showing the crowd's reaction to Trump as he urged them to head to the Capitol. "If that's not an impeachable offense, then there's no such thing," Raskin argued.
  • Arguments over constitutionality: Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, was the only senator to vote differently Tuesday than a procedural vote last month on the constitutionality of the trial. He and five other Republicans voted with the Democrats, establishing the trial is constitutional. Cassidy told CNN that House managers' had a "very good opening" and they made strong arguments.
  • Trump's defense offered a wide-ranging response: The initial presentation from the defense team offered a Jekyll-and-Hyde-esque response to the impeachment charge, with Trump attorney Bruce Castor praising the managers for a presentation that was "well done" and attorney David Schoen following by slamming Democrats for trying to tear apart the country.
  • What happens next: The House managers will have 16 hours over the next two days to make their presentation, followed by two days for Trump's lawyers. Senators will then have four hours to ask questions submitted in writing to both sides, and the Senate could debate and vote on whether to subpoena witnesses, though it remains unclear whether any will be sought at trial.
10:41 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Trump was unhappy with his attorney's performance yesterday, sources say

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Bruce Castor, defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump, walks through the halls of the US Capitol on the first day of Trump's second impeachment trial in the Senate on February 9 in Washington, DC.
Bruce Castor, defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump, walks through the halls of the US Capitol on the first day of Trump's second impeachment trial in the Senate on February 9 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Trump was unhappy with his attorney's opening argument on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, according to two people familiar with his reaction.

Trump was almost screaming as his attorney Bruce Castor made meandering arguments that struggled to get at the heart of his defense team's argument – which was supposed to be over the constitutionality of holding a trial for a president no longer in office.

Given the legal team was assembled a little over a week ago, it went as expected, one of the sources told CNN. Trump's allies were flabbergasted when Trump's attorneys switched speaking slots at the last minute.

9:57 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

This is Trump's second impeachment trial. Here's what you need to know about his first.

Analysis from CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

A president who survived impeachment for trying to stack the deck against his most-feared election opponent is now facing impeachment again for inciting his supporters to attack Capitol Hill to challenge that same opponent's victory.

This second impeachment trial is arguably more important, because it's about former President Trump's attempt to stop American democracy from functioning. But the first one set the precedent of Trump being held to account for trying to pull the levers of his authority to preserve his own power.

Here's a rundown of what happened leading up to the first impeachment trial:

  • A whistleblower complained. It took time to learn that Trump was trying to exert pressure on a foreign leader – the new president of Ukraine – to dig up dirt on now-President Joe Biden, the potential 2020 Democratic rival Trump was most worried about having to face. Here's a timeline of what happened behind the scenes.
  • Denials clouded the situation. After trying to keep the whistleblower complaint from Congress, the White House argued Trump did nothing wrong.
  • Facts trickled out. The whistleblower complaint and a transcript of Trump's call with Ukraine's new President showed the President very much exerted pressure and tried to get the foreign country to launch a baseless investigation of Biden and his son Hunter. Aid to Ukraine was slowed. Russia licked its chops. This all occurred long before Biden's nascent presidential campaign had even gained traction.
  • There was a very real debate. Democrats struggled over whether to move forward with an effort that was never going to remove Trump from office after a trial in the Senate, where Republicans held a majority.
  • An impeachment investigation ensued. There were weeks of testimony, in private and then in public, by witnesses including a US ambassador, sitting diplomats and top White House national security officials who were concerned at Trump's behavior. But Trump and most of his administration refused to take part and blocked testimony and cooperation by some key players.
  • House Democrats voted to impeach. Trump became only the third US president ever to be impeached, in a party-line vote on Dec. 18, 2019.
  • Republicans circled the wagons. In the Senate, Trump's allies either argued Trump was entitled to his foreign policy or that his behavior was not impeachable. Only Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee – the last one before Trump – voted to convict him.

Democrats warned he would take the acquittal as license to do it again.

9:46 a.m. ET, February 10, 2021

These are the House Democrats acting as prosecutors in Trump's impeachment trial

From CNN's Clare Foran, Janie Boschma and Curt Merrill

A select group of House Democrats known as impeachment managers are acting as prosecutors in former President Trump’s second impeachment trial.

They will be front and center today as they present their case in the Senate. They will have up to 16 hours spread over two days to make their case.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named nine Democrats to serve as impeachment managers. The House has charged Trump with inciting an insurrection at the Capitol that left five people dead.

The group of Democrats includes a number of top Pelosi allies. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, an expert in constitutional law, is serving as the lead manager.

The nine House impeachment managers are:

  • Jamie Raskin
  • Joaquin Castro
  • David Cicilline
  • Madeleine Dean
  • Diana DeGette
  • Ted Lieu
  • Joe Neguse
  • Stacey Plaskett
  • Eric Swalwell

There are no restrictions on the number of impeachment managers the speaker can name to serve in the role. During the first impeachment trial against Trump, seven House Democrats served as managers.

The House impeachment managers are playing a key role in how the trial unfolds as they each take a turn in the national spotlight. They will have a chance to argue their case before the full Senate with the senators acting like jurors, and after that, the former President’s legal team will have an opportunity to present a defense.

Read more about each of them here.