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Impeachment trial live updates: Senate rejects measure to call witnesses in Trump?s impeachment trial in final major step before vote on verdict

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Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was vice president.●Senate appears ready to reject witnesses in Trump impeachment trial.●Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) calls Trump’s actions ‘inappropriate’ but rejects witnesses in impeachment trial●A president ‘is not above the law,’ Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz asserts in rebutting criticism of his impeachment defense.●Giuliani made personal ask for a former Ukrainian client during to Zelensky aide while meeting to discuss investigations sought by Trump●The Senate impeachment trial process | The impeachment managers |Which senators support removing Trump | Trump’s legal team brief | House Democrats’ responseSenators plan to vote Wednesday on the two impeachment charges against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. At the time of her recall, Yovanovitch was told by Pompeo’s deputy that she had done “nothing wrong” and had simply incurred the president’s displeasure.McConnell issued a statement after the vote on witnesses saying senators will confer with each other, House managers and Trump’s lawyers to conclude the trial “in the coming days.”“There is no need for the Senate to re-open the investigation which the House Democratic majority chose to conclude and which the Managers themselves continue to describe as ‘overwhelming’ and ‘beyond any doubt,’” McConnell said in the statement.“Never in Senate history has this body paused an impeachment trial to pursue additional witnesses with unresolved questions of executive privilege that would require protracted litigation. The White House refused to allow any of them to participate.Democrats also argued that the impeachment inquiry is akin to a grand jury investigation and that the Senate trial is when both sides present their cases.Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told reporters Friday that McConnell is working to chart the end of the impeachment trial — a process that is expected to begin in the evening.After the Trump defense team makes arguments lasting up to two hours, the Senate will vote on a motion to allow more witnesses and documents. Blair.Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), one of the House managers, pushed back on Republican arguments that calling witnesses would greatly extend the length of the trial, reiterating a Democratic proposal to take a one-week break in the trial while depositions take place.“We should take a brief break for witness testimony and document collection, during which time the Senate can return to its normal business,” Demings said.She said that matches the practice followed during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999.“The trial should not be allowed to be different from every other impeachment trial or any other kind of trial simply because the president doesn’t want us to know the truth,” Demings said.As he opened the House impeachment manager’s arguments for calling witnesses, Rep. Adam B. And the question before you today is whether they will come out in time for you to make a complete and informed judgment as to the guilt or innocence of the president.”Schiff also pointed out that Bolton alleges that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Trump’s lead defense lawyer, was present when the directive was given.“Well, there’s a new fact which indicates that Mr. Cipollone was among those who are in the loop,” Schiff said and showed a video of Cipollone during the trial stressing the need for facts.Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced just as the Senate reconvened that she will vote “no” on allowing new evidence in the impeachment case.Murkowski in a statement blamed the House for sending articles of impeachment “that are rushed and flawed” and said she considered allowing more witnesses and documents to compensate for that, but decided against it.“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” she wrote. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.”In her statement, Murkowski did not weigh in on whether she believes the charges against Trump are true or impeachable offenses.Murkowski was the Democrats’ last hope for splitting the witness vote 50-50, which still would likely have resulted in its failing.The other closely watched Republican senators had already made their votes known — Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah) as “yes” and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) a “no.”Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), in a lengthy statement, explained why he would be voting for acquittal, noting that even if he assumed all the allegations against Trump were true, he still wouldn’t vote to remove him from office.Rubio said he weighed what removing Trump would do to an already splintered nation.“Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état?” Rubio wrote.Rubio’s reasoning provides cover for any future evidence that could emerge against the president.“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office.”Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is also one of the House impeachment managers, said he won’t be in Washington for the end of the Senate trial because he is going home to be with his wife, who has pancreatic cancer.“I am sorry to not be able to stay in Washington for the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial but I need to be home with my wife at this time,” Nadler tweeted. “We spend a lot of money on these countries, we’re not sending it — and we let them know — if they’re not going to do their job.”The remarks come as Trump faces a trial over the allegation that he withheld military assistance to Ukraine until the government agreed to publicly investigate the Bidens.On one hand, Trump’s remarks underscore the White House’s defense that assistance to foreign countries is held back all the time for all sorts of reasons, but it also bolsters the House managers’ point that usually the president makes it publicly known that it is happening.With the Ukraine aid delay, the White House sought to keep it under wraps.Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) elaborated Friday on his conclusion that Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine was “inappropriate” but not grounds for removal from office.“It seemed to me that the president did it, he did what he was accused of,” Alexander said. They requested anonymity to speak candidly about internal discussions.The administration official and a congressional official raised the possibility that the Senate could take up a new procedural resolution laying out rules for the trial’s endgame — which could include time for closing arguments, private deliberations and public speeches by senators.The Senate passed such a supplemental resolution in the middle of the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.Even passing that resolution could be a lengthy process: When senators debated the initial rules resolution last week, it took more than 12 hours of floor time to process debate on Democratic amendments to the GOP proposal, which ultimately passed unamended just before 2 a.m. on Jan. 22.Should the Senate embark on this process, the senior administration official said, a final verdict could be delayed as late as Wednesday — after the Iowa caucuses on Monday and Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.But a congressional official noted that much depends on what a majority of senators want to do: A 51-vote majority could choose to hasten the final verdict at any point.With the end of Trump’s Senate trial appearing to be near, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is continuing to encourage allies to press the case against him.“Talking points” distributed by her office on Friday label Trump “a clear and present danger to our democracy and national security interests” and say he “put himself before country and must be held accountable.”The talking points also argue that Trump has “established a pattern of corruptly soliciting foreign interference into our elections to benefit his reelection.”“Congress must act with a sense of urgency to protect the integrity of the 2020 elections and defend our Constitution,” Pelosi encourages her allies to argue.Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Do your job!”Late Thursday night, Murkowski was noncommittal, telling reporters: “I am going to go reflect on what I have heard, reread my notes and decide whether I need to hear more.”Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), one of the House impeachment managers, said Friday that “it’s disappointing” that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has decided to vote against hearing from witnesses.Late Thursday, Alexander — who had been viewed as a possible vote for witnesses — said he would oppose the Democratic-led effort while acknowledging that it was “inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation.”Jeffries said Alexander apparently agreed that the House had presented an “overwhelming case.”“If you come to that conclusion that Donald Trump tried to cheat, he got caught and then of course he worked hard to cover it up, he should be held accountable, and the Constitution indicates that accountability means conviction and removal,” Jeffries said on CNN.Asked what the House managers could have done differently, Jeffries replied, “I don’t want to play Monday morning quarterback because it’s not Monday morning yet.”He said the managers are still trying to persuade additional senators to support hearing evidence.Anti-bullying activist Monica Lewinsky, who knows a thing or two about impeachment trials, offered this commentary on the Senate’s likely decision not to allow new witnesses:“gee,” she tweeted, “too bad i had to give that videoed witness testimony for the senate trial in the clinton impeachment. With society increasingly more compassionate toward women’s experiences, she has also endeared herself to the American public through her candid, and often funny, social media presence.An aide to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said that he will vote later Friday for a motion to hear from witnesses in the Senate trial.For days, Romney has said publicly that he would like to hear in particular from Bolton, who reportedly says in a new book manuscript that Trump directly tied military assistance to Ukraine to investigations of the Bidens.The Romney aide spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.Democrats have been trying to court at least four Republicans to vote to hear more evidence. The Constitution does not explicitly say what he should do.If Roberts takes no action, the motion fails.Trump lawyer Pat Cipollone was a camera-shy Washington Everyman — until impeachment made him a starRepublicans expect Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) to join Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) to vote to hear more evidence, and they are closely watching Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who pushed through a swarm of reporters around 11 p.m. Thursday, vowing to return to her office, “put some eye drops in” and “keep reading” to make a decision.Late Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) — who had been viewed as a possible vote for witnesses — said he will oppose the Democratic-led effort while acknowledging that it was “inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation.”The Trump campaign seized on an awkward moment late Wednesday between Reps. Roberts Jr. read a question from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asking House managers for any additional thoughts before the trial adjourned for the night, Nadler got up and headed to the lectern.Schiff appeared to try to cut him off, rising to his feet and calling, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry,” though Nadler proceeded to deliver remarks.In a late-night tweet, the Trump campaign shared a video clip of the moment set to the theme song of the movie “Chariots of Fire.”“Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff … Two impeachment fanatics chasing dreams of glory,” the tweet said.Here’s what you need to know to understand the impeachment trial of President Trump.What’s happening now: The Senate has rejected a measure to call witnesses to testify, ensuring that the trial will be the first ever without witnesses.

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