Today begins the question-and-answer session. The Senate has 16 hours total to ask questions, which will be split into eight hours today and eight hours tomorrow.

It will start at 1 p.m. ET. These next 16 hours could influence the witness vote.

The Senate will alternate between Republican and Democrat questions. They can direct these questions to the Democratic House managers or Trump’s legal team.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked both sides to keep their answers to five minutes.

As I said the next 16 hours could determine how senators will vote on calling witnesses. The answers could push those undecided on witnesses or may even change a mind or two.

So It Begins…

Schiff keeps trying to convince us that he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower.

Romney’s questions:

One senator asked the House managers if they can expedite the witness depositions:

A Democratic senator asked House Managers if it’s true that depositions of the three witnesses in the Clinton trial were completed in only one day each. The senator also asked if it’s true that the Chief Justice, as presiding officer in this trial, has the authority to resolve any claims of privileges or other issues without any delay?

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries responded: “The answer is yes.”

“What is clear, based on the record that was compiled by the House of Representatives where up to five depositions per week were completed, that this can be done in an expeditious fashion,” Jeffries said.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked Trump’s team if quid pro quos are impeachable offenses:

Dershowitz said that you see quid pro quos are used in foreign policy a lot:

“If you don’t do it, you don’t get the money. If you do it, you get the money. There’s no one in this chamber that would regard that as in any way unlawful,” he said.

He added that every US president has had “mixed motives” when setting up foreign policy.

Here’s how he put it:

“Everybody has mixed motives, and for there to be a constitutional impeachment based on mixed motives would permit almost any president to be impeached. How many presidents have made foreign policy decisions after checking with their political advisers and their pollsters?”

To the shock of no one Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked the House Democratic managers if the Senate can render a verdict if they do not hear from Bolton and other witnesses. Little Adam Schiff, of course, answered no.

Collins submitted this question on behalf of herself, Murkowski, and Romney for Trump’s defense team:

“If President Trump had more than one motive for his alleged conduct, such as the pursuit of personal political advantage, rooting out corruption and the promotion of national interests, how should the Senate consider more than one motive in its assessment of article one?”

A source close to Alexander said he has no plans on asking a question today. The source explained that Alexander “wants to see what others ask and gauge the answers before deciding whether he needs to himself.”

Before the Session

Lots of chatter on the Hill before the Senate begins its session. Everyone cannot get over potential witnesses, especially when it comes to the moderate Republican senators.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney once again said he wants to hear from former National Security Adviser John Bolton:

“I would like to hear from Mr. Bolton. I believe he may have answers to questions that I’d like to have evidence on. As a for instance, I’d like to know at the time the President decided not to immediately provide military aid to Ukraine, what was the reason he explained at that point. In addition I’d like to know a little later on was there any effort on the part of the President that aid was being held up or for whatever reason. So these are questions to relate to important issues that I’d like to get the answers to,” he said.

“I’m going to let the defense and the prosecution decide which they want to call as a witness or witnesses, but John Bolton is one of those I’d like to hear,” he added.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins have made people believe they will vote to bring forth witnesses. The Democrats would then need one more person.

Eyes have settled on retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, but he has remained silent.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso told reporters, “The momentum in the conference clearly is just ending this.” He reminded them that the “public isn’t paying attention anymore.”

Barrasso’s not wrong. Last week I blogged about the ratings. Every time the Democrats try to take down Trump the ratings go down.


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