LIVE: Trump Impeachment Closing Arguments
Collins and Romney will vote yes on witnesses. Alexander said no.
I’d jot down the lyrics to the song “The End” by The Doors, but we all know the Democrats will not stop investigating President Donald Trump.
The Senate kicks off at 1 p.m. ET. They will vote on witnesses and additional documents. If that fails, which it likely will, the chamber will vote on the articles of impeachment.
Sekulow Says Defense Will Cross Examine Witnesses
Plus they want their own witnesses:
“We did not have the opportunity to cross-examine them,” he said. “This isn’t going to happen, if witnesses are called, in a week.
He then accused House Democrats of rushing their case and not trying hard enough in court to enforce subpoenas to get witnesses to testify in their investigation.
“This idea that they haven’t had witnesses, that’s their smokescreen,” Mr. Sekulow said. “Even with all of those witnesses, it doesn’t add up to an impeachable offense.”
Philbin Reminds House Managers the Senate isn’t Here to do Their Job
Pres. Trump’s Counsel Patrick Philbin argues that “we actually heard from a lot of witnesses” already https://t.co/vwxdcibO1r pic.twitter.com/12mFAh3ik7
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 31, 2020
He said: “The Senate is not here to do the investigatory work that the House didn’t do. Where there’s been a process that denied all due process, that produced a record that cannot be relied upon. And the reaction from this body should be to reject the articles of impeachment, and not the condone and put its imprimatur on the way the proceedings were handled in the House.”
Schiff Immediately Jumps on NYT Report
Rep. Adam Schiff used his opening remarks to bring up the latest NYT article about John Bolton’s book manuscript. Weird how they all now love Bolton and find him trustworthy:
“Just as we predicted, and it didn’t require any great act of clairvoyance, the facts will come out. They will continue to come out. 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 said.
Schiff added: “So here you have the President saying John Bolton is not telling the truth. Let’s find out. Let’s put John Bolton under oath. Let’s find out who is telling the truth. A trial is supposed to be a quest for the truth. Let’s not fear what we will learn,” Schiff added.
According to the Times, Bolton wrote in a manuscript that Trump gave him the instructions in May. The conversation also included acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and White House lawyer Pat Cipollone.
House manager Rep. Schiff: "The facts will come out. They will continue to come out. 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." https://t.co/nYrdQ9hP2W pic.twitter.com/iE3EZsdYWL
— ABC News (@ABC) January 31, 2020
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) announced she will vote no in regard to witnesses and documents.
BREAKING: GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski: "I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena." https://t.co/8dPFKZkZJk pic.twitter.com/HB83VKLKcc
— ABC News (@ABC) January 31, 2020
The session has just started.
Will This Go Into Next Week?
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) explained how all of this could leak into next week:
“My guess is it probably is going to carry us over to the first part of next week, but obviously we have the Iowa caucuses on February the 3rd, and we have the State of the Union the next day,” Cornyn said to reporters this morning when asked if he knows of any measures that could be put forth to keep the trial going past today. “So I think for all sorts of reasons, it’s probably a good idea to bring this thing to a close in the near future.”
After closing arguments the senators can offer motions. If the Democrats pile on the motions it could slow down the process and delay the vote on witnesses.
Aides on both sides of the aisle do not “expect a vote to acquit President Trump today.” So it looks like it will definitely rollover to Saturday.
Then the trial could conflict with the Iowa caucuses on Monday and Trump’s SOTU on Tuesday.
Red State Democrats
People have concentrated on the Republicans, but what about the Democrats from red states? Experts consider Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) vulnerable:
Sen. Doug Jones, a vulnerable Democrat from Alabama, said he is “pretty close” to making a decision on if he’ll vote on convicting President Trump, but he told CNN: “I gotta get my head straight and go from there.”
He declined to say where he was leaning.
“I’m pulling all my notes, I’m pulling together. I’m replaying what I know — the evidence. I had leanings the whole time, you go back and forth and so I’m just pulling it together … I did that all last night for the last few nights … I hadn’t slept very much,” he said.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has made it known he wants to hear from witnesses. But it would not shock me if he voted to acquit Trump.
The Senate has four hours to debate over witnesses and documents. Each party gets two hours. The vote should happen between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET.
If they vote no on the motion, the Republican leaders “say they will press late into the night and into early Saturday morning to try to cast final votes on the two articles of impeachment before adjourning.”
The Senate wrapped up the 16-hour question-and-answer session last night.
The Democrats need no defections and four Republican senators to vote with them to pass a motion to call witnesses and introduce new evidence/documents.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said last night they will vote yes on that motion.
Retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said he will vote no on the motion.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski will announce her decision this morning, but we all believe she will vote yes.
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The trial will go on if Mittens Romney has her say. Of course Cowardly John will abstain if there is a tie.
Mittens loves losing. He certainly laid on the ground with bell up for Obama.
Romney is purely doing this out of spite. Not a good look for someone who holds himself up as a moral paragon.
Romney should address the senate floor and admonish the partisan attempted coup by house democrats and fully denounce house Democrats for not calling witnesses and pursuing document subpoenas. As Romney lacks a backbone; this will not happen.
Apparently there is some kind of trouble in Mar-A-Lago, a van with people and shots fired.
Most of the usual suspects are stuck in Washington though.
And the farce continues…
Why do I suspect that the execrable Romney is doing his best to round up people to support his attempt to stab the president in the back?
I’m surprised about Mittens – as I’ve read his base in Utah is definitely against witnesses by a wide margin.
He thinks he is untouchable. Sadly, he’s probably right.
Romney is held out as the epitome of a conservative. IMO these “Conservatives” are solely interested in conserving their seat at the government trough and their own media image. I have no use for them.
Remember he was just elected to a 6-year term. He is depending on the reliably short memories of most voters. By 2024 most will have forgotten all of this stuff, and care even less.
Lets play a random bit of what-if? After the election and taking both houses, impeach Chief Justice Roberts for FISA court abuses. Get Trump another shot on the Supreme Court.
This says it all, Sekulow: “After 31 or 32 times you said you proved every aspect of your case… [pauses for response] That’s what you said.”
Schiff: “We did.”
Sekulow: “Well then I don’t think we need any witnesses.”
“. . . the facts will come out
. . . but you’ll have to wait, as it takes time to make up those fake transcripts of incriminating evidence.
It infuriates me that members of the senate and house are allowed to lie with impunity. It is not right and offends my sensibilities.
“”but we all believe she will vote yes.””
She’s a “NO”.
Oops. Skipped over the part where you reported this.
i watch the local tv news conference, does not appear to be trump related, possibly an impaired female losing it behind the wheel of an suv
this was for RodFC
And now they are delaying because of a “Quorum Call”?!?? Why in the hell do they need a quorum call when every Senator is required to be present during the Impeachment trial.
Just more fucking delay by the democrats who’ve got to know by now they’ve lost the trial. And lost big. And lost for the final time. Because really, after the impeachment trial crashes and burns around the democrats what can they do. What can they do.
They do that when they want to chat among themselves. They’re likely setting up the timetable for the final vote and any intervening procedural matters. Or, it could just mean that nobody has anything to say. They do that a lot.
And now the idiot C-SPAN commentator has made some idiotic comment about how the Republicans and democrats are “looking for a path forward”. There is only one path forward. And that path isn’t negotiable. You defeat any resolutions made to allow new witnesses or documents and then you immediately hold an straight up or down vote on each article of impeachment.
So no more delays. Hold the vote now and be done with this farce and let the chips fall where they may.