The third day of President Trump's impeachment trial ended with lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff making an emotional plea to Senate Republicans. The Democrat warned that the president will continue to put his own interests first if he is allowed to remain in office, the Hill reports. "You know you can't trust this president to do what's right for this country," Schiff said, warning that Trump would be unlikely to stop Russian interference in this year's election. He told senators that Trump should be removed, "Because right matters. Because right matters and truth matters. Otherwise we are lost." To have Trump removed from office, Schiff will need 20 Republican votes. More:
- Republicans complain of repetition. After Democrats made their case that Trump abused his power, Republicans complained that they were hearing repetitive arguments, the Washington Post reports. "We're hearing the same things over and over," said Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow. White House officials said that when Republicans argue their case, Sekulow will address reporters as part of an aggressive PR strategy.
- Fidget spinners. Rule-breaking and evident boredom among senators is becoming a theme as the trial progresses. The New York Times reports that senators, who are supposed to sit and silently listen, have taken to wandering outside the chamber, often to the cloakrooms where their electronic devices are stores. At lunch, GOP Sen. Richard Burr handed out fidget spinners to his 52 colleagues.
- Trump weighs in. In one of numerous tweets Thursday, Trump offered his opinion on why Democrats have rejected a "witness swap." "The Democrats don't want a Witness Trade because Shifty Schiff, the Biden’s, the fake Whistleblower(& his lawyer), the second Whistleblower (who vanished after I released the Transcripts), the so-called “informer”, & many other Democrat disasters, would be a BIG problem for them!" he tweeted.
- What's next. Democrats, who have been given a total of 24 hours to make their case, will wrap things up Friday, the AP reports. Republicans are expected to start making their case Saturday, and Sekulow denied rumors that Republicans will seek to zip through it in a single day. "We're going to use a sufficient amount of time to defend our case and point out the inconsistencies of their case," he said, "We're not going to run out the clock." Sources tell the Post that proceedings on Saturday may only last a few hours, because Trump would prefer the GOP case to be made on a weekday, when more people will be paying attention.
- Republicans don't want a speedy acquittal. Politico reports that while most Senate Republicans are ready to acquit Trump, they would prefer Trump's lawyers to offer a substantial, fact-based defense instead of "phoning it in." "The president’s team ... has never presented its case since it did not do so in the House," says GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who is considered one of the few possible swing votes.
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