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McConnell: We Don't Yet Have the Votes to Block Witnesses

Trump team wraps up its impeachment arguments
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2020 12:12 PM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2020 5:41 PM CST

(Newser) – The arguments in President Trump's impeachment trial are over, even as the debate on whether John Bolton should be called as a witness rages on. Trump's defense team wrapped up its three days of arguments Tuesday; next up, senators will be allowed to ask the House managers and Trump's legal team questions for a total of 16 hours. That will take place during two sessions Wednesday and Thursday during which "the questions alternate between the majority and minority sides for up to eight hours," Mitch McConnell announced before adjourning the trial until 1pm Wednesday. Questions must be submitted in writing in advance to Chief Justice John Roberts, who will ask them; five minutes will be allowed per answer. Tuesday's big developments, including an update on page 2 regarding the vote on whether witnesses will be allowed, below.

  • Bad precedent? This is "the trial of the leader of the free world and the duly elected president of the United States," said Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, per the Washington Post. "It is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts. ... To lower the bar of impeachment based on these articles of impeachment would impact the functioning of our constitutional republic and the framework of that Constitution for generations."
  • Defend the Constitution: White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrapped up the defense team's arguments with a call to senators: "What they are asking you to do is to throw out a successful president on the eve of an election with no basis and in violation of the Constitution. It would dangerously change our country and ... weaken forever all of our democratic institutions. You all know that's not in the interests of the American people. Why not trust the American people with this decision. Why tear up their ballots, why tear up every ballot across this country. You can't do that. You know you can't do that. So I ask you to defend our Constitution, to defend fundamental fairness, to defend basic due process rights, but most importantly—most importantly, to respect and defend the sacred right of every American to vote and to choose their president."

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