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    Wednesday night was to be the last night Michelle Carter will spend at Massachusetts' Bristol County House of Corrections, ending less than a year’s time at the prison. Her case drew international attention and became the subject of a popular documentary after she was convicted for urging her boyfriend to kill himself. But behind the walls of this prison, Carter’s life has been relatively routine since she arrived in February of last year. Carter was sentenced to 15 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter in 2017 for sending text messages urging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to kill himself. He died by suicide in 2014. “She really actually was a model inmate. She got involved in various programs: hospitality, culinary, the service aid program. She was involved in the kitchen working as kitchen help, got involved in the recovery program, so she was very busy,” said Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgsen. Hodgsen said Carter’s ability to stay busy means she’s getting out early. “She’s earned her good time through those programs, and she’ll be released tomorrow sometime after 9 o’clock,” Hodgsen said Wednesday. Carter, now 23 years old, will remain on probation for five years after she’s released. Often, inmates with high-profile cases can be a challenge in correctional facilities. But Hodgsen said they did not have issues with Carter. “We didn’t really have many concerns in regard to her other than making sure her mental health state was good coming in and that it maintained its health condition until she was released and that seemed to go well,” Hodgsen said. Roy’s family says they are trying not to focus on Carter but on a passing a bill called Conrad’s Law, which would make it illegal to coerce someone who you know is vulnerable into suicide. The bill calls for a punishment of up to five years in prison.
  • More disturbing details are emerging about the Pennsylvania woman who was locked in a wooden cage inside of a Vestaburg home. WPXI-TV uncovered documents that show officials knew she was in a cage for three months before rescuing her or getting her medical attention. Leona Biser, 51, is facing charges of neglect of a care-dependent person, abuse of a care-dependent person, recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint and false imprisonment. According to the search warrant filed by the Attorney General’s Office, Agent Anthony Brunto with Adult Protective Services visited the home on 6th Street in August 2019 and encountered the victim who was dressed “inappropriately inside a locked wooden cage' on a dirty mattress. He reportedly began working on getting her guardianship but didn’t return to the house until Nov. 1. That day, he brought a doctor with him, but they left without getting the woman medical attention even though they documented that she was not able to walk. It wasn’t until nearly a month later, on Nov. 22, that the AG’s office got involved and sent an ambulance to the home to take the victim to a hospital. Her sister, Biser, was charged on Jan. 15. The Southwest Area Agency on Aging told WPXI that they didn’t handle the case because the victim is under 60 years old.
  • A dog feared lost but reunited with his family in Trotwood, Ohio nearly five months after they were separated by a Memorial Day tornado received the county’s No. 1 dog license for 2020. The tornado tore apart Semico and Anthony Harden’s house in the Westbrooke Village neighborhood and ripped apart the fence surrounding their backyard, where they had last seen Duke, their cane corso, before the storm. “We don’t know if he actually ran off or if the storm carried him off,” said Semico Harden. “But he wasn’t there.” Duke and two other dogs were presented with the first three tags of 2020 by Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith at an event Wednesday to promote the sale of dog licenses. Sorely missed The Harden family searched day after day, month after month for Duke, who is 2 1/2. With their home nearly destroyed, the family moved to a rental house in Vandalia, making the search for Duke more complicated. Duke was sorely missed by the Hardens, their 17-year-old son and infant daughter, Semico Harden said. “He’s a family dog. He’s really, really friendly. He’s extremely good with children,” she said. “Although he’s really, really big and mighty, he’s completely harmless. He’s just a lovable dog. He’s a big teddy bear.” The family posted Duke’s picture online and put flyers on posts around town and in businesses. “We plastered signs all over the place trying to find him,” Harden said. Calls came in of potential sightings: Duke was possibly spotted along Main Street, seen roaming along Germantown Street and living in the woods near Shiloh Springs and Olive Road. When it wasn’t raining, Anthony Harden searched and left food at the reported sites. “I really hunted him down,” he said. Another caller saw Duke’s picture up at a laundromat. It looked like the same dog he had seen earlier, also in the woods near Shiloh Springs and Olive Road. Harden raced out to investigate. It was the second tip reporting the same location. “I saw some paw prints,” he said. “I knew it was my dog from the prints.” He retrieved a T-shirt and a pair of shoes from home and set them out at the woods’ edge. “The next morning Duke was laying right there at the T-shirt and the shoes,” Harden said. “He just ran and jumped on me. Like he was happy.” It was Oct. 18, 2019. “He was only, like, five minutes away from our home, but he was missing for four and a half months,” Semico Harden said. Anthony Harden said Duke shed some of his 150 pounds through the ordeal and possibly sustained an injury to his hind left leg. “He lost a little weight. He had a limp that he didn’t have before. Maybe during the tornado something might have hit him,” Harden said. “You can’t tell when he’s running.” The family was out of their home until just before Christmas. Earlier this week, a new fence went up for Duke and his companion, Duchess. Duke was unlicensed, said his owners. Though it’s unclear if a tag would have brought Duke home quicker, the Hardens say it might have greatly improved the odds. “Getting tagged like that is extremely important,” Semico Harden said. “Had he had a tag and collar we probably would have gotten him back a lot sooner than we did.”
  • One person is dead and seven people were taken to Harborview Medical Center after a shooting Wednesday evening in downtown Seattle. The shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. near Third Avenue and Pine Street by a Macy’s and McDonald’s. Investigators said the suspect fled and police are searching for him. They did not immediately release a description. The woman who died was in her 40s or 50s, a fire department spokesman said. The other shooting victims were: a 55-year-old woman in critical condition; a 9-year-old boy in serious condition; a 35-year-old man in stable condition; a 21-year-old man in stable condition; and a 34-year-old man in stable condition. It was not immediately clear how the others at Harborview were injured. The areas where the shooting victims were wounded include the legs, buttocks, chest and abdomen, according to Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg. Police said 45 units were dispatched to the shooting scene, and it happened as police were investigating another shooting nearby. Police did not say those two scenes were related. Officers and medics are providing first aid to those injured.
  • After nearly 13 hours of debate, 11 attempts at amendments and an admonition by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the rules to govern the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump were passed early Wednesday along party lines. The vote on the organizing resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, came just before 2 a.m. Wednesday.  The final version of the rules that McConnell submitted Tuesday morning remained unchanged despite numerous attempts by Democrats to amend the rules to allow for everything from requiring Roberts to rule on motions to subpoena witnesses to calling former national security advisor John Bolton to testify. Under the rules passed Wednesday, House managers and Trump’s lawyers each will have 24 hours to argue their cases. The opening arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday. Each side will have 24 hours over three days to outline their cases. After both sides present their arguments, senators will then have 16 hours to ask questions. The questions must be submitted in writing, per the rules of impeachment. After opening arguments and questions from senators, the Senate will consider whether to subpoena additional witnesses or documents. The trial will resume at 1 p.m. ET. Follow along with live updates here beginning at noon. Live updates The House managers have finished 9:40 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schiff finishes his presentation. McConnell recognizes the Senate pages whose last day is Thursday. The Senate will reconvene Thursday at 1 p.m. The whistleblower’s complaint 9:15 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schiff is explaining the process by which the whistleblower complaint came to congressional intelligence committees. Schiff then shows videos of Trump saying that Ukraine and China should start investigations of the Bidens. He produces one of the president’s tweets where Trump says it is within his job description to investigate corruption no matter where it took place. Murkowski was offended by Nadler 9:11 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: CNN is reporting that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski's spokesperson said Murkowski was “offended” by House Impeachment manager Rep. Jerry Nadler’s comments Tuesday that suggested if senators did not vote to call witnesses they were 'voting for a cover-up.' “I took it as very offensive. As one who is listening attentively and working hard to get to a fair process, I was offended,” Murkowski said Wednesday, CNN reported. According to the post, her aide Karina Borger spoke for Murkowski. Schiff takes timeline into the fall 8:48 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schiff has concluded his remarks laying out the timeline of Trump’s actions from after the call in July until the fall. Rep. Zoe Lofgren is speaking now. She says a letter was sent to the White House telling lawyers there that the president and Giuliani had violated diplomatic policy and/or federal law. Is anyone watching? 8:30 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: More than 11 million people watch a portion of the first day of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Tuesday, an event that ran some 13 hours. Fox News got the largest piece of the audience pie with 2.65 million viewers from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET. CBS had 1.94 million viewers from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. when their live coverage ended. MSNBC followed with 1.91 million; ABC had 1.63 million and CNN and NBC both had 1.44 million each. Poll: Support for Trump falls on party lines 8 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: An Associated Press poll shows Americans are divided along party lines about whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office. According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, a good number of people also doubt the Senate impeachment trial will do anything to change their minds. The AP reports: “Overall, the public is slightly more likely to say the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office than to say it should not, 45% to 40%. But a sizable percentage, 14%, say they don’t know enough to have an opinion.” The Senate reconvenes 7:22 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The trial is resuming and Schiff is picking up the chronology of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. He says his team will need about two more hours to finish what they have planned for tonight. Senators are breaking for dinner 6:35 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The Senate is in recess for a 30-minute dinner break. More on the protester Alyssa Milano is listening 6:32 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Actress Alyssa Milano is attending a second day of the impeachment hearing. She has been spotted in the public gallery balcony in the front row. She was not he screamer. A disturbance in the balcony 6:22 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: A man began screaming in the public gallery in the Senate chamber as Jeffries was speaking. Roberts called for the sergeant at arms to remove him from the gallery and restore order. The man is still screaming as he was taken from the gallery. Hakeem Jeffries is speaking 5:52 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Demings has concluded her presentation and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is now speaking. He starts his presentation by saying no one is above the law in the United States. Giuliani is mentioned again 5:30 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Rep. Val Demings is now presenting evidence now. She is talking about Giuliani and showing a video of Paul Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, who was testifying about what Giuliani knew about the plan to ask for an investigation into the Bidens and the 2016 presidential election in exchange for a White House meeting. Wandering senators 5:10 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Apparently attention spans, or at least short ones, are becoming a problem at the impeachment hearing.  House manager Crow complained to Chief Justice Roberts about people moving around while he is speaking. He offered to let everyone have a break then he would continue. Roberts told him to go on with his presentation. McConnell stood up and said he had planned to suggest a 30-minute break for dinner at 6:30 p.m. Many senators seem to be having a tough time staying in their seats, according to several media reports. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told CNN that the repetition in House managers’ presentations is becoming difficult to sit through. “I think we’re already beginning to lose certainly the television audience and maybe the press to some extent, but certainly senators are struggling to try to see why we have to sit there, sit hearing the same arguments over and over and over and over again,” Cornyn said. Other senators, both Republican and Democratic have been seen standing along the back wall or leaving the chamber for a break. President Trump likes Rand Paul’s tweet Jason Crow is speaking now 4:40 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Crow tells the story of a Ukrainian soldier who died during a mortar attack, tying his death to the hold on military aid to Ukraine. Giuliani is tied into the plan 4:30 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020: Garcia lays out a case that points to Rudy Giuliani as the person who pressed Ukraine for a probe into Biden’s dealings with Ukrainian officials. Nadler completes his presentation 4:17 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Nadler used videos of two women -- Marie Yovanovitch and Fiona Hill -- during his presentation. The two are diplomats. He has completed his part of the presentation and Rep. Sylvia Garcia is now speaking. The trial has resumed 4 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The recess is over and the trial has resumed. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, is presenting the next part of the House presentation. A recess is called 3:29 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: As Schiff ends his introduction, McConnell calls for a 20-minute recess. We are two hours in 3:22 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schiff has talked for more than two hours now. That means there are approximately 22 hours left for the House managers to present their case against President Trump. He quotes from Thomas Paine as he ends his presentation, “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” 'Corruptly used a White House visit ... ’ It’s more than crazy 2:55 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Its more than crazy, Schiff says, talking about what Ambassador Bill Taylor said about a quid pro quo with Ukraine. “It’s abuse of power,” he said. “And I don’t’ think impeachment power is a relic. If it’s a relic, how much longer can our republic last?” The White House responds: Schiff’s narrative continues 2:15 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schiff continues to craft the chronology he claims ties together Trump’s actions involving Ukraine and a quid pro quo. He is using clips of Trump and is presenting the House case by tying together the testimony of several witnesses, mostly diplomats who were connected to Ukraine. A letter from 21 state attorneys general 2:05 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Twenty-one Republican attorneys general plan to deliver a 'friend of the Senate' letter to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. The letter will be in support of Trump’s legal defense in the impeachment trial. It reads, in part: “Impeachment should never be a partisan response to one party losing a presidential election. If successful, an impeachment proceeding nullifies the votes of millions of citizens. The Democrat-controlled House passing of these constitutionally-deficient articles of impeachment amounts, at bottom, to a partisan political effort that undermines the democratic process itself. Even an unsuccessful effort to impeach the President undermines the integrity of the 2020 election. Here’s how the House managers case will go 1:44 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schiff has laid out how the House managers will present their case. First, he said, what Trump did will be presented in a narrative form including a timeline. Then, Schiff said, managers, will explain the constitutional framework of impeachment. Then managers will show how Trump committed impeachable actions. Rand Paul isn’t impressed with Schiff’s presentation Removing Trump by the election isn’t a sure thing 1:33 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schiff says the impeachment action against Trump was brought now because there is no guarantee of a fair election in November. The House impeachment managers have 24 hours over a three-day period, to make their case against Trump. They do not have to use the full 24 hours. Schiff begins the House presentation 1:13 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Rep. Adam Schiff has begun the House manager’s opening arguments. Schiff told reporters prior to the trial that the managers would present “a factual chronology” of the events that have led to Trump’s impeachment. He starts by quoting Alexander Hamilton. The Senate is reconvening 1:05 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The impeachment trial is beginning again with an opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Trump is ok with witnesses -- to a degree 12:45 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: He is okay with top aides testifying but “national security” issues could keep them from doing so., President Trump said Wednesday from an economic forum in Switzerland, but “national security” issues could keep them from doing so. “We have a great case,' Trump said before he left for Washington from a global economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. Trump praised the work of his legal team saying they are doing a “very good job.” Schumer on the performance of Trump’s lawyers 12:20 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump’s defense team appeared “unprepared, confused and unconvincing” as they debated House impeachment managers Tuesday. “If there’s one thing we learned on the floor it’s that Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans don’t want a fair trial,” Schumer said.“The impeachment trial of President Trump begins with a cloud hanging over it.” We’re back! 11:50 a.m. ET Jan 22, 2020: Welcome back to live updates from the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The trial begins at 1 p.m. ET. End of Day One The Senate is adjourned 1:51 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The Senate adjourns just short of 2 a.m. The Senate will reconvene at 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Come back here at noon for the beginning of live updates. Resolution vote 1:43 a.m ET Jan. 22, 2020: The vote is being taken on McConnell’s resolution. It passes 53-47. The amendment is tabled 1:40 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Again the amendment is tabled on a 53 to 47 vote. A vote on the amendment 1:37 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: McConnell makes a motion to table the amendment. The roll call vote is being conducted now. The last amendment of the night is offered 1:30 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: In essence, the amendment says that Roberts will decide who is relevant to testify if witnesses are subpoenaed.  The amendment is tabled 1:29 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The amendment is tabled on a 52-48 vote. Sen. Susan Collins voted with the Democrats. Another amendment is introduced; voted on 1:23 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The amendment addresses the timing of written responses. The House managers are for it, the White House counsel is against it. The roll call vote is going on now. The amendment is tabled 1:17 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Again the amendment is tabled on a 53 to 47 vote. A vote on the ninth amendment 1:14 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: McConnell makes a motion to table the amendment. The roll call vote is being conducted now. A ninth amendment is introduced 1:05 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: The amendment looks to change the resolution by saying witnesses need to be available to testify in person and not just rely on a deposition for testimony. The amendment is tabled 12:59 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Again the amendment is tabled on a 53 to 47 vote. A vote on the amendment 12:57 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: McConnell makes a motion to table the amendment. The roll call vote is being conducted now. An admonishment from Roberts 12:58 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Roberts scolds both House managers and White House counsel to “remember where they are” after a contentious exchange between the two sides. ‘We don’t deserve that’ 12:41 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Cipollone says Nadler made false allegations about the White House counsel, the president and the members of the Senate. “We don’t deserve that,” Cipollone said.  “They ask you to do something they didn’t do themselves then accuse you of a coverup when you don’t do it,” Cipollone said.y  He says the Democrats have spent the day complaining that the can’t make their case. Sekulow slams him for calling executive privilege “nonsense.” Bolton was ‘personally involved,’ Nadler says 12:21 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: House manager Jerry Nadler is making the case for a subpoena to be issued to John Bolton.  Nadler says Bolton’s attorney has told House investigators that Bolton was “personally involved” in many of the issues that are related to the articles of impeachment. The eighth amendment is introduced 12:04 a.m. ET Jan. 22, 2020: Schumer offers his eighth amendment to McConnell’s resolution. The amendment is a request to subpoena former White House chief of staff John Bolton. The amendment is tabled 11:59 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Again the amendment is tabled on a 53 to 47 vote. A vote on the amendment 11:57 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell makes a motion to table the amendment. The roll call vote is being conducted now. The arguments begin on the seventh amendment 11:45 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The arguments have restarted as the seventh amendment to McConnell’s resolution is being considered. It is a request for evidence to be shared with both sides so one side does not have an unfair advantage. Schiff gives a relatively short defense of the amendment that is an argument over how evidence and subpoenas should be dealt with. Sekulow responds to Schiff’s argument by saying that the Democrats should be happy that this matter was not brought before a grand jury. A seventh amendment is requested 11:23 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell requests a five-minute break after Schumer introduces his seventh amendment of the day. 11:16 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Schumer’s sixth amendment has been tabled on a party-line vote, 53-47. Roll call vote on tabling the amendment 11:12 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell asks for the amendment to be tabled. The vote is taking place now. Blair and Duffy and subpoenas 11:05 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: House manager Sylvia Garcia has finished her argument for the amendment naming the reasons Blair and Duffy need to testify about their role in holding up military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into the Bidens. Pam Bondi, former Florida attorney general, immediately challenges Garcia’s presentation saying she has some fact errors in her defense of the amendment. Bondi goes on to slam the House impeachment inquiry as a “one-sided circus.' She says the House did not go to court to get a ruling on subpoenas for Duffy and Blair because they did not want to have a judge tell them they are trampling on the rights of the two men. The amendment is tabled 10:30 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: For the fifth time tonight, one of Schumer’s amendments have been tabled on a party-line vote, 53-47. 10:10 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Crow finishes his defense of the amendment that calls for subpoenas from the Department of Defense by talking about soldiers in Ukraine waking up to face Russian forces this morning. Patrick Philbin is back to speak against the amendment, slamming the House for their work product -- the articles of impeachment -- and the results of the inquiry. A Biden for a Bolden? 10 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The Washington Post is reporting that Democrats are considering allowing Republicans to call Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, as a witness. The deal, the Post reports, would come in exchange for testimony from John Bolden or one of the other three witnesses Democrats wish to question. A fifth amendment 9:40 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Schumer puts forth a fifth amendment to subpoena Department of Defense documents. The amendment is being read now. Following the reading, each side will have one hour to speak in support or against the amendment. No deal on bundling 9:30 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell tries to broker a deal with Schumer to put all the amendments together and deal with them at one time. Schumer says he does not want to bundle them and is willing to have the votes on amendments continue tomorrow. McConnell calls for a quorum -- or a vote on attendance. A vote on the amendment 9:22 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The arguments on the fourth amendment -- to subpoena Mick Mulvaney -- have ended and McConnell has called for the amendment to be tabled. A roll call vote is underway. “Can we please start?” 9:05 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Michael Purpura, deputy counsel to the president, refutes Jeffries’ claims saying that Mulvaney did nothing wrong because withholding aid was not wrong. Cipollone is complaining that the proceedings are going on too long. “They haven’t even started,” Cipollone said of the House managers. “Can we please start?” Cipollone says of the way the day’s arguments have gone. Mulvaney knew about the military aid early on, Jeffries claims 8:48 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Jefferies lays out a case that says Mulvaney not only knew about what was going on with military aid being withheld from Ukraine but had a hand in making sure the aid was withheld. The trial is back in session 8:15 p.m. Et Jan. 21, 2020: The trial has reconvened and Rep. Hakeem Jefferies is speaking. He is arguing in favor of subpoenaing Mulvaney. Mulvaney refused to answer a subpoena from the House. President Trump, who is in Europe, has tweeted once today about the proceedings. Vote on the third amendment and a recess 7:25 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell calls for a vote to table the third amendment. It passes on a 53-47 party-line vote. Schumer proposes a fourth amendment to the resolution to subpoena acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. McConnell calls for a 30-minute recess. The aid to Ukraine 7:05 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The aid that was provided to Ukraine included lethal weapons, something the previous administration failed to do, Sekulow said after Crow finished a detailed trail of email between DOD and OMB officials. Crow repeated that he knows what it feels like to not have the equipment you need in combat. Sekulow said the aid Crow is talking about was for future expenditures, it was not for current spending. Crow responded to Sekulow saying that in combat, delays matter, and that it was Congress that got the aid to Ukraine by passing another law. Schiff says the argument that Ukraine eventually got the aid is a bad one since they got the aid because Trump “got caught.” Sekulow ends his response by saying, “This all started with a whistleblower. Where is that whistleblower.” A third amendment that will be tabled 6: 45 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell let the senators know that after the arguments for and against Schumer’s amendment for documents from the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget he will move to table that amendment and break for 30 minutes for dinner. In the meantime, House manager Rep. Jason Crow is pitching the argument for the amendment. He says the search for documents about funding military action is close to his heart as he was a soldier in the Middle East. The second amendment from Schumer is tabled 6:31 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The amendment is tabled again along party lines -- 53-47. A third amendment is introduced by Schumer. Two hours of debate on the amendment will begin soon. The vote on the second amendment 6:29 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: After a short response from Sekulow to Demings’ presentation and a longer response to Sekulow from Schiff, a motion to table the amendment is called by McConnell. Demings ends her defense 6:04 p.m ET Jan. 21, 2020: Demings goes over the testimony of diplomats connected to Ukraine and what she describes as their disbelief over Trump’s actions. She showed text messages between U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor, where, Demings said, the quid pro quo was discussed. Collins says she is in on witnesses The trial has resumed 5:18 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Rep. Val Demings from Florida is speaking on behalf of Schumer’s amendment to issue subpoena’s to the State Department. She has one hour to make her case in favor of the amendment. She is stressing that there is ample evidence, including Trump’s own statements, to point to Trump’s wrongdoing. She says there is even more evidence that State Department officials knew a quid pro quo was happening with Ukrainian officials. Demings is the former chief of police for the Orlando Police Department. She is the first woman to hold that position. Another recess 4:48 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: A short recess is called before the arguments for and against the second amendment are started. The amendment is tabled 4:40 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The vote to table the amendment passes 53-47, falling along party lines. The amendment is tabled, or set aside. An amendment to subpoena records from the State Department is put forth by Schumer. It is being read now The vote on the amendment 4:35 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell rises to ask that the amendment be tabled - or to end any further debate on the matter, killing the amendment. The clerk is calling the roll now. Lofgren finishes her presentation 4:12 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Lofgren has completed her defense of the Schumer amendment. She took nearly one hour to do so. Now, Patrick Philbin, a member of Trump’s legal team, is responding. Philbin says the Democrats are not ready to continue in a trial if they are still looking for evidence to be presented. What the House is doing, Philbin says, is asking the Senate to do their job for them. Philbin says subpoenas issued by the House were invalid since there was no vote to launch an impeachment investigation. Philbin says that the issue is not whether the Senate will consider if there will be witnesses, but when there may be witnesses. He repeats that the House should be able to make a presentation that they have spent weeks on 3:33 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Lofgren is speaking in favor of Schumer’s amendment. She says the most important documentary evidence will be found at the White House and that is why Trump wants them to remain “hidden.” She is now giving senate members a history lesson on impeachment and how witnesses and documentary evidence were part of the trials of the past. Schiff responds to Cipollone’s response to his presentation 3:30 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: After the break, Schiff is recognized to speak in favor of Schumer’s resolution. He goes on the attack against the president’s attorneys saying they have no defense of McConnell’s resolution. Schiff says he won’t call Cipollone a liar when he said Trump’s attorneys were not allowed to attend private depositions, but that Cipollone was “mistaken.” Lindsey Graham responds to Schiff’s presentation Rep. Zoe Lofgren is speaking 3:33 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Lofgren is speaking in favor of Schumer’s amendment. She says the most important documentary evidence will be found at the White House and that is why Trump wants them to remain “hidden.” She is now giving senate members a history lesson on impeachment and how witnesses and documentary evidence were part of the trials of the past. Schiff responds to Cipollone’s response to his presentation 3:30 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: After the break, Schiff is recognized to speak in favor of Schumer’s resolution. He goes on the attack against the president’s attorneys saying they have no defense of McConnell’s resolution. Schiff says he won’t call Cipollone a liar when he said Trump’s attorneys were not allowed to attend private depositions, but that Cipollone was “mistaken.” Lindsey Graham responds to Schiff’s presentation After the break 3:11 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: When the senators return from the break they will hear arguments for and against Schumer’s amendment to subpoena the White House for documents. The debate can last for two hours. A short break 2:53 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Schumer’s resolution is read and McConnell asks for a 15-minute break. Schumer offers amendments 2:45 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: With both Schiff and the president’s attorneys finishing their remarks about McConnell’s resolution, Schumer rises to introduced an amendment to the resolution to subpoena White House documents. The resolution is being read now. Cipollone is speaking again 2:30 p.m ET Jan. 21, 2020: Cipollone addresses Schiff’s comments. He points out that Schiff made up a false version of Trump’s call to the Ukrainian president. He also says there is evidence that was given in private to the House investigators that the president’s legal team has not seen. “He has the temerity to come into the Senate and say we have no use for courts,” Cipollone says about Schiff’s comments. Cipollone asks Schiff for documents concerning his conversations with the whistleblower who first alerted Congress to Trump’s call to He claims Schiff has yet to turn over any document related to his contact with the whistleblower. Cipollone wonders why impeach now, why not wait for the election to remove a president from office. “It’s a partisan impeachment. ... They want to remove President Trump from the ballot.' Schiff is done; Sekulow is speaking now 2:17 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Schiff takes nearly his entire allotted time to argue against McConnell’s motion. Jay Sekulow, Trump’s attorney, is now answering Schiff’s arguments. Cipollone took three minutes when he spoke, which leaves Sekulow 57 minutes to respond to Schiff’s arguments. Sekulow says that when Robert Mueller’s investigation “didn’t pan out, it became Ukraine.” Sekulow turns to the question of executive privilege which Democrats point to as a part of the obstruction of Congress article of impeachment. He points out that Schiff, Rep. Jerry Nadler and Speaker Nancy Pelosi were on the other side of executive privilege question when it concerned President Barack Obama and then-Attorney General Eric Holder. He asks why the House held the articles of impeachment for 33 days -- to try to set the rules in the Senate, Sekulow says. A second change to the resolution 1:50 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Another change in the resolution released Monday is that the House’s records from its impeachment hearings will automatically be entered into evidence unless there’s an objection. The draft of the resolution released earlier would have required a vote to have that evidence entered into the record. Cipollone takes a little time; Schiff takes a lot 1:40 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Cipollone takes only a few minutes to say that the charges against Trump are not true. He had up to one hour to present his argument for the resolution. Adam Schiff is now speaking in opposition to McConnell’s resolution. He says the most important decision senators will make will come today when they vote to have witnesses or not. He goes on to charge senators with making this trial “like every other trial” by allowing documents and witnesses to be introduced. He has twice said that Trump was trying to cheat in the next election and that he is withholding information that would “cover up his misdeeds.” He reminds Republican senators who have promised McConnell to support his resolution that they have sworn an oath “that supersedes all else.” Schiff says most Americans don’t believe that the trail will be fair. The president is not innocent, he says. Apparently, there is a change in the timing of the trial The trial reconvenes 1:18 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Chief Justice John Roberts enters the Senate chamber, swears in a senator who was not present last week when all the other senators were sworn in begins the trial in earnest. The sergeant in arms is reading the organization resolution brought by McConnell. The resolution lays out how the trial will be conducted. Trump’s attorney, Pat Cipollone, has risen to speak first in support of the resolution by McConnell. White House team bulks up 1:15 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The White House has added several Republican House members to be a part of the president’s legal team. They are Reps. Jim Jordan, Ohio; John Ratcliffe, Texas; Mike Johnson, Louisiana; Mark Meadows, North Carolina; Debbie Lesko, Arizona; Lee Zeldin, New York; Elise Stefanik, New York and Doug Collins, Georgia. The White House in a statement said the group has “provided guidance to the White House team, which was prohibited from participating in the proceedings concocted by Democrats in the House of Representatives.' What they will be doing and if they will have a speaking part in the proceedings is unclear. In the ‘dark of night’ 1 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Schumer says McConnell’s proposed impeachment trial rules would “result in a rushed trial with little evidence, in the dark of night.” The Senate is now in recess and will go back into session in a few minutes to continue with the impeachment trial. No new evidence 12:36 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell vows to move to table any amendment to his impeachment trial organization resolution if that amendment concerns introducing new evidence into the trial. Schumer is speaking now. He repeats what he said earlier that the organization resolution is “nothing short of a national disgrace.” The Senate has reconvened 12:34 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: McConnell has begun to speak from the floor of the Senate. He is talking about the resolution he will soon put forward that spells out how the trial will be conducted. Here is the letter House Democrats sent to Pat Cipollone Does Schumer have the four votes? 12:01 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Schumer needs 51 votes to get any amendments to McConnell’s resolution passed, meaning he needs all the Democrats and independents to vote for his amendments plus four Republicans to join in. Most believe he will not get Republican support for his amendments. Schumer says McConnell’s resolution is ‘national disgrace’ 11:15 a.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: Sen. Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader from New York, said McConnell’s resolution is “nothing short of a national disgrace.” Schumer said that after McConnell’s resolution is voted on, he intends to introduce amendments to the resolution later today “to fix the many errors” in it. He says his first amendment will be to subpoena documents from the White House. Impeachment managers call out Cipollone 10:15 a.m. ET Jan. 21, 2020: The House impeachment managers are claiming White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who will represent Trump during the Senate trial is a fact witness to the actions that have led to Trump’s impeachment. “In preparation for the trial of Donald J. Trump before the Senate, we write to notify you that evidence received by the House of Representatives during its impeachment inquiry indicates that you are a material witness to the charges in both Articles of Impeachment for which President Trump now faces trial,” said the managers. The managers are Reps. Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow and Sylvia Garcia. “You must disclose all facts and information as to which you have first-hand knowledge that will be at issue in connection with evidence you present or arguments you make in your role as the President’s legal advocate so that the Senate and Chief Justice can be apprised of any potential ethical issues, conflicts, or biases.” Cipollone has not responded to the claims.
  • One woman is behind bars after she allegedly vandalized an ATM with a golf club. Tiffany Withers, 38, is charged with vandalism after her debit card got stuck in the ATM and she beat it with a golf club, according to an affidavit. A security risk investigator found the ATM at the First Horizon Bank in the 3100 block of Mendenhall Rd. vandalized. She said Withers vandalized the ATM with a golf club and then fled the scene in a gray, four-door vehicle, police said. The investigator also told police that Withers was upset after her debit card got stuck in the ATM. Withers damaged the touch screen and plastic housing to the machine, according to police. The investigator received an estimate to repair the ATM of over $4,300. There was video of the vandalism. The investigator identified Withers as the person responsible for the vandalism Jan. 21 and Withers gave a verbal and written statement after waiving her Miranda rights, the affidavit stated. She was then taken into custody, charged and transported to jail. She was released and is due in court Friday.
  • Quarterback Eli Manning, who led the New York Giants to a pair of Super Bowl victories during his 16-season career in the NFL, will announce his retirement Friday, the team said in a statement Wednesday. Manning, 39, saw limited action during the 2019 season, appearing in only four games. “One of the best, most popular and most decorated players in Giants history, Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner and most valuable player, will announce his retirement Friday, ending a 16-year career spent entirely with the team he joined in a draft-day trade in 2004,” the Giants said in a statement. Manning, the youngest member of his family’s quarterback dynasty, is the brother of Peyton Manning and the son of longtime signal-caller Archie Manning. Like his father, Eli Manning starred at Ole Miss during his college career. Eli Manning led the Giants to one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets in NFL history, throwing a late pass that David Tyree caught on his helmet as he fell backward to preserve a game-winning drive. Manning and the Giants went on to defeat the unbeaten New England Patriots, who were trying to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the NFL’s only unbeaten, untied team. Manning and the Giants would defeat the Patriots again in the Super Bowl four years later. Manning played 248 games -- including the postseason -- all with the Giants. He owns the franchise record for completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns and longest completed pass, WPIX reported. He also owns the NFL record for most passing yards in a single postseason and the most fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a season, the television station reported. During the regular season, Manning passed for 57,023 yards and 366 touchdowns. He had an 8-4 record inthe playoffs and passed for 2,815 yards and 18 touchdowns. Manning was the No. 1 draft pick of the San Diego Chargers and the overall top pick in the 2004 NFL draft, but was traded to the Giants for the Chargers’ top pick, Philip Rivers of North Carolina State.
  • A terminally ill dog named Eddie found wandering the streets of a Washington town for a month before being rescued is now living his best life. Eddie is a sweet and loving dog diagnosed with an inoperable tumor that is causing him to go blind in one eye, KEPR reported. Eddie is believed to have only has six to 12 months to live. Canine rescue group Mikey’s Chance, along with Eddie’s new owner, Kristi Kesler, developed a bucket list for the dog, full of fun experiences to make Eddie’s remaining time enjoyable and memorable, KEPR reported. One of Eddie’s bucket list items was to “become an honorary K-9 officer.” That’s when the Pasco Police Department stepped up to answer the call of duty. They treated Eddie, affectionately known as Eddie Spaghetti, to a day with the city’s police department. Eddie wore a custom-made uniform and rode in a police car to various spots around town, including a Petsmart, a Starbucks and a doughnut shop, KEPR reported. The sweet moments were captured in photos and video and posted on the Pasco Police Department’s Facebook page.
  • With the Super Bowl just a few weeks away, Panthers superstar Christian McCaffrey is making sure a United States Marine will get to watch the big game in person. On Wednesday, McCaffrey tweeted that he was proud to present a trip to the Super Bowl to Sgt. Maj. Luis “Chino” Leiva. McCaffrey teamed up with USAA and the Marine Corps Association & Foundation to award Leiva two tickets to the game in Miami. “Sgt. Maj. Leiva started serving this country in the Marines before I was born and is still serving today, which is remarkable,” McCaffrey said. “I am thankful to be able to team up with USAA and the MCA&F to award a trip to the Super Bowl to Sgt. Maj. Leiva and am looking forward to personally thanking him for his continued service when we meet at the Super Bowl.” Leiva first joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1990. During his military service career, he has been deployed to Iraq (2006-07), Afghanistan (2009-10), South Korea and Japan. He has also been stationed at various bases stateside. Since August 2019, Leiva has been stationed at the School of Infantry East/Camp Geiger. With a decorated career of service spanning three decades, Leiva has been awarded accolades including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star and the Combat Action Ribbon with gold star. The Marine said he plans on attending the Super Bowl with his older brother, Jorge. McCaffrey joined Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk this season as the only players in NFL history to record 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. He was selected as the first-team running back and the top flex player in voting by the 50 members of a nationwide media panel who regularly cover the NFL. McCaffrey finished the season with 2,392 yards from scrimmage, which ranks third in NFL history behind Chris Johnson and Faulk.
  • A Texas woman is accused of “twerking” naked on top of a vehicle parked at an Austin grocery store, authorities said. Police responded to a call about two women fighting around noon Tuesday in the parking lot of an H-E-B store, KVUE reported. According to an arrest affidavit, police found Kisa Trinee Taylor, 31, “standing on top of a parked vehicle and doing a sexually provocative dance,” the television station reported. When officers asked Taylor to get off the vehicle, she took off her pants and continued 'twerking while naked from the waist down,” according to the affidavit. Police detained Taylor for disorderly conduct and placed her in the back of a patrol car, KEYE reported. According to the arrest affidavit, Taylor then spit on an officer’s face through an open car window, the television station reported. Taylor was charged with harassment of a public servant, which is a third-degree felony, KVUE reported. Her bail was set at $3,000.
  • Jenks has grown a lot during the past few years, but the city is gearing up for what Jenks Chamber of Commerce President  Josh Driskell says will be a game-changer: the new outlet mall. It's set to open in the middle part of next year. He says it will bring in lots of shoppers and lots of spending all over Jenks. “They're going to be in downtown Jenks, they're going to be visiting Riverwalk, they're going to be visiting restaurants all throughout the community,” Driskell said. Besides the mall, there are other notable projects, including a new hotel that recently broke ground near the Gateway Mortgage headquarters near Highway 75. Driskell said there could be a new office building coming to that area too. He says city leaders are also excited about a new octopus exhibit at the Oklahoma Aquarium which is expected to boost attendance figures there when it opens in March.
  • Beginning up to 24 hours of opening arguments, House impeachment managers started Wednesday to lay out the basics of their case against President Donald Trump, arguing the evidence is overwhelming that the President is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 'Ultimately, the question for you is whether the President's undisputed actions require the removal of the 45th President from office,' said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who opened the House presentation with a speech of over two hours. 'Over the coming days, you will hear remarkably consistent evidence of President Trump's corrupt scheme and cover up,' Schiff added, arguing that Mr. Trump tried to use Ukraine to do his 'political dirty work' in an effort to smear former Vice President Joe Biden. Democrats charge the President withheld over $200 million in military aid for Ukraine in a bid to force the government to announce an investigation of Biden, and another investigation into what Schiff labeled 'that crazy conspiracy theory,' where Ukraine - and not Russia - hacked Democrats during the 2016 campaign. At the first break of the afternoon, the sharp break along party lines was clearly evident as Senators spilled out of the chamber. 'So far, we haven't heard anything new,' Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters just off the Senate floor.  'What we ought to be presented is evidence by witnesses that have personal knowledge,' Cornyn said, drawing an approving reaction from Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who was waiting to speak to reporters. But Cornyn made clear those witnesses should have testified in the House - not in the Senate, as Democrats have asked the Senate to hear testimony. Asked if there was any deal in the works between the two parties to have witness testimony - where Democrats would be able to call former Trump aide John Bolton, and Republicans would question Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden - Schumer told reporters that was not happening. 'That's not even on the table,' Schumer said. Under the rules, House prosecutors have up to 24 hours - over three days - to present their case, which means they could be talking on the Senate floor through Friday. For now, there was no evidence that it was changing any GOP minds. 'I stayed awake, but I didn't hear anything new,' said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).
  • Spain’s new government declared a national climate emergency on Tuesday, taking a formal first step toward enacting ambitious measures to fight climate change. The declaration approved by the Cabinet says the left-of-center Socialist government will send to parliament within 100 days its proposed climate legislation. The targets coincide with those of the European Union, including a reduction of net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Spain’s coalition government wants up to 95% of the Mediterranean country’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2040. The plan also foresees eliminating pollution by buses and trucks and making farming carbon neutral. Details of the plan are to be made public when the proposed legislation is sent to parliament for approval. More than two dozen countries and scores of local and regional authorities have declared a climate emergency in recent years. Scientists say the decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record. Also Tuesday, young climate activists including Greta Thunberg told the elites gathered at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland they are not doing enough to deal with the climate emergency and warned them that time was running out.
  • Mayor G.T. Bynum has confirmed to KRMG that he will name TPD Major Wendell Franklin as the next police chief for the city of Tulsa. Franklin, 46, had most recently served as commander of the department's Headquarters Division. In a public forum featuring the four finalists for the position held last Friday, Franklin spoke about the importance of using modern technology and data-driven decision making to enhance public safety. And, he promised to make the gathering and dissemination of that data as transparent as possible. Franklin was promoted over three deputy chiefs who were also finalists, Jonathan Brooks, Eric Dalgleish, and Dennis Larsen. Franklin grew up in Tulsa, and at only two years old, lost his mother to violence. But, he said Friday, he hadn't planned on a career in law enforcement until after he graduated from Booker T Washington High School. He enrolled at Tulsa Community College, where a counselor steered him toward criminal justice. He has served with the department for 23 years. 
  • Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has announced a temporary halt to its production of certain Excedrin headache pills, multiple news outlets are reporting. According to CNN and WSYR-TV, the company said in a statement Tuesday that it “discovered inconsistencies in how we weigh ingredients for Excedrin Extra Strength Caplets and Geltabs, and Excedrin Migraine Caplets and Geltabs.” The inconsistencies should not affect customer safety, the statement read. The company added that it is “working hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible” but could not say when it would start producing the items again, the outlets reported. “Other Excedrin products are available along with other pain-relieving drugs, but dosages may differ,” the statement said. WSYR reported that some drugstores had a shortage of Excedrin products as a result. Read more here or here.

Washington Insider

  • Beginning up to 24 hours of opening arguments, House impeachment managers started Wednesday to lay out the basics of their case against President Donald Trump, arguing the evidence is overwhelming that the President is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 'Ultimately, the question for you is whether the President's undisputed actions require the removal of the 45th President from office,' said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who opened the House presentation with a speech of over two hours. 'Over the coming days, you will hear remarkably consistent evidence of President Trump's corrupt scheme and cover up,' Schiff added, arguing that Mr. Trump tried to use Ukraine to do his 'political dirty work' in an effort to smear former Vice President Joe Biden. Democrats charge the President withheld over $200 million in military aid for Ukraine in a bid to force the government to announce an investigation of Biden, and another investigation into what Schiff labeled 'that crazy conspiracy theory,' where Ukraine - and not Russia - hacked Democrats during the 2016 campaign. At the first break of the afternoon, the sharp break along party lines was clearly evident as Senators spilled out of the chamber. 'So far, we haven't heard anything new,' Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters just off the Senate floor.  'What we ought to be presented is evidence by witnesses that have personal knowledge,' Cornyn said, drawing an approving reaction from Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who was waiting to speak to reporters. But Cornyn made clear those witnesses should have testified in the House - not in the Senate, as Democrats have asked the Senate to hear testimony. Asked if there was any deal in the works between the two parties to have witness testimony - where Democrats would be able to call former Trump aide John Bolton, and Republicans would question Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden - Schumer told reporters that was not happening. 'That's not even on the table,' Schumer said. Under the rules, House prosecutors have up to 24 hours - over three days - to present their case, which means they could be talking on the Senate floor through Friday. For now, there was no evidence that it was changing any GOP minds. 'I stayed awake, but I didn't hear anything new,' said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).
  • The first substantive day of President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial turned into a late night, insult-filled battle between House prosecutors and the President's legal team, as Republicans voted down repeated efforts by Democrats to have the Senate subpoena witnesses and documents related to the Ukraine impeachment investigation. 'They will not permit the American people to hear from the witnesses,' Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said, taking direct aim at the President's lawyers. 'And they lie. And lie and lie and lie.' That prompted an immediate response from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who demanded that Nadler apologize, accusing him of making repeated false allegations about President Trump. 'The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you,' Cipollone said. Just before 1 am, Chief Justice John Roberts warned both sides to tone it down, his first real foray into the impeachment trial. 'I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and the President's counsel, in equal terms, to remember that they are addressing the world's greatest deliberative body,' as the Chief Justice made clear the debate was not following along the lines of civil discourse. 'I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are,' Chief Justice Roberts added. Democrats kept the Senate working past midnight in a bid to put Republicans on the record on calling witnesses like former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and other top officials who defied subpoenas from the House. 'The House calls John Bolton. The House calls Mick Mulvaney,' Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said at one point. 'Let's get this trial started, shall we?' But with Republicans sticking together, GOP Senators defeated a series of Democratic amendments to an impeachment rules resolution on identical votes of 53-47 - straight along party lines. Democrats said there was only one reason why Republicans were not looking to hear from new witnesses - because they don't want to hear the real Ukraine story. On the other side, Republicans joined the White House legal team in blasting the demands of Democrats. 'The only thing that’s rigged is Democrats’ perpetual effort to undo the results of the 2016 election,' said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). In the end, no Republicans broke ranks, as the GOP defeated 11 different amendments by Democrats to change the GOP rules plan, bringing about a final vote over 12 hours after the Senate convened.
  • Facing opposition from within Republican ranks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented an amended rules proposal on Tuesday to govern the start of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, most significantly giving more time for House prosecutors and the President's lawyers to make their opening arguments. The changes came after a lunch meeting of GOP Senators, where Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and others expressed reservations about the idea of forcing each side to cram 24 hours of opening arguments into just two days. 'She and others raised concerns about the 24 hrs of opening statements in 2 days,' a spokeswoman for Collins told reporters. Along with that change, McConnell backed off a provision which would not allow evidence from the House impeachment investigation to be put in the record without a vote of the Senate. The changes were made as House prosecutors and the President's legal team made their first extended statements of the Trump impeachment trial. 'Why should this trial be any different than any other trial? The short answer is, it shouldn't,' said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), as he made the case that the Senate rules would not pass muster in a regular courtroom. 'This idea that we should ignore what has taken place over the last three years is outrageous,' said Jay Sekulow, the President's personal attorney, who joined White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in arguing against the impeachment charges. 'It's very difficult to sit there and listen to Mr. Schiff tell the tale that he just told,' Cipollone said, in one of the first direct jabs of the impeachment trial. “A partisan impeachment is like stealing an election,” Cipollone added. While there were GOP differences on the rules package offered by Republican leaders, GOP Senators stuck together on the first substantive vote of the impeachment trial, defeating an effort by Democrats to subpoena certain materials from the White House. The first vote was 53-47 to block an amendment offered by the Democratic Leader, Sen. Schumer.  It was straight along party lines. A second vote along party lines blocked a call by Democrats to subpoena documents from the State Department. Opening arguments are expected to begin on Wednesday.
  • A GOP rules plan for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump unveiled by Senate Republicans on Monday could pave the way for the trial to be finished in as little as two weeks, as the plan envisions squeezing 48 hours of opening arguments into just four days, with the option of voting on the impeachment articles without any additional witnesses or evidence. 'Just because the House proceedings were a circus that doesn’t mean the Senate’s trial needs to be,' said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who fully endorsed the proposal from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. While GOP Senators said the plan would be modeled on a bipartisan rules deal at the start of the Clinton impeachment trial, there were two notable differences from 21 years ago, governing opening arguments, and the submission of evidence. While each side would get 24 hours to make their opening arguments, this GOP plan would force that time to be used in just two days - raising the specter of an impeachment trial which could stretch well into the night because of those time constraints. Another change would require an affirmative vote by the Senate to simply put the investigatory materials from the House into the trial record, something which was done automatically in the Clinton impeachment trial. Also, even if extra witnesses were approved by Senators, it would not guarantee their testimony on the Senate floor, as there would have to be a vote after the depositions on whether the witness would testify publicly. With a Tuesday debate set on the rules, Republicans also made clear they would not support any move to add witnesses until after opening arguments have been completed. 'If attempts are made to vote on witnesses prior to opening arguments, I would oppose those efforts,' said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). Meanwhile, Democrats roundly denounced the GOP rules details. 'The proposal that Majority Leader McConnell just released looks more like a cover up than a fair trial,' said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). 'Mitch McConnell doesn't want a fair trial, he wants a fast trial,' said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). 'It's all about the cover up,' said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). 'These are not the Clinton rules.' 'There’s nothing in this resolution that requires hearing witnesses or admitting evidence — which is unlike any trial I’ve ever seen,' said Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN). 'Under this resolution, Senator McConnell is saying he doesn’t want to hear any of the existing evidence, and he doesn’t want to hear any new evidence,' said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who promised to offer amendments to the plan on Tuesday afternoon. Debate and votes on the rules resolution will start on Tuesday afternoon - and could turn into an extended battle on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
  • In a 171 page submission made to the U.S. Senate on Monday, President Donald Trump's legal team said the impeachment charges submitted by the House do not identify any violations of criminal law and should immediately by dismissed by Senators. 'The articles should be rejected and the President should immediately be acquitted,' the legal brief states, arguing the charge of 'abuse of power' does not state an impeachable offense - even though that charge was drawn up by the House in 1974 against President Richard Nixon. 'House Democrats’ novel conception of “abuse of power” as a supposedly impeachable offense is constitutionally defective,' the Trump brief states. 'It supplants the Framers’ standard of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” with a made-up theory that the President can be impeached and removed from office under an amorphous and undefined standard of 'abuse of power.'' On the question of whether President Trump held back military aid for Ukraine while pressing the Ukraine government to announce investigations related to Joe Biden and his son, the White House legal team says there is no evidence to support those claims. 'The most important piece of evidence demonstrating the President’s innocence is the transcript of the President’s July 25 telephone call with President Zelenskyy,' the trial brief states, referring to the call which President Trump has repeatedly said was 'perfect.' 'President Trump did not even mention the security assistance on the call, and he certainly did not make any connection between the assistance and any investigation,' the White House legal team states, without mentioning that a hold was put on the aid to Ukraine 90 minutes after that phone call concluded on July 25, 2019. From the White House on Monday, the President tweeted out his familiar opposition to the impeachment trial, continuing to characterize the House impeachment process as unfair. Minutes after the White House filed its trial brief, Democrats in the House responded to his initial 'answer' to the Senate trial summons. 'The House denies each and every allegation and defense in the Preamble to the Answer,' the nine page response began. 'He used Presidential powers to pressure a vulnerable foreign partner to interfere in our elections for his own benefit,' referring to the President's interactions with the leader of Ukraine.  'President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment,” the House reply added. “That is a chilling assertion. It is also dead wrong,' the House concluded.