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Politics Chief Justice Roberts admonishes both sides at Senate impeachment trial, after marathon session erupts into shouting match

09:45  22 january  2020
09:45  22 january  2020 Source:   foxnews.com

Senate trial expected to start January 21

  Senate trial expected to start January 21 The trial is expected to last three to five weeks.The House is expected to send over the articles on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed the transmission. There aren't enough votes for an outright dismissal of the articles of impeachment, as Mr. Trump had hoped.

The Senate began debating trial rules midday Tuesday. At 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, nine hours into debate over the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed Chief Justice Roberts admonished both sides for failing to respect the decorum of the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.”

After a nearly 13-hour session , the Senate voted to approve Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's blueprint for the president's impeachment trial . Chief Justice John Roberts admonished both House managers and Trump’s counsel, "in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the

A marathon first day in the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump erupted into a shouting match well after midnight Wednesday morning, as Trump's legal team unloaded on Democratic impeachment manager Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. -- in an exchange that prompted a bleary-eyed Chief Justice John Roberts to sternly admonish both sides for misconduct in the chamber.

Nadler began the historic spat by speaking in support of the eighth amendment of the day proposed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial

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WASHINGTON — A divided Senate began the impeachment trial of President Trump on So the Senate should prepare to remain in session today until we complete this resolution and adopt it.” Only two other American presidents have stood trial in the Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The Senate trial on the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, abuse of power and Chief Justice John Roberts , who has presided over hours of proceedings, took a moment to rebuke both sides after things got testy between House impeachment manager Jerry Nadler and

Schumer's previous attempted alterations to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's rules were rejected by a united Republican contingent by votes of 53-47. The eighth amendment, issued as the clock struck midnight, was to issue a subpoena for former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has reportedly described Trump's conduct as akin to a "drug deal." 

Nader, who was overheard apparently planning to impeach Trump back in 2018, said it would be a "treacherous vote" and a "cover-up" for Republicans to reject the Bolton subpoena, claiming that "only guilty people try to hide evidence."

“It’s embarrassing,” Nadler began. “The president is on trial in the Senate, but the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people. Will you vote to allow all the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray you pledge to be an impartial juror? ... Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the president's misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the president's coverup? So far I'm sad to say I see a lot of senators voting for a coverup, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote.”

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  Chief Justice leaves his friendly confines for Trump impeachment trial Charles E. Grassley was one of the first senators to suggest Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. might be uncomfortable presiding over the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump — in part because it will be televised. The Iowa Republican, who will swear in Roberts for his role Thursday, has long been an advocate for adding cameras to the Supreme Court. But Roberts and the other justices haven’t budged. They still conduct oral arguments and announce opinions in a courtroom without cameras or cell phones. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Senators will have to give up their cellphones and speeches, and sit silently at their desks for the duration of the impeachment trial . Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. swore in senators on Thursday for President Trump’s impeachment trial .Credit Senate Television, via Associated Press.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presides over the start of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump as the House impeachment managers sit to one side and the president's legal team sits on the other side in the Senate Chamber more. Reuters / Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

Trump's legal team immediately rose in response.

Mitch McConnell wearing glasses and a suit and tie © Provided by FOX News

"We've been respectful of the Senate," an animated White House counsel Pat Cipollone fired back. "We've made our arguments to you. And you don't deserve, and we don't deserve, what just happened. Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team. He made false allegations against all of you; he accused you of a cover-up. He's been making false allegations against the president. The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler is you, for the way you've addressed the United States Senate. This is the United States Senate. You're not in charge here. ... It’s about time we bring this power trip in for a landing."

The outbursts prompted Roberts, who as Chief Justice of the United States is constitutionally required to serve as the presiding judge in the impeachment trial, to admonish both sides of the debate. Roberts called the Senate the "world's greatest deliberative body" and added that "those addressing the Senate should remember where they are."

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Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. arrives for the Senate impeachment trial at the Capitol. Roberts is both conservative and interested in avoiding an appearance of partisanship by the Supreme Court. “If the Democrats think that he will intervene on their side ,” Seidman wrote, “they are kidding

Chief Justice John Roberts gaveled open the session , with House prosecutors on one side , Trump's team on the other, in the well of the Senate . The rare impeachment trial , unfolding in an election year, is testing whether Trump's actions toward Ukraine warrant removal at the same time that voters

"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," Roberts said. "One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner, and using language, that is not conducive to civil discourse. "

Roberts continued: "In the 1905 [Judge Charles] Swayne trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word 'pettifogging' -- and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don't think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are."

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Chief Justice John Roberts took the rostrum shortly after 1:15 p.m., and barely half Reporters who filed into the press gallery directly above the Chief Justice ’s head faced a stern warning from Schiff insisted that McConnell’s plan to vote on calling potential witnesses only after both sides present

According to Senate rules, the trial session will begin at 1 pm in Washington, when Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger is expected to Roberts will be present to preside over the proceedings. He will be accompanied on the dias by two women, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough and

The vote on the Bolton amendment, like the roll call on Schumer's previous failed quixotic proposals on the day, was not a final determination on any witness or document request.

At 1:30 a.m. ET, Schumer introduced his last amendment for the day -- and he unexpectedly put Roberts back in the spotlight. The proposal would have allowed Roberts to decide the appropriateness of witnesses, which Republicans nixed because the Constitution affords the Senate the sole power over impeachment trials.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts pulled double duty on Tuesday as he juggled dual responsibilities at the Supreme Court and President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial . His long day began in the familiar confines of the ornate

The Senate will control the cameras during the impeachment trial , limiting what viewers see, and News coverage of President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate began last week with a On Capitol Hill, there is speculation that the restrictions were put in place because Chief Justice John G

That last amendment was tabled by a 53-47 party-line vote, just like ten of Schumer's other amendments on the day.

Patty Murray, Chuck Schumer sitting at a table: Senate debates amendments during Senate impeachment trial. © FoxNews.com Senate debates amendments during Senate impeachment trial.

When McConnell thanked Roberts for his "patience" as the proceedings wrapped up at 1:40 a.m. ET following that vote, Roberts remarked to applause, "It comes with the job."

Shortly before the Senate impeachment trial dragged on overnight into the wee hours Wednesday with a series of Democrat-proposed subpoena requests that Republicans methodically shot down one-by-one, McConnell had offered Democrats an option: bundle all of their document requests into a "stack" for a single vote, so that the process could move along.

But, Schumer was having none of it -- and made clear that he wanted individual votes on each of Democrats' proposed amendments to McConnell's trial rules, no matter how long it took. McConnell's rules passed 53-47 followed immediately by adjournment until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

McConnell and Trump's lawyers, for their part, pointed out that Democrats' case couldn't be as open-and-shut and "overwhelming" as they had claimed, given their apparent need for scores of additional documents and witnesses even after the House-led impeachment probe.

Lessons from the Clinton impeachment: Former House managers recall their experiences

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Chief justice John Roberts gaveled the trial to order shortly after 1pm. “The Senate will convene as a court of impeachment ,” Roberts said, proceeding to swear in one senator , James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who missed the group swearing-in last week. The chamber first faced the procedural hurdle of a vote

Chief Justice John Roberts swore in the senators for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial after House managers proceeded to the Senate Earlier Thursday, the lead House manager in the trial , Rep. Adam Schiff, read the two articles of impeachment against the president on the Senate

Nevertheless, "a number" of additional amendments were going to be offered, Schumer promised. Indeed, at 10:30 p.m. ET, Schumer rose to present his sixth proposal of the day: a subpoena for the testimony of White House budget aides Robert Blair and Michael Duffey. Debate on that proposal wrapped up in a little over an hour before the Senate voted to table it.

Then, at 11:19 p.m. ET, Schumer introduced yet another amendment, in the form of a procedural modification requiring that if any party "seeks to admit evidence that has not been submitted as part of the record of the House of Representatives and that was subject to a duly authorized subpoena," then that party "shall also provide the opposing party all other documents responsive to that subpoena."  However, Trump's lawyers objected to the premise that the House's subpoenas were "duly authorized," given that the subpoenas were not issued pursuant to an impeachment inquiry authorized by a vote of the full House.

The Bolton amendment came next, followed by another procedural amendment on subpoenas.

In all, the Senate handed President Trump a series of wins throughout the day Tuesday by voting 53-47 ten separate times to effectively kill a series of previous proposals from Schumer to subpoena White House, State Department, Defense Department, and Office of Management and Budget documents, as well as acting White House Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney, Blair and Duffey, respectively.

Warren puts Justice Roberts in awkward spot with Supreme Court legitimacy question

  Warren puts Justice Roberts in awkward spot with Supreme Court legitimacy question Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a seemingly awkward dynamic into the impeachment proceedings when she asked if Republicans' likely refusal to allow new witnesses in President Trump's trial would diminish trust in the chief justice or the Supreme Court."The question from Senator Warren is for the House managers," Roberts began."At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the supreme court, and t

After U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts convened the proceedings, the two sides began more than 12 hours of squabbling that lasted into Wednesday morning over Senate Majority Leader Mitch After a particularly heated exchange over whether Bolton should testify, Roberts admonished both parties

Slideshow by photo services

The party-line votes demonstrated GOP unity at the start of the trial, which is all but certain to result in the president's acquittal.

An additional, less consequential amendment on written responses was tabled by a 52-vote majority. For the first time in the day a  Republican -- Maine Sen. Susan Collins -- joined the Democrats and voted not to table the amendment.

Meanwhile, a report emerged in Politico that Democrats' lead impeachment manager, California Rep. Adam Schiff, may have publicly mischaracterized evidence in the case. Schiff had asserted that Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President [Volodymyr] Zelensky" -- but the "mr Z" that Parnas was referring to in his text message was apparently not Ukraine's president, but Ukrainian businessman Mykola Zlochevsky.

There were signs that attention was flagging in the chamber with the night winding on. As of 10 p.m. ET, the galleries to watch the proceedings contained only 29 members of the public.

Eventually, once Democrats' amendments are all defeated, the Senate voted on McConnell's underlying rules resolution in order to set the ground rules.

"It’s getting late," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said late Tuesday night. "I would ask you, respectfully, if we could simply start, maybe tomorrow we can start -- and they can make their argument, and they can, I guess, make a case that they once called 'overwhelming.' We'll see... Seriously, can we please start?”

As Democrats' amendments were summarily shot down, reports emerged that some Democrats were privately considering something of a compromise: calling for the testimony of Hunter Biden in exchange for the appearance of some key administration officials. Biden obtained a lucrative board role with a Ukrainian company while his father, Joe Biden, was overseeing Ukrainian policy as vice president.

Trump had asked in his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukraine's president for a look into Joe Biden's admitted pressure campaign to have Ukraine's top prosecutor fired.

Republicans have sought to portray Trump's push for a probe as a legitimate request given the Bidens' dealings in Ukraine, while Democrats have alleged that senior administration officials would testify that the administration withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to secure a politically motivated probe. Mulvaney, for example, has publicly argued that there is nothing wrong with tying financial assistance to anti-corruption efforts and other U.S. objectives, even as the administration has denied specifically targeting the Bidens for political purposes.

Additionally, Republicans have maintained that executive privilege, a longstanding constitutional principle protecting executive branch deliberations from disclosure, by itself defeated the "obstruction of Congress" article of impeachment, while Democrats had only hearsay evidence and speculation to support their "abuse of power" charge. Neither "obstruction of Congress" nor "abuse of power" are federal crimes, and they have no established definition.

Meanwhile, the barrage of amendments Tuesday night put into doubt whether the senators would have time to meet in a closed session to converse -- which would be a valuable opportunity, given that the senators were legally barred from having any sustenance other than water or milk at their desk all day, and could not communicate verbally with one another during the proceedings.

The restriction on cellphone possession and oral interaction led some members to pass and flash written notes to each other like students in a classroom, as Democratic House impeachment managers and the president's legal team traded lengthy legalistic arguments.

At one point during the proceedings, former Bill Clinton press secretary and CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart wrote on Twitter that Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz could go to "prison," noting that Cruz's Twitter account was posting tweets during the trial. Lockhart was quickly mocked by social media users pointing out that it's common for senators' Twitter accounts to be run by staff, and Cruz's representatives confirmed to Fox News that Cruz had not sneaked his phone into the chamber.

Even Cruz's staff couldn't resist poking some fun at Lockhart, writing "COME AND TAKE IT," with an image of a cellphone.

It was a moment of levity in an otherwise emotionally charged day, with Democrats accusing the president of "high crimes and misdemeanors" and Republicans calling out what they see as a transparent partisan stunt.

"It's a partisan impeachment they've delivered to your doorstep in an election year," Cipollone thundered early in the day, pointing out that Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and others, were being pulled off the campaign trail. "Some of you should be in Iowa."

"They're not here to steal one election, they're here to steal two elections," Cipollone added.

JIM JORDAN: THE FOUR FACTS DEMS CAN'T CHANGE

Trump attorney Patrick Philbin said Democrats' document requests were a "stunning admission" that House prosecutors, who had full rein to conduct their own impeachment inquiry, were now essentially asking the Senate "to do their job for them."

California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, one of the House Democrats' impeachment managers, countered in her remarks on the Senate floor that additional documents were needed to provide "clarity."

“As powerful as our evidence is," Lofgren said, "we did not receive a single document from an executive branch agency including the White House itself."

Lofgren specifically sought, among other materials, summary notes from an Aug. 30, 2019 meeting between Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which they apparently tried to convince the president that freeing up aid money for Ukraine would be "the right thing to do."

“It would be wrong for you senators ... to be deprived of the relevant evidence,” Lofgren said.

After the 53-47 vote to table his first subpoena request for White House documents Tuesday afternoon, Schumer introduced a second amendment seeking a slew of State Department documents and records. McConnell quickly moved to table that amendment after two hours of debate were concluded, and it was also rejected by a 53-47 vote.

TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM GOES ON THE OFFENSIVE

Then, Schumer tried once more, this time with an amendment to seek documents from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that were related to the suspension of Ukrainian aid. That, too, failed with a 53-47 vote and was quickly followed by the debate on the Mulvaney amendment.

However, McConnell abruptly backed off some of his proposed rules for the proceedings earlier Tuesday, easing plans for a tight two-day schedule and agreeing that House evidence will be included. He acted after protests from senators, including fellow Republicans who made their concerns known in private at a GOP lunch.

Without comment, the Republican leader submitted an amended proposal after meeting behind closed doors with his fellow senators as the trial opened. The handwritten changes would add an extra day for each side's opening arguments, instead of just two days, and stipulate that evidence from the Democratic House's impeachment hearings would be included in the record.

A spokeswoman for Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate, said that she and others had raised concerns. Collins sees the changes as significant improvements, the spokeswoman said.

Additionally, Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman and a substantial number of other Republicans from across the party's ideological spectrum reportedly wanted to make the changes. Some argued that the two-day limitation would have helped Democrats cast Republicans as squeezing testimony through in the dead of night.

IMPEACHMENT TRIAL RULES SEEM WRITTEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE, NOT THE SENATE, SCHUMER SAYS

The turnaround was a swift lesson as the White House's wishes run into the reality of the Senate.

The White House wanted a session crammed into a shorter period to both expedite the trial and shift more of the proceedings into the late-night hours, according to a person familiar with the matter but unauthorized to discuss it in public.

For his part, though, President Trump appeared undeterred by the proceedings.

“READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!” the president tweeted from overseas, as he returned to his hotel far away from Washington's impeachment drama, at a global leaders economic conference in Davos, Switzerland.

Fox News' Chad Pergram, Mike Emanuel, Jason Donner, and Adam Shaw contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.

Warren puts Justice Roberts in awkward spot with Supreme Court legitimacy question .
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a seemingly awkward dynamic into the impeachment proceedings when she asked if Republicans' likely refusal to allow new witnesses in President Trump's trial would diminish trust in the chief justice or the Supreme Court."The question from Senator Warren is for the House managers," Roberts began."At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the supreme court, and t

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