Impeachment trial of President Trump

adam schiff friday night
3 days. 24 hours. Hear the case against President Trump
04:15 - Source: CNN

Where things stand

  • What happened: Democratic House managers have wrapped up their opening arguments. It was their final chance to make an uninterrupted pitch to senators.
  • Tomorrow: The trial resumes at 10 a.m. ET. President Trump’s legal team will begin their opening arguments.

Our live coverage has ended, but you can scroll through the posts to read more.

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The impeachment trial has ended for the day. Here's what happened.

The Democratic House managers have concluded the final day of their opening statements in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

The President’s defense team is expected to take the podium at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow to deliver their opening remarks.

In case you missed it, here’s what happened today:

  • Democrats wrap up arguments: Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado opened the day by continuing to try to get ahead of arguments likely to come from the President’s legal team when they begin their presentation tomorrow, pushing back on expected defense about the withholding of US security aid. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries claimed in his remarks that the President worked hard to hide his misconduct. “The President tried to cheat. He got caught, and then he worked hard to cover it up,” he said. 
  • Republican senators derided the arguments as repetitive: GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said today that the House impeachment managers have been “very professional, very respectful” in presenting their case, despite a couple of “dust-ups” at the beginning of the trial. But he criticized Democrats for being repetitive, saying the managers are “over-trying their case.”
  • Shorter session tomorrow: The President’s lawyers will begin their arguments, and the Senate is starting earlier at 10 a.m. ET. The President’s attorney Jay Sekulow previewed what tomorrow’s arguments would look like, saying, “I guess we would call it a trailer, and a coming attractions would be the best way to say it. And obviously, three hours to put it out, so we will take whatever time is appropriate in the three hours to lay out how the case is going to look like and next week is the full presentation.”
  • Trump is not happy about the session: The President complained about the start date on Twitter this morning, saying, “looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.” Graham, a Trump ally, said he spoke to the President recently and Trump told him he’s “bored” by the proceedings.
  • Democratic leader urges senators to support witness vote: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked his Republican colleagues to join Democrats in voting for witnesses and documents at the Senate trial. At least 51 senators must vote in order to subpoena documents and witnesses. If all 47 senators who caucus with the Democrats vote for the motion, at least four Republican senators would need to join them in order to pass it.

The Democrats wrap up their opening arguments

The Democratic House managers’ remarks have concluded.

The trial is now adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Schiff makes a final plea for witnesses: "Give America a fair trial"

Rep. Adam Schiff urged senators not to rush the impeachment trial of President Trump and to consider allowing witnesses.

“This is no parking ticket we are contesting, no shoplifting case we are prosecuting. It is a matter of high crimes and misdemeanors,” he said.

Schiff continued: “How long is too long to have a fair trial? Fair to the President and fair to the American people. The American people do not agree on much but they will not forgive being deprived of the truth and certainly not because it took a backseat to expediency.”

The California Democrat closed his argument with a final plea to senators:

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Schiff lays out what he expects to hear from Trump's defense team

House manager Adam Schiff laid out several arguments he expects to hear from President Trump’s attorneys in the coming days.

The California Democrat said he anticipates Trump’s attorneys will argue that Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president was “perfect” — a line that the President has frequently repeated.

Schiff went on to say that he suspects they don’t want to make that argument, but have to because Trump will want to hear it.

“You will hear, the call was perfect. The call was perfect. Now, I suspect the reason they will make the argument, the call was perfect, is because the President insists that they do. I don’t think they really want to have to make that argument. You wouldn’t either, but they have a client to represent and so they will make the argument, the call was perfect,” he said.

Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the Senate would likely hear Trump’s attorneys bring up that the President said there was no quid pro quo. 

“The President said there was no quid pro quo. That’s the end of the story. This is the criminal law that if the defendant says he didn’t do it, he couldn’t have done it. If the defendant learns he’s been caught and he says he didn’t do it, he couldn’t have done it. That doesn’t hold up in any court in the land. It shouldn’t hold up here,” he said.

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Schiff says he expects Trump's attorneys will "attack" his team

Rep. Adam Schiff said that he anticipates that President Trump’s attorneys will “attack the managers” during their opening arguments.

He said he expects they’ll claim, “Those managers are just awful. They’re terrible people. Especially that Schiff guy. He’s the worst. He’s the worst.”

Schiff argued that this is meant to distract from Trump’s misconduct.

“Attacks on the managers, attacks on other House members, attacks on the speaker, attacks on who knows what. It’s all of the same ilk. Whatever you do, just don’t consider the President’s misconduct.”

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