Former President Trump was happier today with today's presentation by his defense team than he was after their first presentation earlier in the week, a source on the impeachment team confirmed to CNN.
The Senate is back in session after taking their second break of the day.
They are now expected to start a question and answer session that could take up to four hours. It’s not clear if they will use the full four hours, but that will likely be the last thing they do today.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, just went into the LBJ Room, which former President Trump’s lawyers are using as a workspace.
Trump attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor are also in there.
Graham’s arrival was seen on the Reception Room pool camera about four minutes ago.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, was in the LBJ room in the previous break.
Former President Trump's defense team cut their rebuttal short because advisers wanted David Schoen to be present for the question-and-answer session before he leaves to observe the Sabbath, a person familiar says.
Notably, only one attorney was willing to push former President Trump's voter fraud claims, Bruce Castor. Trump has been complaining about Castor all week long and briefly considered firing him.
Additionally, CNN's Kaitlan Collins was told the attorneys were very defensive as Republican senators sought to give them advice ahead of their rebuttal today and repeatedly interrupted them.
The Republicans didn't think their arguments were breaking through to the defense team, one person said.
Senators will be able to ask questions of the House impeachment managers and former President Trump's legal team now that they have concluded their arguments.
CNN obtained the question card senators will use during the question and answer portion. They have to write questions as they are not allowed to speak during the trial.
As in the first impeachment trial last year, these questions are submitted in writing and then read out loud by the presiding officer. In this case, that will be Sen. Patrick Leahy, the longtime Vermont Democrat.
There will be up to four hours of "senators’ questions." It’s unknown if they will use the full four hours.
This is the card that will be used by the senators:
Some former Trump White House officials and advisers said they were still sickened by Trump's actions on Jan. 6 and were disappointed in the defense mounted by the former President's impeachment team.
One of those aides, a former senior White House official, said Trump's lawyers were making a mistake in trying to explain away the former President's role in the siege at the Capitol.
"They lose when they're relitigating the tragedy of Jan. 6," the official said.
Another top official said some former Trump White House staffers are still furious that the ex-President placed Vice President Mike Pence in a dangerous situation by blaming him for failing to overturn the election results.
"He wanted someone to blame, and Pence became the fall guy," the official said. "Infuriating," the official added about Trump's behavior toward Pence that day.
Still, a Trump adviser said the former President's lawyers made the right decision in opting for a quick defense.
"Enough cover to acquit," the adviser said.
As for the Trump defense, impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor said the team is not expected to call witnesses.
Trump's legal team just wrapped up presenting their case during the former President's second impeachment trial.
Senators are now taking a short break. Here's what to expect today and tomorrow:
- The Q&A period: When they return, they will begin up to four hours for senators’ questions. It’s not clear if they will use the full four hours, but that will likely be the last thing they do today. There's no way of estimating what time questions will be done because any senator can decide to ask a question on the floor on the fly as long as it's within the four-hour time period, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced earlier today they would take a dinner break at 5 p.m. ET.
- Saturday session: Democratic senators told CNN they've been informed that the Senate will reconvene at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow.
- The vote to acquit or convict: A final vote will be around 3 p.m. ET. This is not locked in yet and can change, but that's the expectation at the moment. Conviction requires two-thirds of senators present to offer "guilty" votes. Normally, two-thirds is 67 senators, which would require 17 Republican votes.
The Senate is taking their second break of the day.
The defense team team just wrapped up presenting their case during former President Trump's second impeachment trial.
His attorneys argued that Trump's language on Jan. 6 telling his supporters to "fight like hell" was merely "ordinary political rhetoric," and that the House impeachment managers ignored Trump's comments in his speech for protesters to remain peaceful.
Trump's lawyers also went after House Democrats, accusing them of carrying out political retribution by impeaching the former president a second time after going after him throughout his time in office. They accused the managers of selectively editing footage of Trump's speeches.
The Senate is expected to begin a question-and-answer session when they come back.
The Senate will turn to the question-and-answer period after former President Trump's defense team is done shortly, according to Democratic Senate sources.
They will take a short break when Trump's defense team finishes, and when they return, they will begin up to four hours of “senators’ questions.”
It’s unknown if they will use the full four hours, but that will likely be the last thing they do today. There's no way of estimating what time questions will be done because any senator can decide to ask a question on the floor on the fly as long as it's within the four-hour time period.
Remember: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced they would take a dinner break at 5 p.m. ET.
Democratic senators told CNN they've been informed that the Senate will reconvene at 10 a.m. ET tomorrow, and the final vote will be around 3 p.m. ET. This is not locked in yet and can change, but that's the expectation at the moment.