I haven’t had a lot to add through hours of these House Manager impeachment arguments. But right now I’m watching Adam Schiff and well … he’s making a really convincing, damning set of arguments about all the accusations the President’s lawyers are denying while they simultaneously refuse to release records which would quickly confirm and refute those accusations. These are cases in which we know there are contemporaneous notes or other records. The answers are there. But they refuse to release them. It is a damning indictment not only of the President but even more his Senate accomplices.
The President is stonewalling and his Senate accomplices are backing him up. They’re supposed to be jurors but they want to help him keep the proof secret. There’s really nothing else to say.
This is how to do it: make clear that it is the Senate Republican caucus which is on trial and act accordingly.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a witness to the late stages of Trump’s hold on Ukraine military assistance, visibly shook his head in apparent disagreement as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) described the major points of that phase of the pressure campaign.
Everything today is impeachment. We sit here listening to Adam Schiff make the House’s opening statement. But even with that I want to flag your attention to this story about the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the hacking of Jeff Bezos’s cell phone.
At one level it is a tabloid story. Bezos’s phone was allegedly hacked and the hackers discovered evidence of an affair. Evidence was later shared with The National Enquirer. They published it. Bezos’s was embarrassed and he and his wife announced they were divorcing.
But this is a much, much bigger deal than the marital embarrassment of the richest man in the world.
After a late night of proceedings in the Senate, in which the majority party shot down each and every one of the minority’s amendments to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) rules for the impeachment trial, we were expecting Senate Republicans to file procedural motions this morning, including a possible motion to dismiss. It’s just after 10 a.m. ET and we’ve seen nothing, meaning Senate Republicans likely lack the votes to support an outright dismissal. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:
A very amped-up Jay Sekulow ended his argument against Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) latest amendment with a diatribe against what Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) had said about “lawyer lawsuits.” His repeated comments about “lawyer lawsuits” appeared to prompt confusion on the House managers table in the well of the chamber, where the House members are joined by lawyers who have been working on the House inquiry.
So far, I would say Chairman Schiff has done a good job at putting Senate Republicans on trial. As I’ve suggested previously, I don’t expect this will shift their views. But it will put their participation in this cover-up in stark relief. And that is a story for the November election.
I’m going to be doing running updates in our staff blog with my colleagues. But here’s one nugget I wanted to share with you here. It really captures the whole story. The President’s lawyer Pat Cipollone says that all the evidence will show that “the President has done absolutely nothing wrong.” In other words, there’s no argument here that this hasn’t met some threshold or that there’s some shortcoming in evidence. The argument is that everything we’ve learned is completely fine.
"the president has done absolutely nothing wrong." … that pretty much says it all. pic.twitter.com/Hv4zeYy4SC
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 21, 2020
President Trump went down in history this month as the third president to be impeached, in part over an abuse of power allegation involving an attempt to extort Ukraine into attacking Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.
But the story of the pressure campaign actually begins long before this year, with an individual who has gone without much mentioned during the impeachment inquiry: Paul Manafort.