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Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

President Trump’s impeachment defense team has been all over the place, deploying an at-times unhinged, but transparent string of defenses since they took over the Senate trial on Saturday.

Before the trial wrapped up for the evening on Monday, Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz took to the floor to lay out a constitutional case against impeaching the President, resurrecting the former President Andrew Johnson-era defense that an act has to be criminal to be impeachable. I spoke to one of our on-call experts about why this argument is dizzying.

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Last night White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham appeared on the Trump administration-friendly Fox Business show “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” when she suggested that former National Security Adviser John Bolton was shamelessly selling his former administration access in his new book.

“How much does it cost to sell out potential national security in your country?” Grisham asked.

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This week in impeachment

The Senate impeachment trial officially began in this week, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) rules being approved along party lines early Wednesday morning and every single one of the minority’s amendments to the rules getting shut down, almost entirely along party lines as well. Besides a few key Republican moderates who may be convinced to allow witnesses and new documents to get entered into the public record, the results of this first day — and late night — of impeachment proceedings maybe be a sign of what’s to come.

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House impeachment managers will spend their third day in the spotlight arguing that President Trump obstructed Congress by stonewalling congressional investigators’ requests for documents and witness testimony while the House was conducting its impeachment inquiry.

At the end of the day, the baton will be tossed to Trump’s legal team, who will begin their opening arguments on Saturday. The ever ratings-obsessed Trump is reportedly not happy that his lawyers’ first stab at his defense is taking place over the weekend, rather than during the week. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

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President Trump set a new personal record last night with the most posts to his Twitter feed in any single day. As we noted in our liveblog coverage, as of 8:30 p.m. ET, he’d tweeted or retweeted 140 posts about a litany of topics, from the impeachment trial, to immigration, to attacks on a favorite nemesis — Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). The majority of these tweets were posted during the span of time that he was en route back from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has known for weeks that he didn’t have the votes to outright dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump as opposed to opening the case up for trial in his caucus. While the White House initially pushed for the inclusion of a motion to dismiss the case in McConnell’s rules resolution, the caucus has remained hesitant to take that leap due to opposition from some key moderates, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AK), Lamar Alexander (TN), Susan Collins (ME) and Mitt Romney (UT).

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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:

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