Politics live updates: Democrats unveil details of Trump's second impeachment trial; Dems call Trump defense 'wholly without merit'

Written by on February 8, 2021


Because the nation braces for Donald Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial, solely half of People consider the Senate ought to vote to convict former president, that is regardless of a majority saying he bears at the least some blame for the Capitol riot Jan. 6. (Feb. 5) AP Home

Senate leaders agreed Monday on shaping how former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will probably be carried out, with arguments consuming most of this week and a call about whether or not to name witnesses days away.

Democrats have been wrestling with whether or not to push for a fast trial or embrace witnesses, which might lengthen the proceedings by weeks or months. Some Democrats are desirous to name witnesses for an exhaustive evaluate of the Capitol riot Jan. 6. However different Democrats wish to transfer shortly past the trial, to confirming President Joe Biden’s nominees and dealing on spending laws for COVID-19.

The trial is historic in a number of methods. Trump was the primary president to be impeached twice and would be the first to be tried after leaving workplace. Senators who will probably be jurors have been additionally witnesses to the riot as they evacuated the chamber, which was occupied by rioters.

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., mentioned he and Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., negotiated the bipartisan framework with Home managers and Trump’s protection workforce.

The framework requires 4 hours of debate Tuesday about whether or not the case ought to be dismissed. Trump’s protection workforce argues that the trial is unconstitutional as a result of he already left workplace.

The Senate should nonetheless vote on the decision that Schumer outlined.

However the Senate has already rejected some extent of order about whether or not the trial was unconstitutional, on a 55-45 vote. Congressional Democrats cited precedents about trials of a Cupboard secretary and judges after they left workplace.

If case isn’t dismissed, the trial continues Wednesday with Home prosecutors, who’re referred to as managers, and Trump’s protection workforce every having 16 hours for arguments.

“Either side can have ample time to make their arguments,” Schumer mentioned.

After either side full their arguments, Home managers might make a contentious request for witnesses. Most Republicans and a few Democrats say witnesses would vastly delay the trial. However some Democrats need a thorough trial.

Schumer mentioned the Senate would honor a request from considered one of Trump’s attorneys, David Schoen, to keep away from engaged on the Sabbath, so the trial received’t proceed after Friday sunset via Saturday. The trial might resume Sunday afternoon, if it lasts that lengthy.

— Bart Jansen

Home Democrats: Trump impeachment temporary ‘wholly with out advantage’

Home Democrats replied Monday to former President Donald Trump’s written argument for his Senate impeachment trial by calling it “wholly with out advantage.”

Trump’s protection workforce had argued that the trial, with oral arguments starting Tuesday, was unconstitutional as a result of he’s not in workplace. The protection additionally argued that Trump’s speech Jan. 6 was protected by the First Modification, regardless of the Home cost that he incited riot on the Capitol.

The Home reply referred to as Trump’s reliance on the First Modification “baseless.” The Democrats once more cited Trump’s assertion to a crowd – “if you happen to don’t battle like hell you’re not going to have a rustic any extra” – earlier than the mob siege to the Capitol.

Trump’s workforce mentioned the Home’s article of impeachment was flawed as a result of it contained a number of allegations behind a single cost. However Home Democrats mentioned they described a “single course of conduct” that constituted incitement.

“There have to be little doubt that such conduct is categorically unacceptable,” the Home reply mentioned.

— Bart Jansen

Trump’s attorneys assaults Democrats forward of impeachment trial, name case ‘political theater’

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys on Monday laid out their protection to the impeachment article charging the previous president with inciting an riot on the U.S. Capitol. In the 78-page filing, they argue the case is unconstitutional, would violate Trump’s First Modification rights, and is predicated on cherry-picked info and remarks.

Trump’s authorized workforce additionally argued the Home’s impeachment course of was rushed, declaring the chamber impeached him per week after the assault on the U.S. Capitol and earlier than any investigation had began. The workforce argued the velocity didn’t permit Trump due course of

“This rushed, single article of impeachment ignores the very Structure from which its energy comes and is itself defectively drafted,” the temporary states. “The Article of Impeachment introduced by the Home is unconstitutional for quite a lot of causes, any of which alone could be grounds for speedy dismissal. Taken collectively, they reveal conclusively that indulging Home Democrats starvation for this political theater is a hazard to our Republic democracy and the rights that we maintain pricey.”

Impeachment stakes: The stakes are high not only for Trump but also for almost everybody else

The temporary argues the president didn’t incite the group throughout his speech the day of the assault, noting regulation enforcement has mentioned the assault was deliberate forward of time. The attorneys argue Trump’s phrases about “preventing” the election have been utilized by earlier than they usually define remarks prime Democrats have used through the years about protesting and preventing towards Trump’s insurance policies.

The temporary additionally lists one new member of Trump’s authorized workforce: Philadelphia lawyer Michael T. van der Veen. The lawyer, who heads a regulation agency and makes a speciality of private damage and prison protection circumstances, works with fellow Trump lawyer Bruce Castor. The addition marks the third lawyer to hitch Trump’s workforce, far lower than the 10 who represented him throughout his first impeachment trial final yr.

– Christal Hayes

White Home: Trump hasn’t requested labeled intelligence

The Biden administration hasn’t needed to resolve whether or not to bar former President Donald Trump from receiving labeled supplies as a result of Trump hasn’t requested for an intelligence briefing, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned Monday.

If Trump does request a briefing, Psaki mentioned, the president will let his intelligence workforce resolve easy methods to proceed.

Biden mentioned Friday that Trump should no longer receive classified intelligence briefings due to his “erratic habits.”

“There isn’t a want for him to have the intelligence briefings,” Biden mentioned on the CBS Night Information With Norah O’Donnell. “What worth is giving him an intelligence briefing? What influence does he have in any respect, aside from the very fact he would possibly slip and say one thing?”

Former presidents are steadily given routine intelligence briefings and entry to labeled supplies after they depart workplace. However some Democratic lawmakers have questioned whether or not Trump ought to proceed to obtain the reviews, arguing he might pose a nationwide safety threat.

Psaki mentioned Biden was expressing his concern about Trump receiving entry to delicate intelligence, “however he additionally has deep belief in his personal intelligence workforce to make a willpower about easy methods to present intelligence data, if at any level the previous president requests a briefing.”

“In order that’s not at the moment relevant,” she added. “But when he ought to request a briefing, he leaves it to them to make a willpower.”

– Maureen Groppe and Michael Collins

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby publicizes retirement in 2022

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., announced Monday he will not be seeking reelection and will probably be retiring from the Senate in 2022.

“In the present day I announce that I can’t search a seventh time period in america Senate in 2022. For the whole lot, there’s a season,” Shelby mentioned in an announcement. “I’m grateful to the individuals of Alabama who’ve put their belief in me for greater than forty years.”

Shelby, 86, is the Senate’s fourth most senior member. He was elected to the Senate in 1986 and has spent the final two years as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, earlier than Democrats gained management of the chamber within the final election.

“Though I plan to retire, I’m not leaving in the present day,” he mentioned within the assertion. “I’ve two good years remaining to proceed my work in Washington. I’ve the imaginative and prescient and the vitality to offer it my all.”

– Savannah Behrmann

Report: $15 per hour minimal wage would price 1.four million jobs

A new government report concludes that elevating the federal minimal wage to $15 per hour would trigger 1.four million People to lose their jobs however would raise 900,000 individuals out of poverty.

Larger wages would enhance the price of producing items and companies and trigger employers to scale back their workforce, the Congressional Funds Workplace says in a report that examined the influence of boosting the minimal wage.

By 2025, when the hourly minimal wage would hit $15 underneath a proposal earlier than Congress, some 1.four million People could be out of labor, the report concludes. Younger, much less educated individuals would account for a disproportionate share of the job reductions, the report says.

Report: $15 minimum wage would boost pay for millions but would cost 1.4M jobs

President Joe Biden advocated for elevating for the minimal wage throughout his marketing campaign final yr and has proposed boosting the hourly fee to $15 as a part of his COVID-19 aid package deal. Congressional Republicans, nonetheless, largely object to elevating the minimal wage.

Biden conceded final week that the minimal wage proposal is unlikely to outlive as a part of his COVID-relief invoice. “Apparently, that’s not going to happen,” he mentioned in an interview with CBS Night Information With Norah O’Donnell.

Biden informed O’Donnell he’s ready to barter a separate proposal to spice up the minimal wage to $15 per hour.

– Michael Collins

Rep. Ron Wright, R-Texas, dies after contracting COVID-19

Rep. Ron Wright, R-Texas, died Sunday, in accordance with an announcement launched by his marketing campaign, weeks after testing constructive for COVID-19. He was 67. 

Wright, a second-term congressman from a district sprawling from Arlington to rural areas south of Dallas, introduced he had examined constructive for COVID-19 on Jan. 21. He had additionally been present process remedy for lung most cancers. Wright is the primary sitting member of Congress to die after contracting COVID-19.

“His spouse Susan was by his aspect and he’s now within the presence of their Lord and Savior,” his marketing campaign mentioned. He and his spouse had been within the hospital for the final two weeks, his marketing campaign mentioned.

Wright has three kids and 9 grandchildren, in accordance with his official biography.

– Nicholas Wu

Senate to resolve contours of Trump impeachment trial

With oral arguments within the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump scheduled to start out Tuesday, senators face key choices on easy methods to prepare the trial, together with the essential query of whether or not to name witnesses.

Witnesses might assist Home Democrats prosecuting the case chronicle the riot Jan. 6 on the Capitol that Trump is charged with inciting. Some Senate Democrats, together with Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, who was sworn in after the riot, are keen to listen to as a lot element as attainable.

“I need a clear document for future generations about what occurred on Jan. 6,” mentioned Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat within the Senate. “After I learn that 40% of Trump’s followers consider that antifa was truly within the group that motivated these individuals to behave in a terrorist means, I am outraged.”

In depth reporting by USA TODAY and different media organizations has identified dozens of people who forced their way into the Capitol, all of whom confirmed a historical past of being avid Trump supporters. USA TODAY additionally tracked how the antifa “false flag” conspiracy theory was generated on-line and shortly unfold — even to the flooring of Congress.

Home Democrats are anticipated to play movies of Trump’s speech, the mob smashing into the Capitol and rioters occupying the Senate chamber. Cops might supply harrowing witness testimony. Past the occasions of Jan. 6, the article charged Trump with pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to change overturn the election results in his state based mostly on a recorded telephone name. Prosecutors might at the least play the recording, however may additionally wish to name him as a witness.

Jurors and witnesses: Senators take on unprecedented role in Trump’s second impeachment trial

Home prosecutors, who’re referred to as managers, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., requested final week for Trump to testify under oath. He declined, along with his attorneys calling the request a publicity stunt.

Witnesses might additionally delay a trial that members of each events need over shortly. Democrats are keen to verify President Joe Biden’s nominees and to undertake laws coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. All however a handful of Republicans in every chamber opposed even holding a trial.

“I do not assume the nation wants an entire lot,” mentioned Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who famous that Home Democrats permitted the article of impeachment with out calling witnesses. “I suppose the general public document is your tv display screen, I do not know.”

The choice on witnesses will probably be a part of the Senate debate on a decision organizing particulars concerning the trial similar to how a lot time both sides has for arguments. For Trump’s first trial, the Senate, then led by Republicans, voted to reject calling witnesses. At the moment, Home Democrats wished witnesses to elucidate Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, however Senate Republicans refused.

Along with the organizing decision, the Senate is about to obtain Monday probably the most detailed written argument but from Trump’s protection workforce responding to a Home temporary filed final week. Trump’s workforce has referred to as the trial unconstitutional for pursuing him after he left workplace. The workforce additionally argued that the speech Trump gave Jan. 6 earlier than the mob rampaged via the Capitol was protected by the First Modification.

– Bart Jansen

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/politics/2021/02/08/politics-live-updates-senate-weighs-strategy-trump-impeachment-trial/4433392001/

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