February 5, 2020

Thousands of demonstrators attended "Reject the Cover-Up" protests across the United States on Wednesday evening, after the Senate impeachment trial ended with President Trump's acquittal.

Trump was impeached by the House in December on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Hundreds gathered outside of the Capitol, where Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) declared, "I will focus my ire on Senate Republicans. Shame on you, Mitch McConnell." About 50 people held a sit-in inside the building, chanting, "Trump is guilty!" One demonstrator, Sara Anzalone, told USA Today she believes "getting a foreign power to interfere with our country is just completely against the Constitution and completely out of his power. And I really think that he should be held responsible, and it really kind of makes me pissed off that he could have been held accountable today."

In Boston, protesters praised Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the former governor of Massachusetts. He was the only Republican to vote "guilty" on the abuse of power charge, and one protester carried a sign that read, "Thanks, Mitt! Now let's censure." Catherine Garcia

January 21, 2020

The House has a new demand before President Trump's impeachment proceedings get under way.

The House has deemed White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, one of Trump's top impeachment defenders, a "material witness" to the charges against Trump, a letter to Cipollone sent Tuesday reads. Cipollone now faces a possible "disqualification" from defending Trump, and must "disclose" any evidence he has as the trial begins, the House's impeachment managers continued.

The first impeachment article against Trump alleges he pressured Ukraine to get investigations opened into the Bidens and the 2016 election, and the second says he obstructed Congress' attempt to investigate that campaign. "Evidence indicates that" Cipollone has "detailed knowledge of the facts regarding the first article and played an instrumental role in the conduct charged in the second," the letter from the House reads. "Ethical rules" would therefore "generally preclude" Cipollone from being a lawyer in this case, given that he's also a "necessary witness," the impeachment managers continue.

"At a minimum, [Cipollone] must disclose all facts and information" he has "firsthand knowledge" of that may come into play during the Senate's impeachment trial into Trump, the letter concludes. Whether Cipollone actually does that is doubtful. Find the whole letter here. Kathryn Krawczyk

January 19, 2020

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday accused the National Security Agency of withholding key documents from Congress related to Ukraine that could be relevant in President Trump's impeachment trial.

Speaking to ABC News, Schiff said the NSA appears "to be succumbing to pressure from the administration," also saying "there are signs that the CIA may be on the same tragic course." Schiff said the documents could be important to the central allegation of Trump's impeachment: that he abused his power by withholding Ukraine military aid to push the country into announcing investigations of his political rivals.

The NSA and CIA have not commented on Schiff's allegations, reports NBC News.

Read more at NBC News and ABC News. Summer Meza

January 19, 2020

House Democrats filed a 111-page legal brief ahead of President Trump's impeachment trial, arguing he threatens national security.

The House prosecutors laid out the argument against Trump that led to his impeachment last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The legal brief says "evidence overwhelmingly establishes" Trump's guilt and says the Senate "must eliminate the threat" he poses.

The White House defense team, meanwhile, has not filed its official brief, but rejected the impeachment managers' arguments as "highly partisan." Without directly addressing allegations Trump abused his power by withholding Ukrainian aid to push for a politically-motivated investigation of his rivals, the White House castigated the "lawless process" that led to his impeachment.

Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza

December 16, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is preparing to negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over the impeachment trial for President Trump, and he's making one thing clear: he wants to hear from witnesses.

On Sunday, Schumer sent McConnell a letter informing him that Senate Democrats want four officials who refused to participate in the House impeachment inquiry to testify during the trial: acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Mulvaney aide Robert Blair, and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey. In a Monday press conference, Schumer once again stated how important it is to have the witnesses appear.

"The Senate and millions across the country are asking, what is the president hiding?" Schumer said. "Why doesn't he want the facts to come out?" Trials, he continued, "have witnesses. That's what trials are all about." Live testimony is "the best way to go," Schumer said, and for the trial to be fair, senators must "get all the facts. ... So to engage in a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a cover-up. To conduct a trial without the facts is saying we're afraid. There is no reason on God's green Earth why they shouldn't be called and testify unless you're afraid of what they might say."

When asked late Monday about calling witnesses, McConnell said he and Schumer will "be getting together, and we'll have more to say on that tomorrow." Catherine Garcia

December 15, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a letter on Sunday evening to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), letting him know that should there be an impeachment trial for President Trump, Democratic lawmakers want to hear testimony from four current and former members of the administration.

The House will likely vote to impeach Trump this week, and Schumer has proposed the trial process start on Jan. 6, with the trial beginning on Jan. 9. Senate Democrats want to hear from acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Mulvaney aide Robert Blair, and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey.

"The trial must be one that not only hears all of the evidence and adjudicates the case fairly; it must also pass the fairness test with the American people," Schumer wrote in his letter. "That is the great challenge for the Senate in the coming weeks." Schumer and McConnell have yet to sit down to discuss the trial and how it will run. Catherine Garcia

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