February 4, 2020

Daily Senate Impeachment Trial Updates: February 4

(Compiled and presented by our colleagues at Hub Action (www.hubaction.org).


Rep. Adam Schiff’s closing statement


  • NBC News: Schiff's powerful closing speech: 'Is there one among you who will say, Enough!'?  | “Saying Donald Trump has ‘betrayed our national security’ and will do so again, Rep. Adam Schiff used his closing arguments in the president's impeachment trial on Monday to urge the Senate to take a stand against ‘a man without character.’ ‘We must say enough — enough! He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again,’ Schiff, D-Calif., told the Senate. ‘He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What's right matters even less, and decency matters not at all.’ ‘You are decent,’ he added. ‘He is not who you are.’”


  • Mother Jones: “In his closing statement at the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Monday, top Democratic impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) issued a rousing final plea for the Republicans who comprise the majority of the Senate to vote to convict the president. ‘History will not be kind to Donald Trump,’ Schiff said. ‘If you find that the House has proved its case, and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath—if only you will say, Enough.’”


  • TPM: Adam Schiff Delivers Soaring Impeachment Closer To A Senate That Will Likely Acquit


GOP Senators on Trump’s actions


  • Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin: In case you had any doubt, impeachment will plague Senate Republicans  |  “Both poll numbers and the hapless Senate Republicans’ performances on Sunday trying to justify their conduct in the impeachment trial suggest President Trump and his enablers are clueless if they think the public will accept the trial as exoneration of the president. Rather, it seems Republican senators are shockingly unaware of their constitutional obligations and unable to provide a coherent explanation for their actions.”


  • Wall Street Journal: Republicans Are Divided — on Why They're Acquitting the President  |  “Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kansas) said he agreed with the assessment of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) that the president's behavior was inappropriate, but not impeachable… But Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., La.) said, ‘The defense counsel raised a reasonable doubt as to the crime -- the whatever -- that was alleged.’”


  • The Hill: Murkowski says she'll vote to acquit Trump despite 'shameful and wrong' behavior


  • New York Times: Pelosi Says Democrats Have ‘Pulled Back a Veil’ on Trump’s ‘Unacceptable’ Behavior  |  “Democrats argue that Ms. Pelosi won by losing, setting the stage for an election that is not only about the kitchen table issues that carried them to the majority in 2018, but also about exposing the president as unfit for office — and Republicans as complicit in his misbehavior. In an interview Monday, Ms. Pelosi said Democrats had forced Republicans to do what Mr. Trump never has: Admit that he was wrong to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.”


Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman trial date set


  • Politico: Parnas will stand trial weeks before Election Day  |  “Lev Parnas, the indicted Rudy Giuliani associate who has become embroiled in the president's impeachment proceedings, will head to trial on Oct. 5, a judge ruled Monday… The trial will launch about a month before Election Day, providing an unwelcome reminder for President Donald Trump of the Ukraine scandal that got him impeached. Prosecutors allege Parnas and the others were attempting to curry political favor and advance their own business interests with their actions. In one case, for example, prosecutors say Parnas and Fruman donated to a member of Congress who later helped oust the American ambassador to Ukrainian, an act that played a key role in the House’s impeachment proceedings.”


  • New York Daily News: Rudy Giuliani crony Lev Parnas hints possible cooperation with government: ‘I’m here to tell the truth’  |  “Rudy Giuliani pal Lev Parnas played coy Monday when asked if he’ll cooperate with prosecutors, saying ‘that’s a good question, I’m here to tell the truth.’ Parnas is charged in a straw donor scheme that overlaps with the impeachment trial of President Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Parnas, a Florida businessman with ties to Ukraine, assisted Giuliani in his effort to dig up dirt on the Democratic contender.”


  • Reuters: Giuliani Associates Parnas, Fruman Face Oct. 5 Trial, Before U.S. Election


Bipartisan vote to censure Trump?


  • Washington Post: Sen. Manchin calls for censuring Trump over pressuring Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rival  |  “Manchin has prepared a censure resolution for fellow senators to consider in the coming days, which would be a less severe rebuke than removal from office for Trump’s efforts in pressuring Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rival… The legislation argues that Trump ‘used the office of the president of the United States to attempt to compel a foreign nation to interfere with domestic political affairs for his own personal benefit’ and says Trump ‘wrongfully enlisted his personal lawyer to investigate a domestic political rival by meddling in formal diplomatic relations in a manner that is inconsistent with our established National Security Strategy.’ It adds that ‘Trump hindered the thorough investigation of related documents and prohibited Congress and the American people from hearing testimony by first-hand witnesses with direct knowledge of his conduct.’”


  • The Hill: Manchin calls for bipartisan censure of Trump


  • MSNBC: Calling GOP's bluff, Manchin proposes that Senate censure Trump


  • Axios: “The issue with a censure vote is that most Senate Republicans don't think it's viable and argue that the impeachment process is too far along. A censure resolution was originally seen as a way to give more moderate senators an “out” — allowing them to formally disapprove of Trump’s behavior without voting to convict him. But as moderate senators from both parties were forced to make a tough call on the witness vote last Friday, the benefits of a censure vote for these senators declined immensely.”

Executive Power, Separation of Powers and Federalism