Katherine Tully-McManus

Impeachment managers attempt to preempt Trump’s defense
Trump, Lindsey Graham used to bolster case for removal

Regardless of whether Democratic impeachment managers get to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, they are already making their case by using the president’s own words — and even those of a prominent Republican senator — in dramatic fashion in the Senate chamber. 

The managers focused much of their arguments Thursday on the abuse of power charge the House used to condemn Trump, citing history and attempting to poke preemptive holes in the defense team’s upcoming arguments.

View from the gallery: Senators sit, spin and fidget during Trump trial
They found more ways to pass time during second day of opening presentations

Sen. Bill Cassidy charted a course along the back corner of the Senate chamber Thursday during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The Louisiana Republican walked through an area usually reserved for staff seating, hands in pockets, retracing a short path over and over again for more than 15 minutes.

When Georgia Republican David Perdue took to standing along his path, Cassidy squeezed by and just kept pacing.

View from the gallery: Senators seek comfort and novelty during Trump trial
Senators decamp to cloakrooms, bring blankets, and sip on milk and water

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton was among the first senators spotted ordering milk to the Senate chamber for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial Wednesday, and he took small sips to wash down what looked like a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

This was the second day of the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, and the 100 senators began to search in earnest for comfort and novelty during eight hours of opening statements from House managers.

House managers stick to script on first day of Trump trial arguments
Democrats lean heavily on witness testimony over eight hours on the Senate floor

House impeachment managers on Wednesday dutifully stayed on message throughout the second full day of the Senate impeachment trial, arguing that the findings of the House’s impeachment inquiry provide ample evidence to warrant the removal of President Donald Trump from office.

The team of seven managers took turns presenting their case, starting with House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry.

Hakeem Jeffries responds to protester disrupting Senate impeachment trial

A protester in the Senate gallery interrupted Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., shortly before the Senate Court of Impeachment’s dinner break at 6:30 p.m., by yelling comments at the senators seated a floor below.

The comments were not audible in their in entirety, but the protester could be heard yelling “Jesus Christ” and “Schumer is the devil” before being removed.

Senate approves Trump trial rules, lining up a series of late nights
Chamber shot down attempts by Democrats to subpoena documents and witnesses

The Senate voted to approve Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules to govern the impeachment trial, which, despite last-minute changes Tuesday, earned no support from Democrats.

Senators adopted the updated resolution, 53-47, shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. The resolution will now give House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team 24 hours to make their arguments over three days, instead of the two days initially proposed by McConnell.

View from the gallery: Senators struggle to sit in silence at Trump trial
Senators-turned-jurors sneak in snacks, lunge for phones during rare breaks to weigh in on arguments

Sen. Lindsey Graham looked restless during the first hour of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, when none of the senators had access to their cellphones and the president’s lawyers and the House managers traded procedural arguments.

It was an unusual first day of buttoned-down decorum for the exclusive club of 100 senators-turned-jurors, who were made to stay in their floor seats, not eat, not talk and not tweet during only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.

Senators bend the rules by wearing Apple Watches to Trump trial
The ‘smart’ accessory could give senators a link to the outside world during impeachment arguments

Correction 7:03 p.m. | The rules of decorum state that senators can’t use phones or electronic devices in the chamber during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, but what about Apple Watches?

At least seven senators had them strapped on their wrists in the chamber at the start of the trial Tuesday, despite guidelines from Senate leadership that all electronics should be left in the cloakroom in the provided storage.

Do chatty senators really face jail time during impeachment?

Despite a dramatic daily warning, if senators fail to stay silent during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, it’s unlikely that they’ll end up arrested. And no, there is not a Senate jail.

At the beginning of each trial day, Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger will declare, “Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment.”

Lack of official guidance on impeachment press restrictions causes confusion

The absence of any written guidance regarding media restrictions and  conflicting information from Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms staff have created an atmosphere of frustration and arbitrary enforcement as Senate action on impeachment began Thursday. 

Some senators heading to their final legislative vote before impeachment proceedings began were armed with a notecard printed with a script of phrases to use to fend off members of the media, including “please move out of my way,” “please excuse me, I am trying to get to the Senate floor,” and “please excuse me, I need to get to a hearing/meeting.”

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick seeks treatment for alcohol addiction after fall
Arizona Democrat is taking a leave of absence from her office

Arizona Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will take a leave of absence from her office to seek treatment for her alcohol addiction, she announced Wednesday.

“I am finally seeking this help after struggling to do so in the past, and I am ready to admit that I, like countless other Americans, suffer from this disease. Hard work and determination — which have brought me success in life — have not been enough to win this battle,” she said in a statement.

Impeachment trial security crackdown will limit Capitol press access
Press pens and ‘no walking and talking’ draw criticism from press corps advocates

The Senate sergeant-at-arms and Capitol Police are launching an unprecedented crackdown on the Capitol press corps for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, following a standoff between the Capitol’s chief security officials, Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt and the standing committees of correspondents.

Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger will enact a plan that intends to protect senators and the chamber, but it also suggests that credentialed reporters and photographers whom senators interact with on a daily basis are considered a threat.

Senators look to clear legislative decks before impeachment trial
Notice requirements could give just enough time

The Senate appears set to try to clear the decks of pending legislative business before diving into the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

That could include delivering a big policy victory to the president on trade.

Impeachment articles’ path to Senate governed by rules and precedent
Before trial starts, expect pomp, circumstance and ceremony

Correction appended Jan. 14, 2:10 p.m. | The expected House vote this week to name impeachment managers for the Senate trial and authorize them to spend House funds will set in motion a set of established steps that will guide the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate.

The resolution, which won’t be released until Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with her caucus Tuesday morning, will appoint managers who will act as prosecutors during the Senate trial that will determine whether the impeached President Donald Trump is removed from office. They will present the case for the House impeachment articles, approved in December, which charge the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Road Ahead: Impeachment trial imminent and war powers debate continues
Pelosi ready to send articles to Senate this week

Impeachment action is bound for the Senate this week, ending the long standoff between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the framework of President Donald Trump’s trial. Pelosi intends to send the House’s articles of impeachment to the Senate and name impeachment managers, launching a trial that could begin before the week is out.

The impeachment articles, which the House approved in December, charge the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

House to vote on war powers Thursday
Two Senate Republicans side with Democratic measure after ‘insulting’ briefing

Corrected 7:53 p.m. | The House will vote Thursday on a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s authority to take future military action against Iran without congressional authorization, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday.

House lawmakers received a briefing from key administration officials following the Tuesday night attack on two bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops and the preceding U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

McConnell: Senate has votes to proceed without Democrats in impeachment trial
The vote would be similar to the Clinton trial, but would not have Democratic support

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he has the votes required to establish ground rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, without support from Democrats.

McConnell first made the comments during a closed-door GOP lunch before confirming in a public announcement.

Former Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, brother of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, dead at 56
Pennsylvania Republican was consistently rated one of the most bipartisan lawmakers

Former Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, brother of current Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, has died at age 56.

The Pennsylvania Republican represented Bucks County from 2005 to 2007, losing his seat to Patrick Murphy in a 2006 Democratic wave driven by unrest over the Iraq War. But he returned to Congress in 2010, winning his seat back and holding it again from 2011 to 2017. His death was confirmed to The Bucks County Courier Times by Pat Poprik, the county Republican Party chairwoman. 

Impeachment standoff and Iran escalation dominate start of 2020 session
Briefings expected next week for members on killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq

Tension and division marked the opening of the second session of the 116th Congress with the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and resulting escalation with Iran, as well as the standoff over an impeachment trial taking center stage in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., opened the Senate session a little after noon by praising the killing of Soleimani.

Pelosi shrugs off GOP gripes about her holding onto articles of impeachment
Speaker takes wait and see approach to Senate process

Just hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would hold off for now on sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, the California Democrat on Thursday said she hopes the Senate can come to a bipartisan agreement on President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial procedures like they did 20 years ago when President Bill Clinton was impeached.

“We would hope that they can come to some conclusion like that, but in any event, we’re ready when we see what they have,” she said, noting she’ll name impeachment managers and transmit the articles to the Senate at that time.