Trump impeachment trial day 12: All the latest updates

House managers and Trump’s defence team delivered closing arguments after Senate rejected hearing from new witnesses.

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The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump enters its 12th day [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

The impeachment trial of US President  Donald Trump entered its 12th day on Monday, following a Senate vote that rejected calling new witnesses, and all but assures an acquittal for the president. 

The House managers and Trump’s defence team presented their closing arguments, which were followed by a Senate hearing in which legislators were given the chance to say why they are voting for convicting or acquitting the president. The final vote is scheduled for Wednesday. 

House managers, who act as prosecutors, had faced an uphill battle from the start, with a two-thirds Senate vote needed to remove Trump from office. Republicans have 53 seats in the 100-member chamber. Democrats had hoped that new witnesses and evidence – particularly in light of reported revelations in an unpublished book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton – might have changed the dynamic in the partisan proceedings. 

During the 12th day of the trial, here are all the latest updates as of Monday, February 3:

Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has adjourned

After closing arguments by both House managers and the president’s defence team, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has adjourned. 

The Senate will now hold a regular session to hear speeches from senators, who will explain why they are voting to acquit or convict Trump.

House managers conclude closing arguments

In scathing final statements, lead House manager Adam Schiff condemned what he described as partisan protection of the president and legislators who are willing to turn a blind eye to misdeeds “as long as it is a president of one’s own party”.

“That is a trend most dangerous for our country,” said Schiff. 

Schiff, addressing senators who plan to acquit the president, said: “Your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel for all history”.

“You are decent. [Trump] is not who you are,” he said. 

Schiff references Dept. of Justice filing

Lead House manager Adam Schiff, during his closing statements, referenced a department of Justice filing that came shortly after the Senate voted on Friday not to allow more evidence in the proceedings. The filing revealed that the department had withheld from Congress two dozen emails that detail the president’s decision and justifications for withholding military aid from Ukraine. 

“The Trump administration has them. It is not turning them over. It does not want the Senate to know until it’s too late,” said Schiff.

House manager Jeffries: ‘All is not lost’

Despite what is expected to be an all-but-certain acquittal of the president, House manager Hakeem Jeffries urged senators that it was not too late to vote to convict the president. 

“All is not lost, even at this later hour…The senate can still do the right thing,” said Jeffries. 

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In this image from video, House impeachment manager Representative Adam Schiff speaks during closing arguments in the impeachment trial of Trump [Senate TV/AP Photo]

House manager Garcia: ‘We all know that he will do it again’

House manager Sylvia Garcia, in her closing arguments on Monday, said the president will meddle in elections again if not removed from office. 

“We all know that he will do it again,” said Garcia. “We must stop him from further harming our democracy, we must stop him from further betraying his oath.”

“We simply cannot give our children a democracy if their president is above the law,” she said. “This president must be removed”. 

House manager Lofgren resumes closing arguments 

House manager Zoe Lofgren has resumed closing arguments in support of convicting the president. 

Trump’s defence team concludes closing arguments

President Donald Trump’s defence team has concluded their closing arguments, again recasting the trial as an attempt to undermine US democracy while calling for the end to “endless” investigations.  

“We’re sitting here on the day the election season begins in Iowa. It is wrong,” said lead lawyer Pat Cipollone, “and there is only one answer to that, the answer is reject these articles of impeachment”.

He called on senators to “end the era of impeachment once and for all.”

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow calls trial ‘first totally partisan presidential impeachment in our nation’s history’

Trump defence lawyer Jay Sekulow, in his closing arguments on Monday, called the trial the “first totally partisan presidential impeachment in our nation’s history”. 

“This is exactly and precisely what the founders feared,” said Sekulow, after playing a montage of Democratic legislators calling for Trump’s impeachment throughout his presidency. 

Trump lawyer Cipollone urges senators to acquit Trump

The lead lawyer of the president’s defence team, Pat Cipollone, said Democrats were trying to overturn the the results of the 2016 election and urged senators to acquit Donald Trump. 

“At the end of the day, this is an effort to overturn the results of one election and to try to interfere in the coming election that begins today in Iowa,” Cipollone said during the defence’s closing arguments.

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In this image from video, White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaks during closing arguments in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump [Senate TV/AP Photo]

Trump legal defence begins closing arguments 

The lead lawyer on the president’s defence team, Pat Cipollone, said the Defence’s closing arguments would be brief. 

Schiff urges senators to convict Trump

In his closing arguments on Monday, lead House manager Adam Schiff made a final appeal for senators to convict the president on both articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – passed by the House of Representatives in December. 

“Today, we urge you in the face of overwhelming evidence of the president’s guilt and knowing that if left in office, he will continue to seek foreign interference in the next election to vote to convict on both articles of impeachment and to remove from office Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States,” Schiff said.

House manager Jeffries says ‘courage’ of public officials who came forward ‘mattered’

House manager Hakeem Jeffries spoke directly to Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and “to the other public servants who came forward and told the truth in the face of vicious smears, intimidation and White House efforts to silence you”.

“Your courage mattered,” Jeffries said during the House managers closing arguments. “You did the right thing. You did your duty.”

Jeffries added that “we will remain vigilant in the House”.

Trump tweets about ‘Impeachment Hoax’ on more subdued day of proceedings

President Donald Trump resumed his derision of the impeachment trial taking place in the Senate on Monday. 

“I hope Republicans & the American people realize that the totally partisan Impeachment Hoax is exacty [sic] that, a Hoax,” Trump tweeted, while Democratic House managers gave closing arguments in the impeachment trial. 

Senators will vote on whether to convict or acquit the president on Wednesday. With the Senate voting 51-49 to block any new evidence in the trial, it is considered extremely unlikely that a needed supermajority of 67 senators will vote to convict the president. 

Democratic Senator Jones still undecided on vote 

Democratic Senator Doug Jones, speaking to reporters on Monday, said he has not yet decided on if he will vote to convict the president. 

Jones said he wants “to hear the arguments and some conversations from colleagues” before he makes up his mind. 

House manager Crow: ‘Your duty demands that you convict President Trump’

House manager Jason Crow began the closing arguments on Monday. 

Crow told Senators: “Your duty demands that you convict President Trump”. 

Day 12 of impeachment trial begins

House managers and Trump’s defence team will give closing arguments for up to four hours. 

Top Democratic presidential candidates on Capitol Hill on day of Iowa Caucus

Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar will all be in Washington, DC, for at least part of the day before the Iowa caucus begins on Monday night. 

“I’m starting my day heading to the Senate floor for the impeachment trial. I have a job to do—a constitutional duty. And I think Iowans understand that experience matters. Being in the arena matters. Fighting for the truth matters,” Klobuchar said on Twitter. 

What happens next? 

The House managers and Trump’s defence on Monday will present up to four hours of closing arguments.

The trial will then be recessed and the Senate will hold a regular session to hear speeches from senators, who will explain why they are voting to acquit or convict Trump. Chief Justice John Roberts will not be present for this session.

On Tuesday, speeches by senators will continue. That night, Trump is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the Union address to both chambers of the US Congress at 9pm local time (02:00 GMT).

On Wednesday, the trial will resume with a final vote expected on the acquittal or conviction of President Trump by 4pm (21:00 GMT). A super majority, 67 senators, would need to vote in favour of convicting the president – which is considered extremely unlikely. 

What happened on Friday?

After a day of debate, the Senate voted 51-49 to block allowing more evidence from being introduced in the trial. Two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, broke from party ranks and voted to be able to subpoena new witnesses and documents.

Will Trump be acquitted?

During the debate that preceded the vote, Democratic House managers argued that new evidence had emerged since the House concluded their inquiry. That, coupled with the White House’s categorical denial to participate in the investigation, required that new evidence be introduced, they said.  

Trump’s defence team, meanwhile, argued that allowing new evidence would tie up the Senate for weeks and blamed the House Democrats for rushing their investigation. Lawyers for Trump, in light of a revelation recounted in former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s unpublished book, also argued that even if the president had tied aid to Ukraine to politically motivated investigations, it would not constitute an impeachable offence.

Read more about what happened on Friday here

Who are the House Managers?

Seven House managers have presented the case for removing the president from office over 12 days of the trial. 

Interactive - Trump impeachment managers

 Who is on the president’s defence team? 

Read more about the key players who have shaped the trial here

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Source: Al Jazeera