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Impeachment managers' tall task becomes clearer

President Donald Trump says former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry can't testify at his impeachment trial due to national security concerns.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 5:20 AM
Updated: Jan 23, 2020 5:20 AM

At 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff opened the House's presentation to remove President Donald Trump from office.

By 2 p.m., Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana had yawned, pushed away from his desk and ate a piece of chocolate from his desk on the Senate floor. By 3:30 p.m., there were 17 empty seats, as senators stood along the walls of the chamber or hung back in the party's private cloakrooms.

By the time Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat and another House impeachment manager, began talking around 4 p.m. ET, that number had grown to about two dozen, as senators rolled back into the chamber from a break.

While the Senate won't determine a verdict for over a week, it's clear that a number of senators are not only tired, but have already made up their minds, raising further the expectation that it will vote to acquit.

Over the past few months, administration officials have testified that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation to damage 2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who once sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. Some of the witnesses for the House impeachment inquiry -- including career and political State Department officials -- have alleged that Trump used a coveted White House visit and hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid as leverage. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden in Ukraine.

The Constitution requires two-thirds of the Senate to remove Trump from office. The House alleges two crimes -- abuse of power and obstruction of Congress -- but on its first day delivering its argument, the prosecution appears unlikely to convict. Republicans in the Senate majority have indicated in the past couple of days that they will vote to acquit.

On Tuesday, GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas openly dismissed the House managers, who tried to no avail to convince enough Republicans to join Democrats in allowing new witnesses. When Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York said Trump had committed crimes, Cotton scoffed. When Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado said only the Senate could fix this national crisis, Cotton rolled his eyes. When Schiff said late at night that his California district might be watching, Cotton laughed.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri told reporters that Trump had done nothing wrong and was ready to vote. Hawley said the prosecution and defense would just present the trial briefs in his brown, fan folder. "We all can read," he said.

The prosecution did not appear to make much progress with Republicans on Wednesday.

Before the House managers even began to make their case, Cassidy tweeted in the morning that it was "very weak." Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina held a news conference to say it would be an "uphill battle" for him to vote to convict, since "the best group of people to pick a president are the voters -- not a bunch of partisan politicians."

In the afternoon, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said he was "struggling to see how" Trump's actions were "even close" to meeting the Constitution's standard of removing the President from office. On Fox News, Sen. David Perdue of Georgia called the articles of impeachment "illegitimate," and "the fruit from a poisonous tree." Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said he "never" condoned Trump's actions, but added that they were "clearly" not impeachable offenses.

A few minutes after Schiff began talking, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said on Twitter, "The more we hear from Adam Schiff, the more the GOP is getting unified against this partisan charade!" He then invited Trump to attend the trial. Later, Paul studied a crossword puzzle as the prosecution deliberated on the Senate floor.

Some Democrats have also already said that they would vote to convict. When asked if she hoped her party would vote together to do so, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said on Wednesday, "I hope so."

But even if all 47 Democrats stuck together, they need 20 Republicans to break from their party leader to remove him from office. The managers' immediate goal is a more manageable task: convincing just four Republicans to allow them to subpoena crucial witnesses who have not testified, including former national security adviser John Bolton.

About half of Americans say the Senate should vote to convict Trump and remove him from office, while nearly 70% of Americans say that the trial should feature testimony from new witnesses, according to a recent CNN poll. The Senate will vote on whether to subpoena witnesses after each side presents their case.

Still, Trump's allies are confident that they will prevail.

"I have no doubt, based on the facts that I've been able to see and read and hear, and based on the facts that they're about to see and hear and read, that they will acquit based on those facts," said Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 38442

Reported Deaths: 947
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
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