Trump Impeachment Saga: Senate Resumes Closing Arguments After Brief Pause to Question Managers’ Evidence

The Senate resumed closing arguments after a brief pause, again, following an objection to video being shown by House impeachment manager Madeleine Dean.

Dean argued the statement was already on record but there was confusion over admitting the video – as new evidence is not allowed to be admitted at this stage of the trial. 

Impeachment manager plays video montage of Trump's lies in closing argument 

Impeachment manager Rep. Madeleine Dean began her closing argument this afternoon by playing a video montage of former President Trump repeating the false claim that the election had been rigged.

"Donald Trump invited them, he incited them, then he directed them," she said of the mob that attacked the US Capitol before playing the video.

Dean then played the video which included Trump lying repeatedly.

"There won't be a transfer, frankly," Trump said. "There will be a continuation."

"The only way we're going to lose is if there's mischief, mischief and it will have to be on a big scale," he said. "So, be careful."

Impeachment managers have resumed their closing arguments after a brief pause

Impeachment managers have resumed their closing arguments.

Moments ago, Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, interrupted impeachment managers' closing arguments, pausing the trial.

Lee seemed to be objecting to a timeline about a call he had with former President Trump on Jan. 6 as the Capitol riot was underway.

Managers pause closing arguments after GOP senator's interruption

Closing arguments are on hold after Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, interrupted the proceedings.

Lee seemed to be objecting to a timeline about a call he had with former President Trump on Jan. 6 as the Capitol riot was underway.

Earlier, Lee was seen handing over his phone records to managers.

Here's what to expect in the closing arguments from Trump's defense team

It’s anticipated that former President Trump's defense team will have a quick closing statement. 

It is expected to be about 30 minutes give or take. 

They will deliver a quick summary of main points. 

They may address the phone call between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump, but are still working it out, according to a person with knowledge of ongoing discussions.

A lot has happened in the impeachment trial today. Here's what you need to know.

It's the fifth and likely final day of former President Trump's second impeachment trial. A final vote on whether to acquit or convict the former president is expected later today following morning uncertainty about the trial's timeline.

If you're just reading in now, here's what you've missed:

House managers asked for witnesses: At the start of today's trial, Rep. Jamie Raskin announced that House managers were seeking to subpoena Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a House Republican who first revealed a conversation between House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump in which the former President said the rioters cared more about the election results than McCarthy did. After Raskin announced Democrats would seek witnesses, Trump's lawyer Michael van der Veen responded that if Democrats were going to ask for witnesses, Trump's team was going to need 100 depositions.

A bipartisan Senate vote: The vote was 55 to 45, with five Republicans joining Democrats in voting to allow witnesses. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham initially voted no, but changed his vote to yes, meaning he changed his vote to allow witnesses. 

Confusion and a break: Following the vote, there appeared to be some confusion on the Senate floor about the move, with one senator even asking what exactly they just voted on. Bipartisan groups of senators huddled, and the timeline of the trial seemed murky. Then the Senate went into a recess.

The evidence deal: Returning from the break, Senate leaders, the House managers and Trump’s legal team announced they had agreed to insert the statement of Herrera Beutler from a CNN report into the trial record, rather than taking a deposition. 

Closing arguments: The House impeachment managers and Trump's team then moved on to their closing arguments, signaling the trial would end without witnesses. 

Senator who Trump called on Jan. 6 hands over his phone records to impeachment manager

Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, could be seen handing over various phone records to House impeachment managers.

CNN previously reported that former President Trump first called the personal cell phone of Lee shortly after 2 p.m. ET on Jan. 6. At that time, the senators had been evacuated from the Senate floor and were in a temporary holding room, as a pro-Trump mob began breaching the Capitol.

Lee picked up the phone and Trump identified himself, and it became clear he was looking for Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, and had been given the wrong number. Lee, keeping the President on hold, went to find his colleague and handed Tuberville his phone, telling him the President was on the line and had been trying to reach him.

Tuberville spoke with Trump for less than 10 minutes, with the President trying to convince him to make additional objections to the Electoral College vote in a futile effort to block Congress' certification of then President-elect Joe Biden's win, according to a source familiar with the call. The call was cut off because senators were asked to move to a secure location. Tubervillle has said he told Trump Pence was being evacuated.

Lee said the call when Trump called happened at 2:26 p.m. ET on Jan. 6. This is two minutes after President Trump's tweet attacking Vice President Mike Pence.

House managers maintained that the call happened before the tweet.


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