Patrick Kelley

Senate votes to acquit Trump on both impeachment charges
Romney only defector in either party

The Senate on Wednesday acquitted President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, swiftly ending months of investigation and public arguments that ultimately changed few minds on Capitol Hill. 

The Senate voted 48-52 to reject the House’s abuse of power charge and 47-53 to reject the obstruction of Congress charge. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required for conviction.

View from the gallery: Senators pack up desks as impeachment trial nears its end
Chamber takes on a last-day-of-school vibe

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer tightly hugged Rep. Adam B. Schiff just after the closing argument in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and spoke directly into the House lead manager’s ear for about 10 seconds.

Before the New York senator let go, he gave Schiff three loud pats on the back, as a line of other Senate Democrats waited to hug the California Democrat or shake his hand.

House managers, Trump lawyers appeal to the other side in closing arguments
Trump’s ultimate acquittal on Wednesday is a near certainty

Attorneys for both sides in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Monday wrapped up their arguments with pleas for bipartisanship ahead of the Wednesday vote to acquit the president.

After House Democrats rehashed their well-known arguments for convicting the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, lead House manager Adam B. Schiff of California called on Senate Republicans to have the courage to remove Trump from office.

View from the gallery: Restless senators eager to flee impeachment court for weekend
Chief justice silences senators for the first time in the trial

Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton accidentally voted the wrong way on a procedural vote late Friday during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, so when he got the next vote right he turned to his colleagues and took a dramatic bow.

Georgia Republican David Perdue missed his queue to vote twice because he was chatting with Texas Republican Ted Cruz, who offered to take the blame.

Senate rejects motion for witnesses at Trump impeachment trial
Trial now moves toward acquittal, but schedule far from certain

The Senate on Friday rejected a motion to hear from additional witnesses or to see new documents in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, ending weeks of speculation over whether Republicans would break with their party to extend the trial.

Republican senators largely stuck together in Friday’s pivotal 49-51 vote that would have allowed the body to subpoena new information before voting on whether to remove Trump from office on the two articles of impeachment presented by House impeachment managers.

With Alexander a ‘no’ on witnesses, impeachment trial enters stretch run
Moderates’ queries hint at remaining hangups they have about the case

Senators used their second and final day of questioning in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump to tee up debate on whether to subpoena documents and witnesses that did not appear during the House’s inquiry. The late-night announcement that Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander will vote against additional witnesses Friday signals there likely won’t be enough votes to continue the trial much longer. 

After senators exhausted their cumulative 16-hour Q&A session with House managers and Trump’s lawyers, Alexander, who will retire at the end of this term, announced he would vote against hearing from new witnesses.

First day of Trump trial Q&A yields some questions lawyers simply can’t answer
Whistleblower questions pose challenges for both sides

The first day of questions and answers in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump raised some questions that each side either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer. 

While many of the questions centered on well-trodden topics, some highlighted the boundaries that the House impeachment managers and the Trump defense team would not cross.

View from the gallery: Senators swap notes and jockey for questions at Trump trial
Aides hold office hours in the back of the chamber while Senate pages log their steps for the day

Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker approached a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team on the floor Wednesday and loudly asked: “You’re not packing up to leave, are you?”

Former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz had gathered a small crowd of Republican senators around the desk of Mike Lee of Utah during the dinner break, and Wicker wanted to elbow in when the impeachment trial restarted.

View from the gallery: Lots of cross-party talk — and cross-contamination — at Senate trial
Mitt Romney finds a loophole in the beverage rule

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York sat still at his desk as President Donald Trump’s defense team played a montage of decades-old statements from Democrats regarding Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

It ended with a clip of Schumer, then a House member, warning against the dangers of partisan impeachment. 

Dershowitz argues Trump cannot be convicted without a criminal offense
President’s legal team focuses heavily on Bidens in Day 5 of impeachment trial

Alan Dershowitz, former Harvard Law School professor and controversial defense attorney, made his debut in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Monday with a deep history lesson and argument that the president cannot be convicted without an actual criminal offense.

Trump’s defense team teased Dershowitz’s arguments more than once throughout the day, like the evening news promotes its big story. And it was not an accident that the star consultant on the Trump defense team landed in primetime.

View from the gallery: Senators suffer through sniffles and sleepiness at Trump trial
House managers wrap up their presentation before an increasingly restless Senate

South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, one of the president’s fiercest defenders in the Senate, chuckled, bowed his head slightly and rubbed his left eyebrow.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein laughed and met the eyes of their knowing Democratic colleagues.

House managers focus on Trump’s ‘defiance’ in closing of impeachment presentation
Trump’s defense team will make the president’s case Saturday

House impeachment managers on Friday concluded their third and final day of arguments to remove President Donald Trump from office by focusing on the House investigation and appealing to authority and emotion.

Lead manager Adam B. Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, forcefully laid out the House’s case in his closing statement, arguing that Trump would “remain a threat to the Constitution” if he were allowed to remain in office. 

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.

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.

House impeaches Trump
Chamber votes to impeach for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

Updated 8:56 p.m. — The House voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in U.S. history and the first in 21 years to face such House action.

Trump, who has denied the charges in Twitter screeds during the impeachment inquiry that spanned more than two months, will stand trial in the Senate, where members there will decide whether to convict him, resulting in his removal from office, or acquit him.

As impeachment vote approaches, Democrats busy talking about other things
Amid policy discussions, Democrats praise colleagues for principled positions on impeachment

It’s the day before the House votes to impeach a president for just the third time in history, so naturally one would expect Democrats leading the effort to be talking about the coming vote.

Instead, the Democratic Caucus spent most of their weekly meeting Tuesday talking about the two massive appropriations packages that were unveiled Monday evening, along with a host of other policy priorities they’re trying to get done before the end of the year. 

Judiciary Committee sends Trump impeachment articles to the House floor
After three days of contentious debate, the panel voted along party lines to recommend impeachment

The House came one step closer to impeaching President Donald Trump after the Judiciary Committee on Friday morning approved charges that Trump obstructed Congress and abused his power.

Next week, for the first time in more than two decades, and only the third time in U.S. history, the full House will consider articles of impeachment against a sitting president.