(UnitedVoice.com) – The Senate wrapped up the question-and-answer portion of the impeachment trial on Thursday night. The day went a lot like day 8 of the trial. Senators wrote down questions, gave them to Chief Justice John Roberts and he read them aloud.
Roberts refused to read the Ukraine whistleblower’s name during the trial, leaving Rand Paul (R-KY) frustrated for the second day in a row. That wasn’t the only bit of drama though.
Questions for Trump’s Legal Team
- Senator Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) wanted to know why senators shouldn’t hear from the former national security adviser, John Bolton. Trump’s Attorney Patrick Philbin responded:
“Ambassador Bolton has not come out to verify that to my knowledge, but then we should have this chamber called new witnesses and establish the new normal for impeachment proceedings as being that there doesn’t have to be a complete investigation in the House, I think that is very damaging for the future of this institution.”
- A bipartisan group of senators — Joe Manchin, Krysten Sinema, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski — asked the president’s team about Rudy Giuliani carrying out foreign policy. They asked the lawyers to “assure the public” that private citizens would be designated before doing so.
“The president’s policy is always to abide by the laws and continue to do so,” Philbin told the senators.
- Attorney Eric Herschmann was asked by a Republican senator if the president has “the best interest of America and its citizens in mind,” and the attorney went on to praise Trump for the border wall, trade agreement and other accomplishments:
House Managers Answer Senators
- Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) wanted to know if there was evidence that President Trump told anyone to “tell the Ukrainians that security assistance was being held on condition of investigation into the Bidens?” House Manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) told Romney that European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s testimony and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s press conference proved Trump linked aid to the investigation.
- Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked if the intelligence community is “prohibited from requesting a foreign entity target an American citizen when the intelligence community is itself prohibited from doing so.”
Rep. Schiff said it is “absolutely an abuse of power.”
Where Swing Senators Stand on Witnesses
After the session wrapped up for the day, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) wrote a statement and told the American people that she will support witness testimony. Sen. Romney also said that he wants to hear from witnesses.
Sen. Murkowski said she is going to think about it and announce her decision on Friday.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he doesn’t need to hear from more witnesses because he has made up his mind that Trump should be acquitted:
I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense.1/15
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) January 31, 2020
What Comes Next
Impeachment day 10 will bring the witness vote. Democrats need four Republicans to vote with them and no Dems to defect to the other side. Right now it doesn’t look as though they have the numbers they need, but anything is possible.
We’ll keep you updated!
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