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Chief justice scolds legal teams after tense exchange

Washington (CNN)Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, scolded both the Democratic House managers and the President’s defense team early Wednesday morning after a contentious exchange on the Senate floor.

“I think it is appropriate for me to admonish both the House managers and the President’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Roberts said. “One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse.”

Roberts had just listened to the impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team rip into each other after House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler made the case for issuing a subpoena for former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony.

During that argument, Nadler accused Republican senators of “voting for a coverup” by killing amendments for documents and testimony of additional witnesses.

    “So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a coverup. Voting to deny witnesses and obviously a treacherous vote,” Nadler said. “A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States.”

    That led to White House counsel Pat Cipollone firing back during his own remarks: “The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you. For the way you addressed this body. This is the United States Senate. You’re not in charge here.”

    Roberts said that kind of exchange was not appropriate and, providing a historical example, reminded the legal teams they they need to be on their best behavior.

    “In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word ‘pettifogging’ and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used,” Roberts said. “I don’t think we need to aspire to that high of a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.”

    Throughout Tuesday’s trial, Senate Republicans

    defeated a series of amendments

    from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to subpoena the Trump administration for Ukraine documents as well as testimony from key administration officials. The Senate ultimately killed those amendments and approved rules for the trial on a party-line vote without addressing whether the chamber should subpoena documents or witnesses.

    In his role as chief justice

    , Roberts presides over the trial — his constitutional duty — in a role that is highly public but unlikely to see him cast any votes.

    His chiding of the legal teams Wednesday morning marked a break from his largely procedural tasks throughout the trial so far, including reciting procedural rules, keeping the clock and reading aloud vote tallies.

      Still, heading into the Senate trial, Roberts likely anticipated all manner of possible disruption, by senators, the House managers and perhaps even Trump, with whom he has tangled in the past.

      The chief justice has long been known for his extensive preparation and an ability to foresee what’s ahead that some colleagues have likened to three-dimensional chess.

      CNN’s Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.

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      Woman says she was assaulted as she slept on Atlanta-Detroit flight

      (CNN)A Michigan woman says a passenger assaulted her as she slept on a Spirit Airlines morning flight from Atlanta to Detroit.

      Detroit student Tia Jackson, 22, told CNN she was in the middle seat Tuesday while her friend was sitting by the window and a man they didn’t know had the aisle seat.

      During the flight, Jackson said she put in her AirPods and went to sleep, leaning on her friend with her back to the man in the aisle seat.

      Just before the plane landed, she felt the person next to her touch her, and didn’t know what it was at first. “Then I thought, maybe he just bumped me,” she said. The touch then changed and she felt the man’s hand inside the back of her pants, according to Jackson.

        She immediately jumped up and pushed the call button, she said, and told the man, “Hey — you are going to stop touching me! Get off of me!”

        Jackson said she notified the flight attendant, who offered to move her seat, but she refused because she didn’t want to leave her friend and she felt like she was being punished for what he’d done.

        “He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!” she said she told the flight attendant.

        None of the passengers were moved

        Neither passenger was moved, according to Jackson, and the plane landed at the Detroit airport. She said she spoke to the pilot as she deplaned, and the pilot told her to talk to the gate agent.

        Jackson said she felt ignored and mistreated by the airline so she filed a report with the police at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

        Spirit Airlines said they’re aware of the incident and offered to move Jackson to another seat at the time.

        “We take this claim seriously and are in direct contact with the guest. We thank our crew for their quick and professional assistance to address the situation,” the airline said in a statement.

        “Our flight attendants on board that flight learned of the alleged incident 18 minutes prior to landing when the guest pressed the call button and received immediate attention. Once she told the flight attendant who came to her seat, the flight attendant directed her to a different seat. The cabin crew wanted to move her, as opposed to him, because the move would have left him with an empty seat on one side and an aisle on the other.”

        The airline said by the time Jackson declined to move, landing was imminent and everyone had to be seated as required by federal regulation.

        “Law enforcement began its investigation immediately after the flight arrived,” the airline said. “We are supporting law enforcement as they investigate. Questions about that investigation should be directed to them.”

        Passenger says airline failed her

        Jackson said she’s speaking out because she is worried about other potential victims. “He needs to be held responsible. He is a predator. He displays predatory behavior. Who knows who else he has done this to,” she said. “I don’t want anyone else to ever have to fall victim to him.”

          She accused airline employees of failing her when she reported the alleged incident. “They let him and any potential witnesses leave,” Jackson said.

          Police told CNN the police report has not been finalized and the FBI is handling the investigation.

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          Venezuela has changed, but not how Guaido hoped

          (CNN)What becomes of an agent for change who doesn’t change much?

          That’s the question dogging Juan Guaido as he embarks on

          another global tour,

          an uncomfortable mirror of the near-triumphant voyage he took last February in the weeks after declaring himself the rightful interim president of Venezuela.

          Back then, he escaped a travel ban and slipped into Colombia to attend a rock concert hosted by British billionaire Richard Branson. He shook eager presidential hands both there and around South America before launching a daring bid to return to Venezuela, flummoxing his opponents by sneaking back into Caracas’ main airport in plain sight on a commercial jet.

          He was the star in his own meteoric tale, bolstered by the Trump administration and Venezuela’s neighbors: that he was the only legitimate leader of his country, and that Nicolas Maduro was done.

            Venezuela's Juan Guaido says 'no' to future talks with Nicolas Maduro

            As he makes another foreign trip this week, the star power and magnetism — and the hope — has mostly evaporated.

            Guaido met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

            at a counter-narcotics conference in Colombia on Monday, before heading off to Europe, where he may miss President Donald Trump if he gets as far as Davos in Switzerland.

            Change is likely not coming in Guaido’s wake — and his air miles are more a bid to resuscitate himself on the international stage than a chance for foreign capitals to hyperventilate about his transitional presidency.

            So what has changed, if Guaido brought none?

            First was Trump. While the fuel for Guaido’s rise was the smoldering and inexorable collapse of Venezuela, the spark was a White House convinced that an easy win was possible. Sacked US national security adviser John Bolton, who told Maduro he should

            look into beachfront property for retirement

            , may himself be crafting his explosive memoirs overlooking some gentle sands. Trump’s officials still bang the drum of sanctions, but Venezuela is rarely on his lips now. Unless Trump thinks a revived campaign to oust Maduro may help his reelection chances — perhaps in Florida — it’s unlikely he’ll escalate anytime soon. And given how entrenched the Maduro government is, the US would need to consider using force.

            Pompeo meets with Venezuelan opposition leader in Colombia

            Second, Guaido failed. His team was new to cutthroat politics, charmingly dazzled by their sudden overnight ascendance, and alternated between being startlingly adept and shockingly naive. The failed attempt to overthrow Maduro on April 30 was a decisive moment when Guaido and his emboldened supporters, including even soldiers in the streets of the capital in blue armbands, failed to turn the tide. Guaido failed at the one thing everyone knew he needed to break: the security forces and their hold on the guns, drugs, money and borders.

            Which leads to the third change — in Maduro himself. He has been pragmatic, but also ruthless. A recent interview with The Washington Post saw him offer direct talks with the Trump administration and even business opportunities to American oil giants. Offering Trump business deals while the White House is busy instead pillorying you with sanctions borders on ridicule and is not something you do unless you are pretty relaxed.

            Maduro has also turned nast(ier). Whereas a year ago, the security forces seemed at times reticent to resort to violence — and perhaps even feared greater popular anger if they drew Venezuelan blood — now, the gloves are off. An

            extensive torture campaign

            has been documented by human rights workers, intended to rub out any sense of disloyalty from the military. Cuban operatives stalk detention centers where systematic violence and rape is alleged. Civilian opponents have been executed by special police units, human rights workers and the UN say. The Maduro government has rejected these allegations.

            Even Guaido’s fellow opposition legislators — together with journalists and bystanders — were physically attacked outside the National Assembly this month by Maduro loyalists. There’s always been thuggery, but the torture has become systematic and the targets on the street are broader now.

            Chaos and a political showdown at Venezuela's National Assembly

            Maduro has also been smart enough to allow tiny reforms. The seat of power — Caracas — is strangely calm. A friend there tells me dollars are informally permitted to pay for goods, removing one grievance behind the protests and reducing the impact of hyperinflation on the local bolivar. If you have dollars you can eat, even if the city is even less secure. Wholesale decline has continued in rural areas, where barter is now common and food scarce. But if the capital is muddling through, Maduro’s grip on its levers of power can stay tight.

            It is hard not to see the hand of Moscow in some of these choices. Tiny economic reforms and targeted brutality are straight from the Kremlin’s playbook. Russian state oil firm Rosneft is also accused of

            trading Venezuelan oil with India and China

            to get around sanctions. (Russia and its companies have denied any wrongdoing or involvement in deals alleged to break international law.) Again, while the White House’s attention span for revolution demands overnight results, Moscow sits in with its allies for the long haul.

            Yet none of Guaido’s failure alters the underlying crisis at the heart of Venezuela: that its kleptocracy and mismanagement are still bleeding it dry, with hundreds of thousands still refugees around the region. But it marks yet another opposition leader’s rise and then deceleration.

              Guaido may not be done yet. Maduro’s new penchant for strong-arm tactics could see his rival arrested. That could spark internal fury, or meaningful external action. Military defectors in exile may muster enough foreign support to affect some sort of change. The Trump administration may have a backup plan.

              But the most startling observation — a year since Guaido stood before a crowd of thousands of supporters in Caracas and declared he was the legitimate president of the entire nation — is how smoothly Maduro has sailed out of the storm.

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              Greta ignores Davos panel question to give warning

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              Wuhan: The London-sized city where the virus began

              The Yangtze (brown) and Han rivers (blue) merge in WuhanImage copyright
              Getty Images

              Image caption

              The Yangtze (brown) and Han rivers (blue) merge in Wuhan

              Wuhan may not be a well-known Chinese mega-city like Beijing or Shanghai.

              But the place where the coronavirus outbreak emerged is, in fact, a teeming metropolis with connections to every part of the globe.

              According to UN data from 2018, 8.1 million people live in the central Chinese city – making it slightly smaller than London, but much bigger than Washington DC.

              One estimate makes it the 42nd biggest city in the world, and the seventh biggest in China.

              And it’s the size – and economic clout – of Wuhan that explains why the virus has travelled quickly across Asia, and even to the US.

              In short, the virus has spread so widely because lots of people visit Wuhan and take the virus home with them.

              Image copyright
              Getty Images

              Image caption

              Wuhan was a host city for the 2019 Basketball World Cup – including this match between Argentina and Nigeria

              Wuhan international airport handled 20 million passengers in 2016, and offers direct flights to London, Paris, Dubai, and other cities around the world.

              The city is built along the Yangtze river and, according to its website, it is a “foundation of in both hi-tech manufacturing and traditional manufacturing”.

              It has a series of industrial zones, 52 “institutions of higher learning”, and claims more than 700,000 students – including, reportedly, the largest number of undergraduates in the country.

              Some 230 of the world’s 500 biggest companies (as measured by the Fortune Global list) have invested there.

              There is also notable investment from France – which had a foreign concession in Hankou, in today’s Wuhan, between 1886 and 1943. More than 100 French firms have invested in the city and Peugeot-Citroen has a Chinese joint-venture plant there.

              Wuhan can also serve as a gateway to the Three Gorges – a tourist region and home to a huge hydroelectric dam.

              So, although the coronavirus originated in a local seafood market, the flow of people in and out of Wuhan has ensured its spread.

              The US patient, for example, had recently visited Wuhan, as had both Japanese patients. The Korean patient lived there. The case in Thailand is a Chinese tourist from Wuhan.

              The huge flow of people in and out of Wuhan will only increase as Chinese New Year approaches, and millions of people return home to celebrate.

              China’s National Health Commission said travellers should avoid Wuhan, and that Wuhan residents should not leave the city.

              But Wuhan’s status as one of the biggest – and most connected – places in the world means international cases will almost certainly continue to emerge.

              Media playback is unsupported on your device

              Media captionChina health officials: “Don’t go to Wuhan, don’t leave Wuhan”
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              Wuhan virus death toll rises to 9 as fears grow of wider spread

              Hong Kong (CNN)The death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus has risen to nine, as dozens more cases were reported across China and as far afield as the western United States sparking fears of a possible pandemic.

              Top officials at the World Health Organization will convene for an emergency meeting in Geneva Wednesday, to decide whether the quickly developing outbreak constitutes a “

              public health emergency of international concern

              ,” and what recommendations should be made regarding it, including


              cross-border screening, greater surveillance and rolling out treatment programs.

              Chinese health authorities said Wednesday that at least 440 cases had been confirmed across the country, with three new deaths linked to the virus in Hubei, the central Chinese province of which Wuhan is the capital.

              Officials in Washington state confirmed the first case on US soil Tuesday. Cases have also been reported in South Korea, Thailand and Japan, and suspected cases detected in Australia.

                China on Tuesday


                it was adopting Class A prevention and control measures, typically used for major outbreaks

                such as

                plague and cholera. This means health officials will get sweeping powers to lock down affected areas and quarantine patients. China

                previously used

                such measures in 2009 to tackle an outbreak of H1N1, introducing mandatory quarantine for anyone who had “close contact” with an infected person, including foreigners

                arriving in the country

                from areas where H1N1 outbreaks had been reported.

                Li Bin, China’s national health commissioner, said Wednesday that officials are aware of around 2,200 cases of “close contact” with known virus carriers. Regarding suspected cases, 715 patients have been discharged while more than 300 patients remain on medical watch.

                The disease is mainly transmitted “through the respiratory tract,” said Li, adding that “there is possibility of viral mutation and further spread of the disease.”

                While there are indications that Chinese authorities are ready to ramp up controls on travel — including ordering that all trips to Wuhan be canceled and refunded — it remains to be seen whether the virus, already reported in around a dozen locations, can be reined in before the Lunar New Year travel period truly kicks in.

                The largest annual human migration on Earth, hundreds of millions of people will travel across China and overseas during the four-week period, which began in mid-January and continues until February. Many will go by train or plane,

                raising the risk of infection as they are put in close contact with other travelers


                What we know about the virus

                First identified in Wuhan in mid-December, the

                novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

                is in the same family of infections as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

                Coronaviruses are transmitted by animals and people, and the Wuhan strain has been linked to a market in the city which was selling seafood and live animals, including wild species. SARS was

                previously linked

                to similar markets, particularly the sale of civet cats, a delicacy in some parts of China.

                Speaking Wednesday, Li, the Chinese health official, said that Wuhan and Hubei provincial authorities should tighten the regulation of farm markets and wild animals. He also urged the public to avoid crowds and minimize large gatherings.

                Chinese health officials said human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed, raising the chance of its spread. In one instance, 14 doctors and nurses operating on a patient unknown to be carrying the virus were all infected with it, suggesting it can be spread relatively easily.

                The true extent of the virus is unclear, and official figures may be an underestimation. A study by British researchers previously estimated — based on the spread of the virus overseas in a relatively short time — that the number of people infected in Wuhan alone was likely around 1,700.

                However, so far the death toll is relatively low, and almost all cases involved elderly people with preexisting conditions: of the more than 400 confirmed cases in China, nine deaths have been reported so far, or 2.25%. By comparison, SARS had a

                mortality rate

                of around 10%, and much higher among vulnerable populations.

                Medical staff transfer patients to Jin Yintan hospital on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, China.

                Worldwide effort

                With cases and suspected cases already reported across Asia and now as far afield as the US and Australia, containment efforts are being put in place in many travel hubs.

                Wuhan alone has connections with more than 60 overseas destinations through its international airport, while Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, all of which have reported cases, have hundreds more.

                Airports across Asia have stepped up temperature screening of incoming passengers, as have several hubs in the US, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

                With all indications that the virus has a relatively slow incubation time, however, these efforts may be insufficient to stop its spread.

                “You cannot absolutely prevent entry into the country of a disease like this. The incubation period is probably a week,” Australia’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy,

                said Tuesday

                . “It’s about identifying those with a high risk and making sure people with a high risk know about it and know how to get medical attention.”

                Raising concerns about how difficult it is to detect those with the virus, even if they have some symptoms, a patient in South Korea told doctors there she had developed a fever and muscle pains on Saturday and was prescribed cold medicine by a doctor in Wuhan, before being sent on her way. She was later confirmed to have the coronavirus during a check in Seoul.

                In the US, the National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine for the new virus, though it will take at least a few months until the first phase of clinical trials get underway and more than a year until a vaccine might be available.

                Scientists in Texas, New York and China are also at work on a vaccine, according to Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

                  “The lesson we’ve learned is coronavirus infections are serious and one of the newest and biggest global health threats,” Hotez told CNN.

                  How to contain that threat will be a key point on the agenda for the WHO meeting Wednesday, which may recommend more stringent screening and possibly even quarantine measures.

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                  First fires, then floods. Now Australians need to watch out for deadly spiders

                  (CNN)Australia has already dealt with extreme fires, flooding and hail this year. Now experts are warning people to watch out for deadly funnel-web spiders due to “perfect conditions” for the arachnid to thrive.

                  Native to the moist forest regions of eastern Australia, several funnel-web species are known for their highly toxic and

                  fast-acting venom

                  . On Wednesday, the Australian Reptile Park — based in Somersby, in New South Wales state — said spider activity had increased in recent days.

                  “Because of the recent rain and now the hot days we are now experiencing, funnel-web spiders will start to move around,” park spokesman Daniel Rumsey said in a video posted on



                  “Funnel-web spiders are potentially one of the most dangerous spiders on the planet, in terms of a bite towards humans, and we have to treat it very seriously.”

                    Experts say the Australian funnel-web is one of the most dangerous spiders on Earth.

                    Australia has been ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades, with large swaths of the country devastated since the fire season began in late July. At least 28 people have died nationwide — and in the state of New South Wales alone, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.

                    Severe thunderstorms delivered relief to some areas late last week, although flash flooding created new risks. Parts of southeastern Australia were also pelted by

                    hailstones the size of golf balls

                    , big enough to smash car windows and injure birds, less than 24 hours after the region was hit by massive dust storms.

                      Warren Bailey, owner of ABC Pest Control Sydney, told CNN that funnel-webs are normally active during the summer, but the spider season arrived later than usual this year because the weather has been “very dry” in the past few months.

                      “Their venom is pretty toxic and can kill someone,” he said. “The funnel-webs are now out with the recent rains, (and) they can go into people’s houses on the ground or from the roof.”

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                      Bitter exchanges and incriminating evidence

                      Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, if its first real day is any guide, will be a dramatic, divisive and fact-bending showdown in his own confrontational image and its aftershocks will rumble for decades to come.

                      None of the

                      bitter exchanges in the well of the chamber

                      on Tuesday are likely to change the reality that there’s

                      no two-thirds majority in the Republican-led chamber

                      to convict the President and throw him out of office.

                      And any dim hopes that the trial could stir a moment of national catharsis and a path out of the most bitter political crisis in decades are already dead after a rancorous day. The debate stretched long past midnight into Wednesday morning.

                      Senators sat for hours, deprived of their phones and social media, listening to a stunning case: Democrats outlined evidence that Trump had solicited political favors from a foreign nation — Ukraine — using nearly $400 million in taxpayer aid and then mounted a massive cover-up to hide his actions.

                        Senate impeachment trial: Republicans vote to kill Democratic amendments seeking documents

                        Republican senators, forced to sit mostly in silence during the presentation, can no longer ignore the incriminating evidence against the President. Even still, stark political factors — including Trump’s stronghold on the GOP base — mean there will be no surprises about how most of them plan to vote.

                        But the lead House impeachment manager, Rep. Adam Schiff, warned his fellow lawmakers that they could pay a price for suppressing the real story of what had happened between Trump and Ukraine.

                        “The truth will come out — the question is, will it come out in time?” the California Democrat asked, making a simple case that Trump’s actions abused a public trust and endangered the character of the republic.

                        White House counsel Pat Cipollone, meanwhile, adopted the strategies of Trump’s House defenders, who chose not to dispute the evidence but alleged a wider conspiracy that the President’s enemies had always been bent on overthrowing him.

                        “The only conclusion will be that the President has done absolutely nothing wrong, and that these articles of impeachment do not begin to approach the standard required by the Constitution,” Cipollone said.

                        Surreal scene dissolves into rancor

                        Inside the Republican lunch that slowed McConnell's plan to rush the impeachment trial

                        It was still a surreal moment, at 1 p.m. ET, to see

                        Chief Justice John Roberts take the gavel

                        as senators met to decide whether Trump should be the first President in US history convicted on articles of impeachment to be removed from office.

                        The two rival teams, Schiff and his fellow impeachment managers and

                        Trump’s legal brain trust

                        , sat arrayed at tables set up in front of the chamber, as members dug in for a long day at their desks, broken only by the odd trip to get some candy or a dinner break well into Wednesday night.

                        But for all the historic echoes, the day soon became like any other in the Trump era when mind-bending debates erupted over the nature of basic facts and ill will between the parties clogged Congress’ most basic duty — holding a President to account.

                        The central question on Tuesday was whether the trial can be seen to be fair.

                        In one unexpected twist,

                        Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

                        , apparently seeking to shield vulnerable swing state senators under pressure to back a fair trial, relented on a schedule that had envisaged testimony in two marathon 12-hour days from each side. Instead, House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team will each have three days to make their 24 hours of trial arguments, beginning Wednesday.

                        The Kentucky Republican rarely moves without certainty about his vote count. So his concession raised questions over whether Democrats were making headway in pressuring a handful of GOP senators they hope to convince to back their demands for more witnesses.

                        One of that group, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, said it was “likely” that she would vote to call new witnesses later in the trial.

                        Two GOP aides told CNN that the changes by McConnell were meant to assuage concerns of moderate Republicans — who the majority leader needs to win next November in order to keep hold of the chamber. The alterations were

                        scribbled in ink on a paper copy of the resolution

                        — a sign of the speed in which they had come together.

                        Still, Collins has disappointed Democrats before, and four Republicans would need to defect for Democrats to achieve their goal of admitting new evidence and witnesses.

                        Democrats want to call former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, among other former officials. Trump’s team says the Senate should not subpoena witnesses who Democrats chose not to pursue through court challenges before the President was formally impeached.

                        Going into the day, Democrats were using words such as “cover-up,” “impunity,” “rushed” and “predetermined,” reflecting their desire to paint the trial as a sham in the wider court of American public opinion. Before the elections in November, they want to leave voters with a clear impression that Republicans are cooking up a fix to save a corrupt President.

                        For once, the star of the show was oddly absent.

                        Trump was halfway up a Swiss mountain

                        , lobbing the odd tweet after giving a speech boasting about the economy at the World Economic Forum.

                        But his omnipresent shadow lingered over the Senate all day anyway.

                        A string of Democratic defeats

                        Trump tells the Senate one thing and courts another when it comes to witnesses

                        The first real day of the trial saw House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team slog through hours of debate over attempts by Democrats to expand the scope of the trial, all doomed to be tabled along party lines by 53 votes to 47.

                        It didn’t take long for the themes and personalities that will dominate the next 10 days or so to seize the center stage as the US Senate accustomed itself to the surreal reality of only the third presidential impeachment trial in US history.

                        Schiff showed off the forensic skills of a master advocate, weaving incriminatory facts into a wider narrative of the constitutional imperative to convict an unchained President.

                        Every now and then he would reach outside the room to address “the American people” — looking directly at a camera fixed in the Senate gallery — a piece of stagecraft that speakers in the chamber’s well rarely perform.

                        Schiff warned that if Trump were allowed to get away with pressuring foreign leaders for dirt on his rivals, in this case former Vice President Joe Biden, the Senate would change American politics forever.

                        “You want to say that’s OK, then you’ve got to say that every future president can come into office and they can do the same thing,” he said. “Are we prepared to say that? Well, that’s why we’re here.”

                        Despite his assured performance, the question remains whether the House Intelligence Committee chairman, roughed up by months of political battle with Trump, has a chance to succeed in the near-impossible job of getting GOP members to change their minds.

                        Trump’s legal team performed in a way that their boss — no doubt watching on television across the Atlantic — would have enjoyed.

                        Attorney Jay Sekulow, a smooth TV veteran

                        , was combustible, theatrical and often loose with the facts in a manner that would not cut it in a real court.


                        made up for his milder manner with the vehemence of his argument, accusing Democrats of plotting to commit the same offense for which the President was impeached.

                        “They’re not here to steal one election. They’re here to steal two elections, ” Cipollone said. “It’s long past time we start this, so we can end this ridiculous charade and go have an election.”

                        Trump’s team also made a series of incorrect claims; for instance, complaining that Republicans had been barred from a secure space in the House where impeachment investigators had questioned witnesses, as part of an argument that Trump’s inquisitors had denied him due process.

                        Presiding over it all was Roberts, who looked oddly out of place across the road from the marble-pillared splendor of the Supreme Court.

                          The chief justice made few interventions — and came across as a ceremonial presence rather than a judge running a trial — dispensing vote counts and banging his gavel on the instructions of a Senate clerk.

                          “Without objection, so ordered. Do I bang the gavel, right?” Roberts asked at one point, struggling with the arcane lingo of his new role.

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                          Democrats lay out the case; Republicans close ranks

                          (CNN)Tuesday was not the boring parliamentary nitpicking you might have expected.

                          “Eventually, this will all come out,” said Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, another of the Democratic impeachment managers. “We will have answers to these questions. The question now is if we will have them in time, and who here will be on the right side of history.”

                          Party-line votes

                          The effort lasted hours and got Democrats nowhere in the Senate, as their pleas were rejected on party-line votes. This could go on for a while. As of this writing, Republicans had defeated calls for the Senate to subpoena the White House and the State Department. They seemed likely to defeat a call for information from the Office of Management and Budget. Other requests from Democrats are expected later on.

                          An admonishment from the chief justice

                          Chief Justice John Roberts admonished both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team after a feisty exchange, in which impeachment manager Jerry Nadler accused Republican senators of “voting for a coverup” and White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Nadler should be “embarrassed.”

                          “I think it is appropriate for me to admonish both the House managers and the President’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Roberts said. “One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse.”

                          The process argument

                          The Republican counterargument

                          largely rested on process

                          — the idea that the House should have waited to get the information through the courts rather than impeach Trump and ask the Senate to do more subpoenas.

                          Republican senators stick together, for now

                          Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who has said she’d like to hear from witnesses, rejected the argument in favor of subpoenas on a technicality. She’d rather wait, perhaps to consider it again.

                          “I will vote to table any attempts by either side to subpoena documents or witnesses before that stage in the trial,” she said in a statement. “While I need to hear the case argued and the questions answered, I anticipate that I would conclude that having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to subpoena witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999. “

                          There was some acquiescing to Collins by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, giving a bit more time for opening statements and guaranteeing that the House evidence will be a part of the record. But on the key points, Republicans stuck together on Tuesday.

                          Collins was also the lone Republican to break ranks and vote with Democrats on one of the 11 amendments proposed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. That amendment was defeated, like all the others.

                          Impeachment Watch podcast:

                          McConnell feels the heat from within the GOP. David Chalian talked to CNN Capitol Hill reporter Alex Rogers and Michael Zeldin, a legal analyst.

                          Here’s a valuable graphic

                          In the Senate chamber: note-takers, boredom, beef jerky

                          CNN’s Lauren Fox, Jeremy Herb and Michael Warren were inside the Senate chamber and offered their observations:


                          Many of the members have turned to writing notes as a way to keep busy during the trial. Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah who has worked closely with McConnell and the President on preparations for the trial, wrote at a furious pace. A constitutional lawyer, Lee seemed enthralled with the scene, scribbling notes and straining to ensure he could see all of the exhibits Schiff referenced. There were a few video clips that played where most of the chamber almost seemed confused at first about where the videos were coming from.

                          Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, up for reelection this year, also scribbled down notes. Next to him, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, glanced over repeatedly, almost as if he were not quite sure what Gardner was jotting down so quickly.

                          McConnell, meanwhile, was stone-faced. The Kentucky Republican looked at Schiff, listening intently with his hands folded in his lap.

                          The Collins-Murkowski connection

                          It’s just their normal seating arrangement, but, interestingly, Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Collins — both moderates targeted by Democrats as potential swing votes on key procedural issues — are sitting next to each other during these proceedings.

                          Some appear bored, and fidget

                          Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona had a blanket over her lap. Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska let loose a big yawn. At one point, both Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho appeared to have their eyes closed, but Gillibrand opened hers abruptly and sat up straight in her chair.

                          Others looked like bored students in a particularly long lecture. Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas absent-mindedly clicked his retractable pen for about a minute before Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa turned to look at him and he stopped. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was chewing a piece of gum. Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina scribbled on a note card and handed it to Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who read it, leaned into Scott’s ear, and began whispering. Scott silently laughed at whatever Sasse told him.

                          Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters during the first day of the Senate impeachment trial, Tuesday, January 21.

                          Friendly breaks

                          During a break there were lots of conversations on the floor. Sasse offered beef jerky that’s stashed in his desk to other senators. Cotton walked over to the Democratic side of the floor and chatted with Schumer of New York, putting his arm around him at one point.

                          Ivanka Trump stays silent

                          The presidential adviser and daughter is in Davos, Switzerland, where she and her dad are representing the US at the World Economic Forum. CNN’s Jim Acosta asked her to comment on the impeachment.

                          She did not.

                          Earlier in the day, President Trump was asked if it’s better to be in Davos than in DC. “Well, we’re here meeting with world leaders. The biggest, most important people in the world, and we’re bringing back tremendous business to the United States … the other is just a hoax. It’s the witch hunt that’s been going on for years,” he said.

                          Lev Parnas is now in the record

                          CNN’s Marshall Cohen points out that Democrats managed to enter into the record information that came to light last week from Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born businessman who

                          worked with Rudy Giuliani

                          on the Ukraine pressure campaign.

                          Arguing that the Senate should subpoena the State Department, impeachment manager Val Demings pointed to a February 2019 text message where Giuliani told Republican lawyer Victoria Toensing that he was going to talk to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about removing the US ambassador to Ukraine. (Trump later removed the diplomat, Marie Yovanovitch, from her post amid a flurry of public allegations from Giuliani and his allies in conservative media, who falsely accused Yovanovitch of being an anti-Trump partisan.)

                          House investigators got those text messages only last week, after Parnas

                          complied with a months-old subpoena

                          . He was indicted in October on campaign finance charges, and recently secured approval from a judge to share the documents.

                          lev parnas 2020 Trump Biden investigation ukraine anderson cooper intv ac360 vpx_00002521

                          Demings aired a clip of Parnas’ interview with MSNBC, where he talked about the pressure campaign. He also sat down for a wide-ranging interview with CNN

                          , and said he had tried to intimidate Ukrainian officials at the direction of Gi

                          uliani and Trump.

                          How is a Senate trial different from a criminal trial?

                          Here’s a good explanation of the

                          difference between an impeachment trial and a criminal trial

                          from CNN analysts Elie Honig and Samantha Vinograd.

                          A reader’s digest of their points:

                          The jury

                          — Defendants in criminal trials are entitled to a jury of 12 peers, and in federal cases the jury must reach a unanimous verdict. A Senate trial has 100 senators and requires a 2/3 supermajority, usually 67 senators. Plus, while regular jurors can be dismissed for breaking the rules of trial, there’s no way to enforce the oath senators took last week. (

                          Remember that?


                          Burden of proof — In a criminal trial, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. No such requirement in the Senate.

                          The rules — Criminal trials have detailed rules regarding evidence, witnesses and arguments. Senate trials do not. And the rules can be easily changed.

                          The judge — The Constitution requires the chief justice of the Supreme Court to preside over a presidential impeachment.

                          The punishment — Criminal punishment usually involves imprisonment or fines or both. The punishment for conviction in a Senate impeachment trial is removal from office and a prohibition on running for office in the future.

                          Breaking the law without committing a crime

                          Here’s a point of order on

                          something I wrote a day ago


                          I wrote this headline for a portion of the newsletter: “There was a crime, according to GAO.” Legal-eyed readers reached out to argue that you can break a law without it being a crime. Rather, it is a noncriminal violation of law.

                          Not a crime, a violation of law

                          The administration violated the Impoundment Control Act, but the law has no criminal penalties for people who break it.

                          This is important to the proceedings, since a lot of Republicans (and

                          Trump’s new lawyer Alan Dershowitz!

                          ) argue that a crime, or criminal conduct, should be required for impeachment. The articles of impeachment do not mention the Government Accountability Office finding.

                          No federal crimes in 1789

                          I particularly enjoyed

                          seeing this on Twitter

                          from The Washington Post’s Charles Lane:

                          “One weakness with argument that impeachable offense must be a violation of criminal law, too: at time Founders wrote Constitution, there were no federal crimes. It was not until 1790 that the Crimes Act created the first 23 separate federal crimes.”

                          There was, however, English common law

                          I ran that idea by Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst, and he generally agreed, but added this about the Framers:

                          “What they did know was English common law. Under the Common Law there were articulated crimes. So when the Framers talked in terms of Bribery, Treason and Other High Crimes and Misdemeanors they were referring back to English Common Law. (As we have discussed too, high crimes and misdemeanors was not limited to criminal law violations. It was understood as a violation of the public trust by office holders.)”

                          Zeldin has written about why Democrats didn’t allege a crime

                          in the articles of impeachment even though there is evidence crimes were committed.

                          What are we doing here?

                            The President has invited foreign powers to interfere in the US presidential election. Democrats impeached him for it. A Senate trial is happening now. It is a crossroads for the American system of government as the President tries to change what’s acceptable for US politicians. This newsletter will focus on this consequential moment in US history.

                            Keep track of action with

                            CNN’s Impeachment Tracker.

                            See a

                            timeline of events

                            here. And get your full refresher on

                            who’s who in this drama