Well, that was a shit show.
Courtesy of WaPo:
The first substantive day of President Trump’s impeachment trial opened Tuesday with unexpected internal GOP dissension over its structure, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was forced to revise his proposed rules at the last minute to accommodate a brewing rebellion in his ranks.
That abrupt reversal from Senate leadership began a deeply acrimonious day in the chamber, which dramatically escalated in its final hours when the House managers and the president’s attorneys engaged in language considered so toxic for the staid Senate that Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial, admonished both sides.
In the end, the final parameters of the third impeachment trial of a U.S. president was approved on strictly partisan lines, but the measure passed only after revisions that allowed both sides more time to present their cases, and for findings from the House impeachment probe to be automatically entered into evidence as part of the trial.
The arguments grew particularly heated in the late hours as the two sides traded barbs over whether to summon former White House national security adviser John Bolton to testify. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold L. Nadler (D-N.Y.) accused Republican senators of being complicit in a cover-up benefiting Trump — provoking a response from White House counsel Pat Cipollone that Nadler should be “embarrassed” for his rhetoric toward senators.
At this point Justice Roberts felt the need to weigh in:
Chief Justice John Roberts “I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal to terms. To remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body…” pic.twitter.com/iO3AmQSnrq
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 22, 2020
Yeah I think that Justice Roberts might be referring to the Senate as it existed in the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, because nothing we saw yesterday indicated the greatness of this deliberative body.
I had assumed the president’s legal team would be reluctant to tell outright lies in front of the Chief Justice. I was wrong.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 22, 2020
Having said that I do not believe that Rep. Adam Schiff could have done a better job of pushing back against the lies presented by Trump’s legal team, and countering attempts by McConnell to shut the whole thing down early.
I found yesterday’s proceedings to be exhausting and mind-numbing, which of course is exactly what Mitch McConnell wants them to be.
I am hoping that today is a little easier to follow and infinitely more productive.