Politics: Democrats make their case against Trump: 3 things to know about the Senate trial

The Senate impeachment trial so far: 3 things to know

  The Senate impeachment trial so far: 3 things to know Partisanship grips Congress as Senate Republicans and Democrats clash on the rules governing the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Here are 3 things to know.Here are three things to know:

House Democrats on Thursday were expected to continue to make their case in favor of removing President Donald Trump from office, as the Senate impeachment trial continues.

Adam Schiff wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a building: Lead House Manager REp. Adam Schiff delivers his opening argument in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020, at the Capitol.© ABC News Lead House Manager REp. Adam Schiff delivers his opening argument in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020, at the Capitol.

Democrats were expected to start up again around 1 p.m. Eastern time and speak well into the evening. The focus by the House impeachment managers though is expected to shift a bit. While Wednesday was spent laying out much of the evidence, Democrats were now expected to begin making the case that Trump's actions violate the Constitution.

Two days into Trump trial, Republicans appear unmoved but offer Democrats some praise

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Here are three things to know about what has happened in the impeachment trial already:

1) Democrats threw cold water on the idea of offering up Biden as a witness

The Washington Post late Tuesday reported that some Senate Democrats were privately discussing a possible deal with Republicans – a subpoena for former White House adviser John Bolton or other officials with first-hand knowledge of the president's actions, in exchange for the subpoena of former Vice President Joe Biden or his son, Hunter.

That deal would be an abrupt departure from the Democratic position that any witnesses must have information relevant to the investigation.

Even From Half a World Away, Pelosi Keeps a Tight Grip on Impeachment

  Even From Half a World Away, Pelosi Keeps a Tight Grip on Impeachment WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s motorcade was winding through Jerusalem on Wednesday, en route to a state dinner hosted by the president of Israel, when she placed perhaps the most important call of her day — to Representative Adam B. Schiff, the man leading the charge to remove President Trump from office. On the other end of the line, 5,900 miles away, Mr. Schiff, the top impeachment manager, was preparing to stride into the Senate chamber to begin arguing the House’s case, and the speaker wanted to compare notes before she slipped into a gathering of world leaders.Ms. Pelosi’s role in the impeachment of Mr.

MORE: Fact-checking Trump's accusations against the Ukraine whistleblower and the Bidens

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Wednesday it wouldn't happen.

"That trade is not on the table," said Schumer.

Likewise, Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House Democratic impeachment manager, said the goal of the Republicans is merely to "smear Biden" and Democrats wouldn't support it.

"Trials aren't trades for witnesses," said Schiff, D-Calif.

2) Democrats argued Trump was trying to 'cheat' the 2020 election

Democratic remarks shifted on Wednesday away from combative objections on procedure to laying out their case that Trump was trying to influence the upcoming election and was not acting on behalf of the U.S.

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Schiff, a former prosecutor, used provocative terms to do so -- describing Trump's aides as "agents" and referring to their roles in the president's "scheme." Both Schiff and Rep. Jerry Nadler, another impeachment manager, accused Trump of using his power as president to taint Biden in the eyes of American voters.

"As we will show the president went to extraordinary lengths to cheat in the next election," said Nadler, R-N.Y.

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Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska -- four senators who Democrats are hoping will side with them in a vote to demand more witnesses and subpoenas -- took detailed notes and appeared to be paying close attention.

Schiff, at various points, seemed to direct his remarks directly at them, urging senators to put aside their politics and consider what will happen after Trump leaves office.

"What are we going to say with the president who is from a different party who refuses the same kind of subpoenas?" he asked.

"People are cynical enough as it is about politics … cynical enough without having us confirm it for them," he later added.

Near the end of the day Wednesday, Schiff told the senators should be able to know "who else was involved in this scheme."

"You should want the whole truth to come out," he said.

3) Other senators seemed bored, Trump tweeted, and the president's lawyer denied a 'quid pro quo'

While the Senate trial on Wednesday was the Democrats' chance to pull together their most compelling evidence, it also seemed to be a bit of a slog for senators as the arguments stretched well into the evening.

MORE: Rulebreakers and notetakers: Behind the scenes so far in the Senate impeachment trial

Deprived of their electronic devices, several senators paced the back of the room. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., worked a crossword puzzle. At least two senators -- Republicans Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Richard Burr of North Carolina -- ordered glasses of milk, testing reports that Senate rules specifically would allow the dairy drink (and water) on the floor but nothing else.

One of Trump's personal lawyers, Jay Sekulow, vowed to challenge the allegations that there was any "quid pro quo" with Ukraine -- an investigation into the Bidens in exchange for military aide. He wouldn't say whether he thought his side would need all 24 hours of arguments allotted. But Sekulow promised to wrap up arguments in an "orderly" and "systematic" fashion and said the president would be acquitted.

“Are we having an impeachment over a phone call or is this a three-year attempt to take down a president that was duly elected by the American people?” Sekulow said. - Trump, the defendant, was out of town for much of Wednesday, but on a flight returning to Washington after attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. It appeared though the president was paying attention to Schiff's accusation that Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating the Bidens.

"NO PRESSURE," Trump tweeted as the trial continued.

ABC News' Benjamin Siegel, Trish Turner, Beatrice Peterson, Ben Gittleson, Devin Dwyer, Allison Pecorin, Katherine Faulders, Mariam Khan, Sarah Kolinovsky, and John Parkinson contributed to this report.

Trump Told Bolton to Help His Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Book Says .
The president asked his national security adviser last spring in front of other senior advisers to pave the way for a meeting between Rudolph Giuliani and Ukraine’s new leader.Mr. Trump gave the instruction, Mr. Bolton wrote, during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president’s impeachment defense.

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