white-house

With Iowa and New Hampshire still up in the air, Democratic race has 2016 echoes
Once impeachment is done, Democrats will have to deal with their divisions

Senators raise their hands as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administers the oath of the Senate Court of Impeachment Thursday. (Screenshot/Senate Recording Studio)

ANALYSIS — Sometime soon, the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump will likely end and the Senate, notwithstanding who might get called as a witness, will acquit him.

The president, of course, will claim victory and, having escaped punishment, will presumably return to doing what he has been doing for months — looking for ways to discredit Democrats, even if it involves help from foreign governments. The rest of us will also jump quickly from impeachment and back to the presidential race, hardly missing a beat.

Capitol Ink | Mustache Justice

View from the gallery: Senators’ personal habits on full display as week 2 begins
One senator picked his nose, while an attorney swiped a souvenir

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., walks to the Senate chamber for the start of the impeachment trial proceedings Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander fought off sleep as President Donald Trump’s legal team discussed a history of subpoena litigation, eyes closed, his cheek resting on his hand, his chin sometimes dropping toward his orange sweater.

When Deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin announced he was ready to wrap up his portion of Trump’s presentation, Alexander studied his watch.

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

An iPhone playing the House impeachment managers’ news conference Monday sits on the floor of the Senate Reception Room before the start of the trial proceedings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Impeachment news roundup: Jan. 27
Pence spokesman says Trump never tied Ukraine aid to Biden investigation with VP

Vice President Mike Pence leaves the Old Senate Chamber after conducting the ceremonial swear-in of senators in January 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

File updated 9:06 p.m.

At least two Republican senators indicated Monday that they and others are inclined to call for the testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton after reports that he says in his upcoming book that President Donald Trump told him to withhold aid to Ukraine absent an investigation into political rivals.

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 Sen. Lindsey Graham is surrounded by reporters Friday as he arrives for the Senate Republicans’ lunch before the start of the day’s impeachment trial proceedings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Schiff’s emotional closing appeals set expectations for his Friday finale
Former prosecutor tries to appeal to GOP senators’ sense of right and wrong

House impeachment managers Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., left, and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., are wrapping up their arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Adam B. Schiff’s prosecutorial tone changed considerably at the end of the first two days of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, a preview that his presentation finale Friday night will feature loftier rhetoric about showing courage and doing what’s right, even when it risks a career.

“Every night we say, ‘Adam save it for the end,’ and every night he outdoes the night before,” Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said.

Democrats pick women from key 2020 states for State of the Union response
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar to follow Trump

Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar will give the Democrats’ Spanish-language response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic leaders announced Friday that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar, who both hail from critical 2020 states, will give the responses to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4.

Whitmer leads Michigan, a top presidential and congressional battleground that Trump won by less than half a percentage point in 2016. Escobar, who will give the Spanish-language response to the president’s address, represents a deep-blue district in Texas, where Democrats are hoping to make gains in the state’s diversifying suburbs. 

Photos of the week: Trump's impeachment trial begins
The week ending Jan. 24 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

House impeachment managers Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., at podium, flanked by, from left, Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Val Demings, D-Fla., Sylvia R. Garcia, D-Texas, Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Jason Crow, D-Colo., address the media in the Capitol on the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats seek to put teeth into ‘impoundment’ law
Going to court is only current option to force release of funds

House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth wants to make it hurt if a president tries to block funding against lawmakers’ wishes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A fresh legal opinion challenging President Donald Trump’s hold on Ukraine military aid under a Nixon-era budget law may or may not move the needle with senators in the president’s impeachment trial.

But one thing is clear: Trump’s delay of $214 million in Pentagon funds is just the latest in a long line of findings by the Government Accountability Office going back decades that presidents of both parties have run afoul of the 1974 law. That statute was aimed at restricting “impoundments,” where the executive branch refuses to spend money appropriated by Congress.