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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial will enter a new phase Wednesday, when senators will begin up to 16 hours of questioning the House impeachment managers and the president's legal team about the charges against Trump at 1 p.m.

After sitting at their desks in silence for the opening arguments of the trial, senators -- still prohibited from speaking -- will submit questions written on paper slips to Chief Justice John Roberts, who will read them aloud to the chamber.

The questions, which will alternate between Republicans and Democrats, will be directed at either the managers or Trump's legal team, under the name of the inquiring senator. Senators may not direct questions at their colleagues.

The questioning, set to take place over Wednesday and Thursday, gives both sides one last opportunity to address the chamber before senators begin considering motions, including on the question of witnesses -- an issue at the center of events on Capitol Hill following reports about the testimony former national security adviser John Bolton could offer the Senate if subpoenaed to appear.

"All senators will hear the president's advocates and the House managers for two days," said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who, like other colleagues, began drafting questions during the opening arguments. "That will be the final word before we actually decide to work on that question."

During the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, Chief Justice William Rehnquist asked that questions be answered in less than five minutes. Roberts, who has presided over the Trump trial, read Rehnquist's directive on Tuesday, and said, "I think the late chief's time limit was a good one and would ask both sides to abide by it."

Lawmakers have wide latitude in composing their questions. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., will submit questions about impeachment manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and his staff's interactions with the intelligence community whistleblower who filed the complaint that helped prompt the Ukraine inquiry, along others related to former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Ukraine.

Democrats, for their part, are expected to press the Trump legal team on perceived weaknesses in their defense of the president and continue to make the case for witnesses in the trial before they force votes on motions for additional testimony and records.

They could also raise questions about what White House lawyers knew of Bolton's account of conversations with the president. The former Trump adviser submitted a manuscript of his forthcoming book to the White House for a classification review.

According to The New York Times, Bolton wrote that Trump told him over the summer that he wanted to continue freezing military aid to Ukraine until the country's government delivered on his push to investigate the Biden family.

The allegations that Trump tied the aid to investigations, which the president has denied, would undermine the White House's defense of the president in the impeachment trial.

The White House has told Republican senators that the lawyers arguing on Trump's behalf in the Senate, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, had no knowledge of Bolton's account.

Both the managers and the president's lawyers could also rely on friendly senators to submit questions that help them reinforce their arguments to lawmakers.

The Senate could move on to motions and the question of whether to consider additional witnesses later this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking to Republican senators in a closed-door meeting Tuesday evening, said he did not yet have the votes to block a vote to consider witnesses.

A senior White House official told ABC News that the president's defense team still believes they will be able to defeat the measure to call witnesses.

"It's still a hard vote, but we are working hard. It's a long time until Friday," the official said.

The Senate's number two Republican, John Thune, said he thought the GOP conference was unified behind a plan that would see more witnesses called than the Trump team would want, in exchange for a witness like Bolton.

But Thune added that it was proving difficult to figure out how to manage what could become an unwieldy process.

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Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday is set to celebrate his biggest legislative achievement since Democrats took control of the House in 2018 with the signing of a revised trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.

The signing, which comes amid the ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate, represents the second major achievement for Trump’s trade agenda this month, coming on the heels of the signing of a "Phase One" trade agreement with China.

In his 2016 bid for the White House, then-candidate Trump relentlessly assailed the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, as "one of the worst trade deals ever made" and vowed to negotiate a better deal if elected president.

With the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the president is delivering on that campaign promise.

The USMCA replaces NAFTA by revamping the 25-year-old trade agreement with provisions aimed at strengthening the U.S. auto manufacturing industry, improving labor standards enforcement and increasing market access for American dairy farmers, among other changes.

The agreement represents a rare bipartisan achievement, with both Republicans and Democrats hailing it as a win for the American worker.

Even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi handed a political victory to the president by approving the deal, she sought to credit Democrat negotiators with making the deal "infinitely better" over months of negotiations with the administration.

Pelosi announced that the final agreement had been reached with the White House in December, on the same day the Democrats also formally unveiled two articles of impeachment against the president, something she acknowledged at the time was "not a coincidence."

The president, reacting at the time, called USMCA the "silver lining" of impeachment.

"Without the impeachment, they would have never approved it, in my opinion. The impeachment is the reason they approved it," Trump said on Dec. 10.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the agreement by an overwhelming 385-41 vote in December and the Senate followed suit with an 89-10 vote earlier this month, sending the agreement to the president's desk for signature.

Mexico has also ratified the agreement and Canada is expected to follow suit in the weeks ahead.

Even as the ongoing trial threatens to overshadow the president’s signing ceremony, the White House has organized a major press event on the South Lawn of the White House that is set to be attended by farmers, U.S. manufacturers and members of Congress. The following day, the president is set to take his USMCA victory lap on tour with a visit to a manufacturing facility in Michigan.

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White House Counsel Pat Cipollone speaks on Jan. 28, 2020. (ABC News)(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump’s defense team wrapped up opening arguments Tuesday, setting the stage for two days of senators asking written questions before voting as early as Friday on whether to consider having witnesses.

Democrats had new hope of getting witnesses they have fought for with word Tuesday evening that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had told Senate Republicans that, as of now, he doesn't have the votes to block them.

The next phase of the trial -- senators’ questions -- gets underway Wednesday at 1 p.m.

In the meantime, get caught up with the latest on the Senate trial with these three takeaways:

1) Trump’s team discounts Bolton allegations

The news from the weekend -- that Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton wrote in an unpublished manuscript that Trump had told him he was withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine until Ukraine agreed to investigate the Bidens -- continued to raise questions about the possibility of witnesses.

Monday night, former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, arguing for Trump’s defense team, briefly addressed the reported allegations made by Bolton, saying, "Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense.” He added, “You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo and personal benefit."

On Tuesday, one of Trump’s lead lawyers, Jay Sekulow, in his Senate floor arguments, echoed what Dershowitz said the night before.

“The trial of the leader of the free world and the duly elected president of the United States is a solemn duty. It is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts," he said, referring to the Bolton allegation which he called "inadmissible."

Sekulow added: "To be specific, you cannot impeach a president on an unsourced allegation. But what Professor Dershowitz is saying, even if everything in there was true, it constitutionally doesn't rise to that level."

2) Trump lawyers: 'Abuse of power' not an impeachable offense

Trump's team elaborated on another of Dershowitz’s arguments. He maintains that a president can't be impeached for what he calls vague charges of "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress," arguing the Constitution requires a specific crime or crime-like behavior.

White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin called the "abuse of power" charge made by the House impeachment managers “malleable,” and argued that it is based on finding a “subjective motive,” instead of “standards, or offenses.”

“How do we tell under the House managers' standard what an illicit motive is?” Philbin said. “How are we supposed to get the proof inside the president's head?"

“They want to make it impeachable if it's just the wrong idea inside the president's head,” Philbin continued.

"The claim that foreign policy decisions can be deemed abuses of power based on subjective opinions about mixed or sole motives that the president was interested only in helping himself demonstrate the dangers of employing the vague, subjective and politically malleable phrase, 'abuse of power' as a constitutionally permissible criteria for the removal of a president," Sekulow added.

3) Senators' questions beginning Wednesday

House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a preview of what the trial's next steps will look like.

Questions from senators will alternate between the two sides when the trial resumes Wednesday, for “up to eight hours during that session of the Senate,” McConnell said. He added the same is the planned for Thursday.

McConnell said rules require questions must be submitted to the chief justice in writing.

"During the question period of the Clinton trial, senators were thoughtful and brief with their questions and the managers and counsel were succinct in their answers. I hope we can follow both of these examples during this time," he said.

Roberts also made mention of the Clinton impeachment trial, quoting then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist as having "advised counsel on both sides that the chair will operate on a rebuttable presumption that each question can be fully and fairly answered in five minutes or less."

"The transcript indicates the statement was met with quote laughter, end quote," Roberts quipped, to laughter as well in the current Senate chamber.

"Nonetheless managers and counsel generally limited their responses accordingly. I think the late chief's time limit was a good one and would ask both sides to abide by it," Roberts added.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WILDWOOD, N.J.) -- Amid the ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate, President Donald Trump will leave Washington and head to the Democratic stronghold of New Jersey to rally for a congressman who refused to vote for impeachment as a Democrat and then switched parties.

Trump’s rally in Wildwood, N.J. Tuesday night takes place in newly-minted Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s district, who, after switching parties, declared his “undying support” for the president.

And while the rally at Wildwoods Convention Center is in Democratic stronghold of New Jersey, Trump supporters have lined up around the block more than 24 hours before the president is scheduled to speak— a not so uncommon occurrence at the president’s campaign rallies.

The Wildwood rally serves multiple purposes for the president. Trump will look to tie Van Drew’s Democratic exodus to a larger argument against the party’s impeachment push. Van Drew, who will travel with the president on Air Force One to the event, bucked his own party by voting against impeachment in the House. On Tuesday night, the president will tout that move to his constituents.

Tuesday night will also be Trump's latest attempt to counter the ongoing impeachment trial with the packed rally offering the president a bastion of feverish and seemingly undying support from his faithful backers.

And while the Trump campaign won’t exactly say New Jersey is in play in 2020, a state that former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won by nearly 15 points in 2016, the president’s team says the turnout for Trump’s first rally in the Garden State should worry Democrats.

“If I were a Democrat, I would look at the enthusiasm and crowd here and think what the hell is going on here?” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told ABC News in an interview.

Trump will head to Iowa on Thursday for his second rally this week when he looks to counter Democrats ahead of the caucuses next week. The campaign plans to deploy over 80 surrogates across Iowa on caucus day, including Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump along with Cabinet-level officials like White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republican senators Tuesday evening that he doesn't currently have the votes to block witnesses at President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

The Senate was set to vote as early as Friday on whether to consider having witnesses.

McConnell and the GOP senators met behind closed doors shortly after Trump's legal team ended their opening arguments, in which they tried to discredit reported new allegations from Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton.

The New York Times reported that in a new book, Bolton claims that Trump told him he would keep withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine until Ukraine agreed to help investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The president's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, argued on Tuesday, "You cannot impeach a president based on an unsourced allegation."

He called the Bolton book manuscript "inadmissible."

The development landed like a bombshell amid Trump's trial, with Democrats insisting that Bolton now must be called as a witness and even some key moderate Republicans, including Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, expressed support for the idea, but have not yet sided firmly with the Democrats.

Even before the trial began, Democrats have been targeting four Republican senators -- Romney, Collins and Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee -- because that's how many are needed to join Democrats in calling for witnesses.

A senior White House official told ABC News that the president's defense team still believes they will be able to defeat the measure to call witnesses.

"We are exactly where we were going into the weekend," the official said. "There are four senators in play, two of have spoken publicly about where they stand (Romney, Collins) and two who have not (Murkowski, Alexander)."

"It's still a hard vote, but we are working hard. It's a long time until Friday," the official added.

Still, the Senate's number two Republican, John Thune, who is responsible for whipping the vote, acknowledged Tuesday to ABC News that there is genuine fear that the trial could turn into a chaotic mess.

"Nobody wants a wide-open, sort-of free-for-all where this thing gets bogged down for weeks on end," Thune said.

He said he thought the GOP conference was unified behind a plan that would see more witnesses called than the Trump team would want, in exchange for a witness like Bolton.

But Thune said it was proving difficult to figure out how to manage what could become an unwieldy process.

"My assumption is that the president's counsel is going to have a fairly long list that they'll want to call, if the Dems get to have the witnesses they want to call. So, I just think it's fraught with a lot of peril and could be a long, drawn-out process," said Thune.

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dmadig/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- It was another bustling week on Capitol Hill amid the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but both the Senate and House chambers settled into moments of peaceful reflection over the past two days following the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

The 41-year-old basketball champion was among nine people who died in a helicopter crash in the wealthy Southern California residential neighborhood of Calabasas on Sunday. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died alongside her father.

Representatives Maxine Waters and Harley Rouda delivered remarks before holding a moment of silence on the House floor in a tribute to Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and the seven others who were killed in a devastating helicopter crash on Sunday.

— ABC News (@ABC) January 28, 2020

Democratic Reps. Harley Rouda and Maxine Waters led the House California delegation in a moment of silence on Tuesday afternoon and expressed their condolences to the families and communities of the victims.

"We are all heartbroken by the loss of life as this week our neighbors lost parents, children, friends, coaches and heroes in a horrific accident," Rouda said and then read the names of the victims: Kobe and Gianna Bryant, baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; coach Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Waters represents California's 43rd district in the southern part of Los Angeles County, which includes part of Los Angeles, while Rouda represents California's 48th district, which is based in Orange County in southern California.

"Orange County is grieving, but we will find solace and purpose in the example they left behind; in the belief in something bigger than themselves," Rouda added. "I ask that in Orange County and across out nation, we think of the lives lost in neighborhood basketball courts, school gyms, NBA arenas and wherever the game is played."

Rouda's remarks were followed by a tribute by Waters, who reflected on about the legacy that Bryant left behind and what he meant to the city of Los Angeles.

"Celebrated as a king in Los Angeles, Kobe's death is deeply painful for our city and his millions of fans everywhere," Waters said. "For decades, he dazzled generations of fans and aspiring athletes, leaving a legacy as a prolific athlete, devoted husband, loving father and philanthropist that will never be forgotten."

On Monday — one day after Bryant's death — Senate chaplain Barry Black opened the Senate impeachment trial with a prayerful reflection on the tragedy that claimed nine lives.

Senate chaplain: "As millions mourn the deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant and those who died with them, we think about life's brevity, uncertainty and legacy.

"Remind us that we all have a limited time on earth to leave the world better than we found it."

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 27, 2020

"As millions mourn the deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant and those who died with them, we think about life's brevity, uncertainty and legacy," he said in the silent chamber. "Remind us that we all have a limited time on earth to leave the world better than we found it."

As National Transportation Safety Board investigators are still working to determine what brought down the helicopter, aviation safety advocates are calling for tighter protocols and regulations for helicopters.

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(WASHINGTON) -- As the Senate impeachment trial enters its second week, the White House is locked into a split-screen reality.

While the trial dwarfs all other political storylines in Washington, the administration has pushed forward with a series of events designed to showcase a president focused on his presidential agenda even as Capitol Hill remains consumed with the business of impeachment.

Still, the president has made no effort to conceal that he is paying close attention to the Senate impeachment trial and frequently tweets to insist upon his innocence and blast Democrats.

Last week, as the president attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and met with other world leaders, administration officials lauded the president for his focus on the business of the American people.

Asked about the White House messaging strategy on Fox News last week, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the president's actions speak for themselves.

"This president keeps working, this president doesn't stop working," Grisham said in the interview. "I don't even think messaging is needed, you see it, he is out every day. ... So he keeps working, that's fine. They keep screaming impeachment, that's fine."

On Friday, an administration official shared with reporters a photograph of a TV screen of coverage among cable networks titled, "Priorities." It showed Fox News and Fox Business covering the president's appearance at the anti-abortion "March for Life" event while CNN and MSNBC were reporting on the Senate impeachment trial.

And as the trial is now in its second week, the president has rolled out his long-awaited and long-delayed Middle East plan and celebrate his keeping a campaign promise by signing the revamped U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Monday kicked off with the hastily-arranged visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as his chief political rival Benny Gantz, to coincide with the president's decision to release his peace plan.

The administration has previously delayed the rollout of the plan amid political uncertainties in Israel, but a source familiar with the process said the president decided within the last couple of weeks that now was the right moment to release it. The rationale for releasing the plan now, the official said, was based on the hope that the Israeli people would coalesce around the plan.

Over the last three years of drafting, the plan has been a closely guarded document crafted under the direction of the president's son-in-law, Jared Kusher, and has only been seen in its entirety by a handful of members of the administration.

Unveiling the plan at noon on Tuesday, the timing of the announcement seemed aimed at maximizing potential coverage before the impeachment trial gaveled back into session at 1 p.m. It also provided the White House with another example of television coverage split between the impeachment that the president has decried as a "hoax" and a major presidential announcement.

The rollout also comes just weeks before a critical legislative election in Israel, but the administration denies that the plan's release is any way intended to be a political gift to Netanyahu, with a senior official pointing to Gantz's invitation to the White House to counter the criticism.

On Wednesday, the president is set to celebrate one of his biggest policy achievements with the signing of the USMCA trade plan to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, the preceding trilateral trade agreement that Trump has long assailed as "the worst trade deal ever made." The new agreement has now been ratified by both the United States and Mexico, with Canada expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.

He's also set to hit the road on Thursday to tout the trade achievement with a trip to a manufacturing plant in Warren, Michigan.

The president has two campaign rallies planned this week that will provide him with opportunities to openly vent his frustrations before two audiences of adoring fans. His Thursday rally in Des Moines, Iowa, will insert himself directly into the conversation ahead of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

While it's unclear if the impeachment trial will continue into next week, the president indicated last week that he is not inclined to delay his plans to deliver the State of the Union address on Feb. 4.

If Trump is faced with delivering the annual presidential address amid the backdrop of an ongoing impeachment trial, he would become the second president to embrace that particular split-screen moment. President Bill Clinton delivered his 1999 State of the Union address amid his own impeachment trial.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday commended Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was accused by an NPR reporter last week of shouting expletives at her following an interview, saying he "did a good job on her."

Trump made the comment during an East Room event announcing his Middle East peace plan, after recognizing Pompeo for his contributions to the agreement.

"Wow, that's impressive," the president said of the standing ovation for the top U.S. diplomat. "That was very impressive Mike."

Trump added, "That reporter couldn't have done too good a job on you ... I think you did a good job on her, actually."

He went on to joke about speculation around Pompeo running for an open seat in the Senate representing Kansas, telling him to stay put.

"That is good, thank you, Mike," he said. "Are you running for Senate? I guess the answer is 'no' after that. They all want him to. Kansas, great state, they want him to. You're doing a great job, don't move."

On Saturday, Pompeo released a blistering statement that accused NPR's Mary Louise Kelly of lying, but did not dispute her account of his expletive-laden tirade against her in his office after she interviewed him.

He said the incident was "another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt" Trump and his administration.

Pompeo removed another NPR reporter on Monday from an upcoming trip to Europe and Central Asia, just days after Pompeo berated Kelly -- who was born in Germany and has a masters in European Studies from Cambridge University in the U.K. -- in his office and demanded she find Ukraine on a map.

Removing NPR's Michele Kelemen from the trip was seen as further retaliation by the State Department Correspondents' Association, according to its president Shaun Tandon of Agence France-Presse.

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rarrarorro/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal workers are asking a court to redefine the rules blocking them from speaking out amid the ongoing impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, arguing it is a restriction of their First Amendment rights.

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the nation's largest federal workers union representing more than 600,000 employees, filed a motion on Friday in an effort to speed up an ongoing lawsuit against the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

The motion asks OSC to rescind guidance it issued in 2018 as part of the Hatch Act, a law that bars government employees from political expression in the workplace that supports a political party or partisan group.

The guidance also restricts most federal employees from discussions related to impeachment or against the president.

"These restrictions not only harm the federal employees who are censored, but the public interest at large, as the restrictions restrict speech on topics over which federal employees have unique knowledge and expertise," the motion reads. "The restrictions strike at the heart of the First Amendment."

Ward Morrow, AFGE's assistant general counsel, says the organization decided to file the emergency motion to speed up the legal process, rather than wait for the lawsuit to advance through the court system.

"Currently impeachment is practically the only news story out there, so instead of waiting months and years for litigation to go through we decided to expedite it in the court now," Morrow said.

Morrow said impeachment-related content is all over the TV, even in federal offices, which makes it even more difficult for workers to avoid the subject.

"We need to do something right now because impeachment is in the news right now, and is having a substantial chilling effect on free speech at this moment," he said. "In six months, it may not be a topic of discussion. Time really is of the essence."

OSC has clarified that the guidance did not restrict the employees from discussing impeachment -- only from taking a side.

In a memo released on Friday, AFGE and American Oversight, the group representing AFGE members, expressed concern with the confusing nature of the OSC advisory. They said the rules outlined are convoluted and some employees have opted to not speak at all, out of fear of litigation.

"In the guidance, which equates the concept of 'impeachment' with 'removal from office,' OSC confusingly advises that federal employees are allowed to discuss whether the president should or should not be impeached, but they are not allowed to advocate for or against impeachment," the statement said. "A meaningless distinction that has made silence the only safe option for workers wishing to avoid potential punishment."

Regardless, Morrow said he feels impeachment should not be subject to the Hatch Act at all, since it is a legislative -- and not political -- situation.

"This isn’t political campaigning, it’s like any other legislative act," he said. "The Hatch Act is limited to partisan political activity, not legislative activity."

An OSC spokesperson declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

The OSC is not connected to former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


rarrarorro/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Trump legal team wraps opening arguments at Senate impeachment trial

Schumer rejects GOP talk of letting senators see Bolton manuscript before deciding whether he should testify

In next phase, senators will submit written questions to both sides

President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team on Tuesday heads into their final day of opening arguments as questions over whether senators will hear new witnesses at the trial remain up in the air.

Trump’s lawyers are expected to finish making their case on the Senate floor by late afternoon.

The next phase of the trial -- in which senators will submit questions to both sides for up to 16 hours -- is expected to begin Wednesday, according to White House sources and Senate aides. After that, a key point in the trial -- a Senate vote on whether to consider new witnesses and other evidence -- could come as early as Friday.

Republicans faced new pressure to add witnesses following newly reported revelations from the New York Times that former National Security Adviser John Bolton claims Trump told him he wanted help from Ukraine to investigate Democrats and would withhold their military aid to get cooperation.

But in a twist late Monday, Oklahoma Republican James Lankford suggested that senators could review the unpublished manuscript of Bolton’s forthcoming book. In a video posted to Facebook Monday, after Republicans spent the day largely dodging questions of whether to accept new witnesses, Lankford called Bolton’s information “pertinent” to the trial.

“If John Bolton’s got something to say, there’s plenty of microphones all over the country that he should step forward and start talking about it right now,” Lankford said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of President Trump, said he agrees that the draft manuscript of Bolton’s forthcoming book be made available to senators, but in a classified setting.

Here is how the day is unfolding. Please refresh for updates.

2:52 p.m. Cipollone: 'The Senate cannot allow this to happen'

White House counsel Pat Cippollone ends three days of arguments with a low-key but impassioned plea to senators.

"The Senate cannot allow this to happen. It is time for this to end here and now.,' he says. "So, we urge the Senate to reject these articles of impeachment for all the reasons we have given you."

Cipollone tells the senators to end the era of impeachment "for good."

'This should end now, as quickly as possible," he argues. "Reject these articles of impeachment for our country and for the American people."

Cipollone spoke after a brief recess.

As that recess began, Sen. Susan Collins turned to her GOP colleague and seat mate Sen. Lisa Murkowski and both huddled, intensely in their seats - talking just to one another, ABC's Trish Turner reports. from the chamber. Each is resting her head in hand - as if to shield what is being said from press and potentially GOP colleagues all around them.

They are two key senators on the question of witnesses. Most stopped taking notes during the Sekulow comments.

And ABC's Devin Dwyer reports that after Murkowski and Collins broke the Alaska senator stood in the aisle shoulder to shoulder with GOP Whip Sen John Thune for over 10 minutes, both clearly presenting countering views on the question of witnesses.

Thune, heavily chewing gum, looked sternly away while Murkowski seemed to thoughtfully lay out her thinking into his left ear. You could see her saying “witnesses” but exact statements not clear. Murkowski’s body language and facial expressions seemed to reflect the conflicted views she has made publicly in recent days.

I can overhear her saying “....imagine if it was someone else...” and “... I do understand the concerns...” and “.... there’s no way anyone wants that....” She occasionally shrugs her shoulders.

1:41 p.m. Sekulow warns; 'danger, danger danger' while dismissing Bolton allegation

Jay Sekulow, one of the president's lead lawyers, takes the Senate floor to sum up the team's arguments, and appears to reference the Bolton manuscript controversy, saying "The trial of the leader of the free world and the duly elected President of the United States is one of the most solemn of duties. It is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts."

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow says "the trial of the leader of the free world and the duly elected President of the United States" is one of the most "solemn of duties" and "it is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts. That's politics, unfortunately."

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 28, 2020

"You cannot impeach a president based on an unsourced allegation," he says later, this time mentioning Bolton by name and the president's denial of his allegation that he heard him tie withholding Ukraine aid to Ukraine agreeing to an investigation of the Bidens.

Sekulow also says all the legal scholars the president's lawyers have presented have warned against lowering the bar for impeachment, saying it would set a bad precedent.

"Hamilton put impeachment in the hands of this body, the Senate, precisely and specifically to be above that fray. This is the greatest deliberative body on Earth. In our presentation so far, you have now heard from legal scholars from a variety of schools of thought, from a variety of political backgrounds, but they do have a common theme with a dire warning, danger. Danger. Danger," he says.

"To lower the bar of impeachment based on these articles of impeachment would impact the functioning of our constitutional republic and the framework of that Constitution for generations," he continues, attacking Democrats.

"The claim that foreign policy decisions can be deemed abuses of power based on subjective opinions about mixed or sole motives that the president was interested only in helping himself demonstrate the dangers of employing the vague, subjective and politically malleable phrase, abuse of power as a constitutionally permissible criteria for the removal of a president," he says, echoing the argument from Alan Dershowitz on Monday night. .

Sekulow connects that idea to The New York Times report of excerpts from Bolton's book that has increased calls for Bolton's testimony. But Sekulow says that even if those comments are true the president's behavior still isn't an impeachable offense.

Senators are paying attention, but only a few appear to be taking notes, ABC's Mary Bruce notes from the Senate gallery.

Sen. Susan Collins is still the most prolific note taker. And a new name stands out, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. He is also paying close attention.

Romney is listening and looked slightly unamused during the more political portion of Sekulow's remarks.

Before things got underway, Sen. Liindsey Graham was seen speaking very briefly to Collins and Cassidy, separately.

Graham genuinely seems bored. He is snapping his gum, staring at the wall and constantly leaving the chamber for long stretches.

The most activity in the room is happening at the Trump legal team and managers' tables.

From my vantage point, I could see directly over Sekulow's shoulder as he tweaked and rewrote the top of his remarks. Notable, since the beginning of his comments included a not-so-subtle reference to Bolton's allegations, saying "It's not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts."

The managers did not make eye contact when Sekulow ripped into their handling of the House impeachment process. But Schiff is taking non-stop notes. And there was a lot of chatter among members of the team throughout the presentations.

1:13 p.m. Analysis: 'Blizzard of spin' on GOP senators

I think it’s fair to say no one here really yet knows the outcome of the question of whether or not to call witnesses, ABC's Trish Turner says in analysis.

There’s a blizzard of spin and pressure being brought to bear against GOP senators.

White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland has been making the rounds pressing GOP senators to oppose the vote on calling witnesses, according to 2 GOP senators requesting anonymity who were contacted by Ueland.

One senior administration official tells ABC the case is basically this:

“This could add weeks if not months to a potential trial process and lead to some very challenging outcomes for the Senate as an institution, the court itself, and obviously how it would handle executive privilege issues out in the executive branch and in Congress.

So, for example, is there supposed to be one set of rules for executive privilege and classified information for Senate presidential impeachment trials only and one set of rules for everything else? There are some real practical challenges that start to crop up pretty quickly.”

The source noted there are real-time implications and concerns about executive privilege assertions. You could see a situation, the source says, where “every question that rotates around executive privilege having to go to a court for adjudication – every one of those questions is a time process. This is a question by question affirmation of executive privilege which is held by the president, not by Ambassador Bolton.”

There’s also a challenge “about the availability of information.”

As for releasing the Bolton manuscript in a classified setting, the official said "Lots of people have talked about this, but there are lots of attendant complexities.”

Who owns the manuscript? The publisher? Is it Bolton’s? The marketer’s? The administration official said this might not be a White House or Senate question to be answered. This source said the White House has “little visibility” into this.

Some of the concern is abated by addressing this in a classified setting but to put it mildly, the administration wouldn’t trust that the information would stay classified.

The document could also still be subject to privilege assertions.

That’s why they handled it very carefully on the Senate floor, versus the speculation in the media.

There are “complex and somewhat novel legal issues suddenly front and senator courtesy of the article,” the official said.

Where is the Trump administration on the witness vote? “No predictions,” the official said.

1:08 p.m. White House lawyer echoes Dershowitz argument

Tuesday's trial session gets underway with White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin saying he wants to elaborate on arguments made last night by former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz. He argued that a president cannot be impeached for "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress" because the language is too vague -- that the Constitution requires a crime or something like a crime.

Philbin also asks, "How do we tell what an illicit motive is? How do we get inside the president's head?" regarding what he says are Trump's lawful actions on their face.

12:31 p.m. GOP's Murkowski signals she's increasingly open to hearing Bolton

GOP moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is signaling that she is increasingly likely to support hearing from John Bolton. Asked if she wants to read his manuscript, she says, "I think that Bolton probably has something to offer us. So we’ll figure out how we’re going to learn more,” she said, before hopping into an elevator.

12:04 p.m. GOP's Lankford says seeing manuscript will help senators decides whether to call Bolton

GOP Sen. James Lankford, who late Monday floated the idea of reviewing Bolton’s manuscript, tells CNN the review is necessary before senators can decide whether to call him as a witness.

“This at least allows people to reach a decision based on facts that they can actually read in the manuscript,” Lankford says.

The National Security Council, which is based at the White House, has held Bolton’s manuscript since he submitted it for a standard review process last month, according to a Bolton representative and an NSC spokesperson.

11:16 a.m. Romney says hearing witnesses from both sides 'has some merit'

Sen. Mitt Romney, one of the key moderates Democrats hope will support new testimony, again appears open to new testimony. But he goes further on Tuesday, suggesting he’s just as open to hearing from other witnesses called by Trump’s defense team.

"I'd like to hear from John Bolton and I think the idea that's been expressed in the media about having each side be able to choose a witness or maybe more than one witness on a paired basis, it has some merit," Romney tells reporters.

Some Republicans and Democrats have reportedly considered calling former Vice President Joe Biden to the Senate floor in exchange for senior officials with closer connections to the President.

But Democratic senators have publicly rejected the idea, insisting the accusations that the Bidens engaged in Ukraine-related corruption are baseless distractions.

11:13 a.m. Schumer says Bolton must testify so senators can decide whether he or Trump is telling the truth

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer makes another argument for witnesses before Trump's impeachment trial convenes at 1 p.m.

He notes that with the president's denial of John Bolton's allegation on Monday, the two are telling opposing stories and says, since Trump won't testify, senators need to hear from Bolton to decide who's telling the truth.

He says it's "on the shoulders of four Republican senators" to make sure Bolton, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and two other administration officials testify, referring to GOP Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander.

He also called the GOP talk of having senators read the Bolton manuscript in a secure setting is an "absurd proposal."

"Nothing is a substitute for a witness testifying under oath," Schumer says.

"We're not bargaining with them," Schumer says of Republican talk of having Hunter Biden testify in exchange for Bolton appearing.

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General William Barr announced Tuesday federal authorities will more aggressively pursue alleged acts of anti-Semitism moving forward as part of their commitment to prosecuting hate crimes cases.

Barr made the announcement during a meeting with Jewish leaders, adding that he's "extremely distressed" about recent acts of intimidation and violence against Jewish communities.

"It strikes at the very core of what this country is about," Barr said during a meeting in New York at the Boro Park Jewish Community Council. "I've always felt it is particularly pernicious because it does target people based not only their ethnicity but also on their religious practice."

Allen Fagin, executive vice president and chief professional officer of the Orthodox Union, also attended the event. He told ABC News in a phone interview that the group had a "very open and candid conversation" with Barr over the steps the federal government can take to combat anti-Semitism.

"When the federal government says we will prosecute as a hate crime ... conduct that might be seen as relatively low-level criminal activity, I think that also conveys a message that the enormous weight of federal authority and resources will be brought to bear on this issue," he said.

Fagin added that "time will tell" whether the specific proposals put forward by Barr will have a real impact on problems facing the Jewish community, but he applauded the attorney general for his public declaration.

"Just being there and declaring publicly that there would be zero tolerance for such conduct is enormously important," Fagin said.

As a part of his new effort, Barr disclosed new federal charges unsealed against Tiffany Harris, a woman accused of slapping three Orthodox Jewish women in Brooklyn in December. Harris had been released on bail when she allegedly attacked another women and she was released on bail again.

"We are charging her federally," Barr said, inserting the federal government into the highly charged debate in New York over the state’s new bail reform law.

The federal complaint said Harris knew she was walking through the "Jewish neighborhood," where she allegedly told police she recalled slapping the women, cursing at them and saying to them, "F*** you Jews."

The incident was one in a series of acts alleged to have been motivated by anti-Semitism that alarmed New York's Jewish community just before the New Year, including the Dec. 29 stabbing of five people at a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey.

In addressing what he described as a nationwide uptick in anti-Semitic acts, Barr sought to tie the issue to government actions that have attempted to restrict the curriculum of religious schools, stepping into another politically charged debate in New York. Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn have come under fire for maintaining yeshivas -- or schools that focus on traditional Jewish texts -- that do not properly teach secular courses.

Barr told the group of leaders he was concerned that a deterioration of values and a "spiritual hollowing out that's been occurring in the western world" was a broader concern of his in working to address acts of harassment and violence against religious groups.

"One worries whether barbarism is right below the surface," Barr said.

Barr announced another initiative, where he said a directive will be sent to U.S. attorney's offices across the country, calling for them to "initiate or reinvigorate" their outreach to Jewish communities.

He said the directive will also require them to provide points of contact for Jewish leaders to report hate crimes and law enforcement concerns.

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ABC(WASHINGTON) -- Former Vice President Biden is launching his final ad in Iowa with less than a week to go to the caucuses.

“Imagine," the campaign's eight individual ad in Iowa, is a 30 second ad narrated by Biden, and focuses on issues he hopes to make progress on in his administration.

“Imagine all the progress we can make in the next four years. Imagine a country where affordable healthcare is a right. A world where America leads on climate change. Imagine a president who stands up to the NRA and gets assault weapons out of our schools. What we imagine today you can make reality. But first we have to beat Donald Trump. Then there can be no limit to what we can do,” Biden says in the ad.

The campaign will also continue to run their ad, “Threat” which posits that “now is not the time to take a risk,” referring to the 2020 election.

The Biden campaign says they’re the running two TV spots in the top five Iowa markets and statewide on Hulu to make the case for why Joe Biden is best positioned to defeat Donald Trump and the progress he can make as president.

In addition to these broadcast ads, the campaign will also run an online ad featuring Jill Biden giving part of her stump speech, imagining a world where the headlines about the president don’t involve the latest tweet storm.

“Imagine waking up and the news isn’t about a late-night tweet storm, and when they show the president, you don’t turn the channel...Because it is someone who can bring this country together. That’s my husband, Joe Biden.” Dr. Biden says in the ad.

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ABC(NEW YORK) -- Breaking with many of his fellow 2020 contenders, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is announcing his support for Puerto Rico becoming the nation's 51st state.

It's in keeping with the strategy he's employed thus far in his late bid: targeting delegate-rich states and territories and skipping the first four early states altogether. Puerto Rico has 51 pledged Democratic delegates.

He announced his stance in an Orlando Sentinel op-ed on Monday, alongside his plan for Puerto Rico's economic development.

“For decades, Puerto Ricans and their interests have been ignored by Washington," Bloomberg wrote. "And there’s a simple reason why: They don’t have a vote in Congress. And so politicians don’t have to care how they feel... There’s a clear solution to this challenge that a majority of Puerto Ricans support. Most presidential candidates for president have been too afraid to back it. Not me. I’ll state it clearly: I support statehood for Puerto Rico. And as president, I will work to pass a bill making it a reality, subject to approval by the people of Puerto Rico -- who will make the ultimate decision.”

Bloomberg's 2020 competitors Andrew Yang and former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland have also clearly articulated their support of Puerto Rico being granted statehood. Others, like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have said that the island should be able to decide through a vote.

Warren visited the island almost exactly a year ago, following her exploratory committee's launch. She also put out a plan in May on debt relief for the island.

Sanders' campaign co-chair is also notably Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan. Biden's position remains unclear.

"It’s a strong, ambitious and achievable plan -- and I believe Puerto Rico’s future should be an important part of the presidential debate," Bloomberg wrote. "But my fellow presidential candidates, who have been campaigning for a year, haven’t invested any substantial time or resources there, even though Puerto Rico will award more delegates in the Democratic primary than either Iowa or New Hampshire."

Sanders and Warren worked on recovery legislation together in 2017, which was backed by Mayor Cruz.

This plan from Bloomberg also comes on the heels of his visit to Florida, where Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who represents a district with a large Puerto Rican population, has also already introduced statehood legislation in the House. Murphy endorsed Bloomberg earlier this month.

With a couple of his rivals already with ties to the island, Bloomberg now proposes further measures.

"The time has come to sew Puerto Rico’s star into our national flag," Bloomberg writes. "As president, when voters there are ready to begin the stitching, I’ll bring Congress and the whole country together to get it done."

Along with his essay, Bloomberg's campaign released a plan aimed at the economic boons statehood would offer to Puerto Rico: Medicaid, earned income tax credits and child tax credits.

It would emphasize clean energy initiatives as well, rebuilding infrastructure and helping transition Puerto Rico to a more reliable, decentralized system.

Notably, he also calls for faster transfers of rebuilding and administering disaster response funding -- as Puerto Rico still struggles to deal with not just hurricane devastation -- but a recent string of earthquake aftershocks which have rocked the island.

Bloomberg also said in mid-January that he'd like to make D.C a state, saying he would work with Congress to make that happen.

"The time has come for D.C. to become a state -- with full voting rights," Bloomberg said. "And as president, I’ll work with Congress to make it happen."

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Alan Dershowitz speaks on the Senate floor on Jan. 27, 2020. (ABC News)(WASHINGTON) -- The impeachment trial spilled into its second week on Monday, as President Donald Trump's counsel presented more opening arguments on the Senate floor.

It was the first day back following The New York Times' bombshell report on Sunday that Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, had detailed in an unpublished manuscript a conversation where the president reportedly tied the release of Ukraine military aid to investigations into the Bidens.

ABC News has not independently reviewed the manuscript, but according to the Times, Bolton wrote that he had a conversation with Trump about the Ukraine aid and investigating his political rivals in August 2019.

The news put more pressure on the question of whether or not there will be witnesses during the impeachment trial.

Here are three things to know from Monday:

Impact of Bolton's reported conversation with Trump

Bolton's unpublished manuscript, which reportedly contradicts Trump's defense about the withholding of military aid, created a firestorm in Washington and put increased pressure on Republicans to make way for witnesses at the Senate trial.

Some Republicans on Monday indicated they'd support hearing from Bolton, like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

"It's pretty fair to say that John Bolton has a relevant testimony to provide to those of us who are sitting in impartial justice," Romney said.

Similarly, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said in a statement: "The reports about John Bolton's book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues."

Although there appeared to be a shift toward the possibility of allowing witnesses among Republicans on Monday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said if they were going to add Bolton, "then we're going to go to Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and all these people."

"If there's a need to add to the record, then my view is that we're going to completely add to the record, not selectively, and I'll let you know Thursday if I think there's a need," Graham said.

"If the Senate needs to secure testimony from John Bolton, then I will say so. If I think that's necessary for fairness, but I also have said for weeks that if we call one witness we're gone call witnesses requested by the president," he continued.

Jay Sekulow, the president's personal lawyer, said during opening statements that the defense team planned Monday to continue using the same "pattern" that they used when dealing with the case on Saturday, and did not mention Bolton.

"We deal with transcript evidence," Sekulow said. "We deal with publicly available information. We do not deal with speculation -- allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all."

Trump's lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, argued Monday evening that even if Bolton's revelations are proven true, they are not an impeachable offense.

"Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense that is clear from the history that is clear from the language of the Constitution," Dershowitz said. "You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using words like quid pro quo and personal benefit."

Trump's team takes aim at Biden

Trump's defense team went after Joe Biden's son, Hunter, on Monday, going through the numerous questions that surround his time serving on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Pam Bondi spent a significant amount of time on the Senate floor addressing the rumors floating around regarding the Bidens, despite telling the Senate, "We would prefer not to be talking about this. We would prefer not to be discussing this, but the House Managers have placed this squarely at issue, so we must address it."

Bondi questioned Hunter Biden's qualifications to hold the position, and his salary while serving on the board.

She also discussed when Joe Biden disavowed the former Ukrainian prosecutor general during his time as vice president, alleging that Biden wanted the official out because he was investigating the company where Hunter Biden served on the board.

However, there was widespread criticism of the Ukrainian prosecutor general at the time, including from European governments, and Biden was implementing U.S. policy.

Trump and fellow Republicans have appeared to attempt to shift the narrative of impeachment away from the president and onto the Bidens since the impeachment inquiry was first launched last year.

Abuse of power

Dershowitz, the former Harvard Law School professor who is playing a role on Trump's defense team, argued that a sitting president cannot be impeached for abuse of power on Monday, saying, "Even if criminal conduct were not required, the framers of our Constitution would have implicitly rejected, and if it had been presented to them, explicitly rejected such vague terms as abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as among the enumerated and defining criteria for impeaching a president."

The concept of "abuse of power" was raised at several points during Monday's opening arguments, including a direct response to Democrats' arguments from last week.

Trump team lawyer Eric Hershmann said, "If Manager Jeffries' standard applies, then where were these same Democrats' calls for impeachment when uncontroverted 'smoking gun' evidence emerged that President Obama had violated their standard?"

"The American people understand this basic notion as equal justice under the law. It's as American as apple pie," he said.

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(NEW YORK) -- More than half of Americans approve of President Donald Trump ordering the drone strike that killed Iran’s most powerful military commander earlier this month -- even as nearly half think his actions have increased the risks of war and terrorism alike, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The results show some conflicted responses to Trump’s actions. Fifty-three percent approve of the Jan. 3 drone strike against Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. But fewer, 45%, approve of the way Trump is handling the situation with Iran overall.

See a PDF with the full results from the poll here.

Forty-eight percent, moreover, say Trump’s actions toward Iran have increased the risk of terrorism against Americans, while just 14% say he’s decreased this risk. Similarly, 46% think he’s increased the chance of war, vs. 16% who think he’s decreased it.

In further evidence of division, 47% say Trump has handled the situation with Iran “about right,” while 42% say he’s been too aggressive (and 5%, too cautious).

Another result shows a more negative than positive potential impact: Americans are 15 percentage points more apt to say his handling of the situation with Iran has made them more likely to oppose Trump for reelection than support him, 36% vs. 21%. Four in 10 in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, say it isn’t a factor in their vote.

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