Trump impeachment trial: Live coverage and news from the Senate

Empty desks in the Senate chamber during day three of the impeachment trial, February 11, 2021.
Empty desks in the Senate chamber during day three of the impeachment trial, February 11, 2021.

As former President Trump’s lawyers presented their arguments, only three GOP seats were empty.

Yesterday, CNN’s Manu Raju reported that at one point during the Democrats’ presentation, he saw 15 empty GOP seats.

Today, almost all senators were paying close attention inside the chamber. Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy took many notes.

Republicans appeared much more alert today. Many were taking notes and GOP Sen. Rand Paul was particularly attentive today. He’s chuckled several times, including when footage played showing Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters challenging Electoral College results.

He was smiling and nodding as video footage showed protests over the summer and Michael van der Veen, a defense attorney fo Trump, noted the Democratic responses.

On the other side of the chamber, some Democrats could been seen shaking their heads and whispering at times in the presentation.

During the protest footage, Sen. Brian Schatz shook his head several times and leaned in to whisper to Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Sen. Bernie Sanders was fidgeting with his wrist and the cuff of his shirt when he was mentioned with the 2017 shooting involving Rep. Steve Scalise. He was leaned back in his chair, not taking notes. 

When Republican Sen. Susan Collins was cited on the Rep. Eric Swalwell tweet about the threats against her after the Justice Brett Kavanaugh vote, Collins didn’t have much of a response. She remained leaning over her desk. She was looking up then jotted down some notes on a white legal pad.

When Trump’s other attorney David Schoen brought up what he alleged was manipulation by House managers, lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin began scribbling in his notepad furiously.

When Schoen mentioned Trump representing Christ’s calvary, Democrats in the room were aghast. Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Mazie Hirono, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe Manchin all began talking, with Whitehouse saying incredulously, “Oh my God.” 

During a number of Sen. Elizabeth Warren clips at the top, the Massachusetts lawmaker sat fidgeting with her pen, her chair turned toward the screen. She nodded slightly as more clips played.

As more Warren clips played, Sen. Ed Markey said something quite loud to Schatz a row away. 

When an ad featuring Sen. Jon Tester played, with him saying “damn right,” quite a few Democrats started giggling. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Chris Coons started to whisper back and forth, something they continued throughout the rest of the montage. 

Gillibrand appeared to giggle when she appeared in the montage. She was leaned over talking with Schatz when her clip played.

Sen. Sherrod Brown patted Sen. Bob Casey on the shoulder after a clip played showing Casey. 

As a montage of Hillary Clinton remarks played, Sen. Alex Padilla showed Warren several notes he’d written. She nodded. 

Sen. Patty Murray passed a note to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who sat directly in front of her, toward the end of the montage. Schumer nodded several times before turning around and passing it back to her. 

At the end, there was a lot of murmurs in the chamber, particularly from the Democratic side of the chamber. Klobuchar raised her hands slightly and said “Aw” as though she was saying “is it already over.” 

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