tv CNN Newsroom With Brianna Keilar CNN February 8, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PST
thank you for joining me. on this day just before the fourth impeachment trial of a u.s. president in history. the two sides laying out their cases in pretrial briefs just re-r re-released. the president accused of inciting an insurrection making him the only american president to be impeached twice. in their latest filing they pushed back on the former president's defense saying "the evidence of
president trump's contact is overwhelming. he has no valid excuse or defense for his actions." trump's lawyers say in their brief impeachment is "a brazing political act and should be rejected." they say there's been no investigation pointing out democrats cited a handful of law enforcement statements, and evidence to show rye etrioters inciting violence in the days before the election. "either the president incited
riots or were
preplanned by a small group of criminals who deserve punish finance to the fullest extent of the law." attorneys say flat out he did not incite the resurrection, using figurative speech. >> call it protected political speech and something politicians in their view would give to a rally of supporters firing up the crowd. not saying, saying to the former president, then president, was not intentionally them to come to the capitol, storm the capitol and lead a scene of deadly violence we saw on january 6th. this foreshadows the argument that will happen later this week. tomorrow will be the debate over the constitutionality of the proceedings.
the trump team saying it's not constitutional. democrats saying it absolutely is and a vote to determine whether it should go forward. we expect there to be 51 votes allowing it to proceed. see how many republicans break ranks. more than five at the moment.
then the substance and facts. what happened. donald trump's actions. that is in large part the briefs issued today detail. trump side of the equation says this. in their brief filed with the house -- of the -- of the senate. of 10,000 words spoken, mr. trump used the word "fight" a little more than a handful of times and each in the figurative sense long accepted in public discourse urging people to stand and use voices to be heard on matters important to that, was not and could not be con snectit connecticut -- construed to violence. no evidence of a riot, criminal
action or acts of physical violence whatsoever. democrats when they make their arguments will point to things that donald trump said in the run-up to the january 6th riot. what he did in the months leading up to the election to suggest that there's a fraudulent election and everything he did to promote this so-called stop the steal rally that occurred on january 6th. and pushing back on the argument that this is just protective speech. they're going to, in their own brief filed today, they said not a clear of protective speech. the house did not impeach him. because he werological fi wrongfully incited violent insurrection against the government. use this not to testify as evidence against him. so don't expect a subpoena fight. it democrats are indicating they
won't subpoena donald trump to force him to come and we'll see if they decide to have any other witnesses. if they don't we could see the trial wrapped up by middle of next week sometime. brianna? >> all right. manu, thank you for that. with me, j.w. barrett. associate professor of law at george mason university, also adviser to former president trump's pre-transition team in 2016. also joined by cnn chief political analyst gloria borger. j.w., i was very curious as you looked at what donald trump's attorneys are saying. are there strong points to their argument that you see? >> i don't think so. i think, for example, i would completely reject this false dichotomy either trump incited a riot or the riot was beginning before it got there. what it in fact means informs context of trump's decisions here. he knew this was a group base and briefings i'm sure he got from national security advisers, that this was a group that was
prone to be, to just enflame with a very small spark. that tells us something about the language he was using. the use of the word "fight" towards the end of the speech. the fact good at inserting dog whistles that wink and smile to proud boys and qanon. extensive commentary. all of that informs the context what he did and said. the fact it was predictable, they would march to the capitol and cause trouble, i just don't think this is a very good argument here. >> and gloria, speaking of the intention, which will be key for former president trump. i think one of the issues, reminding our viewers. if someone didn't mean to do something, they might be surprised. they might be dismayed by what they saw and try to stop it. that is not what then president trump did when he saw in realtime what was happening at the capitol. >> no. and his attorneys argue that he
did make an effort to, you know, get out the national guard, et cetera, oa et cetera and that ce disproven included the fact he tweeted at mike pence while this insurrection was going on, but an amazing point that the house impeachment lawyers made. let me read it to you, brianna. to the point the president talking about fighting like hell. it says, when president trump demanded that the armed, angry crowd at his save america rally fight like hell or you're not going to have a country anymore he wasn't urging them to form political action committees about election security in general. so they're saying, he knew exactly what he had been doing, and he had been doing it for the month before the rally, and then at the rally. >> and, j.w., looking at the house impeachment managers'
case, what is your assessment of their argument? >> able to use evidence out there in the public. so they didn't need an extensive investigation. i mean, we awe saw it on realtime. i watched it on cnn exactly what happened here. and on twitter and trump's twitter feed and realtime reporting showing the president was watching it as it happened and initially supported it as it happened. look, i think the strongest case the defense has is the constitutional argument, but there i think they lose again ultimately. the argument comes down to this -- if the president commits an impeachmentable in the last month or so of his presidency and the senate takes a few weeks to get a trial moving, the president could commit impeachable acts with impunity towards end of his term. i don't think the constitution intended that. there's precedent of impeaching people and trying people after they leave office as well. i think even if they -- they lose on that point even. >> gloria, before i let you guys go, i want to ask you about
something from republican congresswoman liz cheney, who overcame a threat to oust her from her position in leadership among house republicans. she says, trump may be facing some criminal liability. >> there will be a massive criminal investigation of everything that happened on january 6th and in the days before. people will want to know exactly what the president was doing. want to know, for example, whether the tweet he sent out calling vice president pence a coward, while the attack was under way, whether that tweet, for example, was a premeditated effort to provoke violence. a lot of questions have to be answered. >> this is, gloria, part of what j.w. was saying in the middle sends out a tweet about pence even as we heard rioters, heard this later rioters on tape in the middle of this looking for pence, calling for wherever pence might be. >> if you are officer sicknick's family, or you are someone who
was injured in the riots, the question is, what's your legal recourse here? i don't -- i'm not a lawyer nor do i pretend to play one on television, but i think that there are legitimate questions that can be raised about what the president's legal liability, the former president's legal liability would be, if people said, look, who's responsible for this? we've lost somebody in our family as a result of this mob. >> you know, j.w., to that point, look, i think it's a little bit of a forgone conclusion. we know how republicans here have lined up, and do not want to vote in this impeachment trial to convict. but there are going to be, perhaps, families who are looking for, you know, some accountability here. there could be civil cases. all of these things that we're talking about that actually seem pretty clear-cut, not in favor
of former president trump, are these going to be revisited in future proceedings? >> i think there's enough here to begin civil cases in some instances. i can't tell you for certain how they would come out, but i do think that when judge garland becomes attorney general, he should look ing goo i into issu former president trump. maybe it spiralling out of control in future instances, that all changed january 6th. january 6 was above and beyond the fraud, the mueller report, you know, injustices and sort of tampering of jury witnesses and stuff like that. then the implicit bribery in the ukraine affair. so far above and beyond, without question i think a special prosecutor at doj is necessary. >> i don't know if joe biden's going to want to do that. that's the question.
>> i was going see. seen resistance to that. haven't we, gloria? we'll see. thank you both so much. and as house impeachment managers get ready to lay out their case against former president trump, a lot of questions what happened on the day of the riot and what role others played in the insurrection. john avlon is with me now. john, what are the big question marks you have as this trial is set to get overway. people might say we saw it all on tape. >> exactly right, brianna. we saw it unfold on realtime, damning videotape is out. there's still a lot of unanswered questions. for me, one, more information coming in about deployment of the national guard. we know the pentagon restricted the national guard in advance of the riot. we've seen subsequently a memo from acting secretary of defense miller about this. what we don't know, though, what's the full context around it? there may be an innocent
observation, overcorrecting over the summer. given people trump put in firing a lot of longtime defense secretary staff in the run-up, the last months of his administration, is there something more nefarious at play? also, did trump actively resist deploying the national guard? we've seen reporting from cnn that mike pence was ultimately the one who brought the national guard in. did trump resist? if so, why? witnesses could be helpful there. second point. go on jo. >> >> no. you go on. >> is liz cheney invoking a question, why, watching the attack on the capitol, on television. presumably knowing mike pence was in the capitol, why would donald trump send out a tweet calling mike pence a coward? witnesses may be necessary.
a significant question as representative cheney indicated, talk about his language. say he only used the word "fight" a handful of times when putting forward this brief earlier today? >> i laughed about that, because slightly more than a handful of times,al real number is 16. 16 times he used the word "fight" in that one speech. it doesn't take a genius to figure out that you're telegraphing an attitude, a posture to a crowd already revved and riled up on that day by weeks of incitement. weeks of the president raising the stakes and pushing this big lie and saying the country was being stolen from him. that's the predicate for this incitement to commit insurrection. that's what we'll look at. needs to be understood in full context. not just about one day or one word. >> also, john, i think so interesting. the president knows when he says something that then those around him amplify it. right? saw it in his fund-raising
emails. in the days leading up to the insurrection. saw it from his kids, from people who are supporters of him who spoke. he may have said it 16 times, d but you heard is so much more from people walking instep with him. right? . that's the iran plaification ecosystem on social media and in his orbit. trying to start threatening people. chatter around the riot, that law enforcement was warning about. not pushed through the system. the fact that, calling it an army for trump in the run-up to the election. the language of conflict, the violence, was pervasive throughout the last weeks of the campaign, and during the big lie that led up to it. that's why there's so many open questions. one of the heads of the -- of the stop the steal says he was coordinated with three members of congress among those amplifying the big lie. with this violent rhetoric. all that, words have
consequences. that's what we saw. and that's one of the many questions that we need to get to the bottom to. >> yeah. certainly. john, thank you so much for being with us. great to see you. >> thank you. you, too. juggling an impeachment trial and major legislation. congress also mourning the loss of one of its own. tributes are pouring in for congressman ron wright who passed away weeks after a coronavirus diagnosis. also ahead, south africa pausing its oxford astrazeneca rollout after a study showed it only gives limited protection for that particular variant. also, plane ticket, legal i.d. and a negative covid test. transportation secretary pete buttigieg says passengers may have to start packing that form for domestic travel. new neutrogena® rapid tone repair 20 percent pure vitamin c. a serum so powerful dark spots don't stand a chance. see what i mean? neutrogena®
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sad news to report from capitol hill today. republican congressman ron wright of texas has died. the congressman was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago after contracting covid-19 and his office announced his passing in a statement which also noted that write had battled cancer. cnn congressional correspondent ryan nobles is on the hill with us. ryan, this is terrible news to receive for the house of representatives. how are lawmakers reacting to this? >> reporter: very tragic, brianna. especially taking into account congressman wright is the first sitting member of congress diagnosed with coronavirus and subsequently pass away. in just the past few minutes house speaker nancy pelosi took to the house floor and asked for a moment of silence in honor of the congressman. she also put out a statement
earlier today talking about wright and in the context of just how deadly this virus has been for so many americans across the country and wrote as we grieve congressman wright's passing members of congress of united in sorrow and pray for the loved ones of those killed by the vicious coronavirus. each death is a tragedy that breaks our hearts and demands strong and urgent action. it is pretty telling there have been a number of members of congress that have been diagnosed with coronavirus, but wright is the first to pass away. as you mentioned, brianna, he was suffering and being treated for cancer. his wife was also admitted to the hospital around the same time he was, but his death comes pretty rapidly after we learned of his initial diagnosis. only two weeks after his office announced he had tested positive for coronavirus he later dies and initially had said he was
only suffering from minor symptoms before he was eventually admitted to the hospital and this is a stark reminder how serious thisn illness is and so much debated on political about aid, the funding necessary, for the distribution and the resources as relates to the vaccine, and also just the relief needed for so many americans dealing on the economics side of this. this is the only member of congress to pass away as a sitting member. another congressman elect luke letlow of louisiana contracted the virus shortly after being elected. never formally seated as a member of congress before he passioned away. congress much like the rest of america seeing firsthand just how deadly the coronavirus is. >> they are. ryan, thank you so much. ryan nobles on capitol hill for us. the impeachment trial aside, still a $1.9 trillion covid relief bill in congress, and the
democrats are set to reveal a big part of it. a $3,000 tax credit for children. while president biden works to keep the moderate democrats onboard, senate majority leader, pushing the progressive wing. more on that ahead. we made usaa insurance for members like kate. a former army medic, made of the flexibility to handle whatever monday has in store and tackle four things at once. so when her car got hit, she didn't worry. she simply filed a claim on her usaa app and said... i got this. usaa insurance is made the way kate needs it - easy. she can even pick her payment plan so it's easy on her budget and her life. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa.
today democrats are set to unveil a critical new provision in the massive covid relief bill giving parents -- pardon me -- giving parents up to $3,600 per child under the age of 6. give $3,000 for every child ages 6 to 17. at least one republican onboard and that is senator mitt romney. joining me now is cnn global economic analyst ronna foroohar, executive editor for the financial times. looking at this bill trying to figure how it will work. what will be in it for them? they're struggling. i wonder, is this enough money to make a real difference for parents? >> you know, i think it's a really great amount to be able to give in a fiscal package that, as you know, has been criticized by some economists for being too large. you know.
there are a lot of families struggling right now. food inflation is rising. mothers are struggling with child care. there's a real crisis for american families right now, and so i think that there is a place you're going to put fiscal stimulus and able at the moment, this is the place to do it. >> employment are women so crucial to polling families out of -- pulling family out of the poverty line. right now actually the u.s., it has one of the highest child poverty rates in the world and something a lot of people might not realize. why? why does the u.s. have this poverty rate for children? >> you know, there's a couple of reasons, brianna. one is that all of the things that make you middle class, good health care, good education, housing. the price of these things is rising a lot faster than wages are. you know, wages for most americans have been stuck in neutral since the 1990s for a lot of working-class people, they haven't been rising since
around 1970. when you add those two things together you get growing inequality, and you get an environment that is not great for child rearing. we have no social safety net in this country. that's another big problem, particularly relative to europe. >> experts like larry sommers say the president's covid relief plan is too big, that it could actually damage the economy later. then janet yellen, treasury secretary, saying it's not big enough. who's right here? >> i have to go with janet yellen. she's a labor economist. someone who is laser-focused on the real pain of working people. i think that that's where we need to be right now. is there a risk of inflation later on down the road? there may be. you can make a case for that, but there is a reality right now of people who simply will not be able to get back up on their feet without some help. >> thank you so much. you make it so easy to understand and we appreciate it.
>> thanks so much, brianna. the president's covid relief plan is exposing divisions among more moderate democrats and the party's progressive wing. seeing senate majority leader chuck schumer reaching to his left trying to bridge the gaps, like this meeting last week on canceling student loan debt. this appearance he had here. today he and congresswoman alexandria oh ocasio-cortez tea up for those that can't afford funerals for loved ones who died from covid-19. you wrote an article about schumer and what he's up to saying cozying up to the aoc wing basically to keep his seat. i mean, he does have some kind of exposure here. explain this to us. >> sure does have exposure, brianna. if you look over the trajectory of chuck schumer's career, he's generally approached the job of campaigning and leading the democratic party from a relative
political middle. you have seen him take some big steps over the last really four years but especially the last few months or so making sure that the wing of the party that has led the charge against so many other incumbent democrats in his home state of new york that they feel comfortable working with him. some of this is about electoral politics. some about a legislative map. terribly uncomfortable or inconvenient for senate majority leader to face a serious primary from the left in his home state next year when up for re-election, as he's trying to lead a 50/50 chamber. brianna, same time part of what he's doing, trying to maybe the map work within that 50/50 chamber. focused on centrists like manchin and sinema. they're only such if you have bernie sanders and elizabeth warren onboard.
a delicate balancing act for chuck schumer at he'll and on capitol hill. >> can't make the math work if not in the senate. i wonder how large -- talk about this a little in your article. how large do these cautionary tales of these other new york democrats who were primaried, how large does that loom maybe in, you know, chuck schumer's calculus but also in that of other democrats? >> acting like it looms large in his calculus. the number of progressive democrats in the state legislature and house and newly elected members like jamaal bowman, torrez and jones, senator schumer has gone out of his wake making sure she talking to them, appearing in public with them and ebb doorsing policy goals put at the center of their campaigns. the real question is, he is endorsing the right policies. talk to democrats on the ground level. liberal democrats on ground level in new york, the real test, can he deliver that stuff?
put it into law? they no longer see him, with good reason, as a guy just another senator, or just another democrat in mitch mcconnell's senate. he's majority leader now. >> there are a lot of people who look how quickly the star of alexandria oh caocasio ortiz ha risen. what are people thinking? >> people i spoke with who have been in touch with her is not currently proceeding towards a campaign. hasn't made up her mind but also not taking any active steps to lay the groundwork for doing that. but she feels that the threat of a primary puts a useful kind of pressure on chuck schumer. if there was no possibility he would face a serious primary or potentially a really mortally serious primary, a race against her very well might be, he would feel more comfortable tracking towards the center and making joe manchin center of gravity in the democratic caulkcus as oppod
to the much more complicated pick they are there now. >> dangle that over chuck schumer's head. seems comfortable with that, as you explain. alex, thanks for being with us. >> thanks a lot. many republicans who didn't stick to party lines and voted to impeach former president donald trump a second time now find themselves being censured for their votes. it's a move that's rather shocking coming out of the same party that cried "free speech suppression" when trump was booted off twitter. we're going to roll the tape, next. research shows that people remember commercials with exciting stunts. so to help you remember that liberty mutual customizes your home insurance, here's something you shouldn't try at home. insurance is cool. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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rotunda. ostracized by fellow republicans. in washington state republican leaders and congressman dan newhouses county demanded he resign. state party overwhelmingly condemned impeachment and expressed disappointment in newhouse as well as congresswoman jamey herrera beutler. >> my vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision. i'm not choosing a side. i'm choosing truth. >> in other states rebukes were more than words. in south carolina and michigan voted to censure tom rice and upton. same for adam kinzinger in illinois. and liz cheney, at did at least ten individual counties. like the other republicans who voted to impeach, cheney isn't apologizing and being blunt with republicans that they've got to quit donald trump. >> look, i think people across wyoming understand and recognize that our most important duty is
to the constitution. the single greatest threat to our republic is a president who would put his own self-interests above the constitution, above the national interests. we've had a situation president trump claimed for months the election was stolen and then apparently set about to do everything he could to steal it himself. >> cheney isn't the only censured lawmakers calling on the party to cleanse itself of trump itch. senator ben sasse about to be slapped by nebraska republicans for criticizing republican efforts to overturn election results on false pretenses and criticizing donald trump for leading the effort. >> let's be clear. the anger in the state party has never been ob my violating principle or abandonal conservative policy. i'm one of the most conservative voters in the senate. the anger always has been simply about me not bending the knee to one guy. you are welcome to censure me again. but let's be clear about why this is happening. it's because i still believe as
you used to that politics isn't about the weird worship of one dude. >> these calls for resignation, the censures, rebukes in some cases death threats, stand out in a party that has long tried to stave off criticism by touting freedom of speech and saying that they disdain being censured including from the same republicans, some high wanted to cancel lis cheney from her house leadership position for disagreeing with them. >> these people want to be able to control what we see and how we behave and constrain speech in this way i think it's very damaging to country. >> got to be consequences, stewart. look, you're directly attacking free speech and here's the thing that gets me. why is it always just conservatives? >> the censuring always goes against conservatives. >> that wasn't true then. but it is especially false now. the latest blows to the cancel culture myth of folks like jim
jordan, matt gaetz and devoin nunes on one front self-inflicted ant the other media outlet serving as one of their greatest promoters. >> there's sunshine beaming throughout the place and on almost every face. it's winner and winning center. our white house, our president, is at the top of his game. this is a president who has not only had the most historic achievement since franklin delano roosevelt but a leader. a natural-born leader's out works them, out thinks, he is remarkably resourceful, he's bright. his judgment is -- second to none. >> you came into this job fighting like hell, and you are fighting like hell every day. >> more than i thought. >> you're also one of the most
lov loved and respected? >> i would say that also. >> fox business abruptly canceling its highest rated host on the channel. we don't know officially why lou dobbs got the boot from planet fox, dobbs himself hasn't directly commented. it it came one day since dobbs was named in a lawsuit for allegedly defaming the company as fox was allegedly part of a "disinformation campaign propagating conspiracy theories about the election." fox calls the suit meritless. this will no doubt make fox's daily segments lamenting cancel culture a bit awkward, considering fox canceled itself a cell phone what fox guests lambasted cancel culture all the time is actually just accountability. one of are the rioters charged in the capitol insurrection has a history of intimidating lawmakers.
in an unearthed video, he claims trying to replacing white people while protesting against a bill. i'm gaoing to talk to the lawmaker he was ranting against. my friend recommended safelite autoglass. they came right to me, with expert service where i needed it. ♪ rock music ♪ >> man: that's service i can trust... no matter what i'm hauling. right, girl? >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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officer during the capitol insurrection. this video shows that man kyle fitzsimmons ranting and raving with racist and xenophobic remarks. this video shows him ranting against lawmakers about this false belief that he says lawmakers are trying to replace white people. >> level this at all of you because you're sitting here in the opioid crisis and killing off yankee new england culture. you're doing nothing about it. no. you're -- you're bringing in the replacements. i see what's going on. it's very annoying. >> reporter: his lawyer was asked about this video. he said no comment. prosecutors say that fitzsimmons grabbed and pushed against police officers who were trying to hold the police line at the west side of the capitol on january 6th, and prosecutors say they have surveillance video that they say shows fitzsimmons grabbing at, pushing and even swinging at a metropolitan
police officer. now fitzsimmons is being held in jail until at least his next court appearance, and that's on thursday. brianna? >> jess, thanks so much. when kyle fitzsimmons unleashed that violent rant he was arguing against a piece of legislation sponsored by then republican state senator roger cates, and this is a bill -- this proposed bill would have largely expanded funding for teaching immigrants english among other things geared towards helping them and roger cates is with us now for talking about this. thanks so much for being with us. i'm wondering what was going through your mind, you know, when you saw that rant? >> well, it was pretty stunning at the time, brianna. two things i remember. he held us two license plates, one from new york and one from rhode island and said these are places i used to live before i moved here and i'm glad to get out of those cultural hell holes and move to maine because i thought this was where i was going to find a white society, and then at the end of his --
his testimony, if you will, he pointed -- he pointed out that the maine flag has two white males on it, a forester and a fishermen, and he said we don't want to have to go to the end of the line because these people are coming to our state, so i think there were audible gasps in the rooms and one of the most remarkable things i've ever seen in terms of people really speaking their minds in a very racist way. >> did you respond to him? >> i wasn't on the committee at the time. i was the sponsor of the bill. the committee didn't. i think they were happy to have him leave the room as soon as he could. he didn't have any impact on the bill. he was the only one to speak in opposition, by the way, and the bill actually sailed through the committee although it was not able to overcome a governor's veto. >> okay. so in the end it did not
prevail, and uas you mentioned this was the one person speaking in opposition in that committee hearing but certainly, you know, i'm sure that left an impression on you having seen that rant and knowing that there are, you know -- i mean, i don't know how much of this kind of discourse you witnessed in your state, but i just wonder overall what you make of learning that he -- that he's not alone. there's been a sharp increase in white supremacists and conspiracy theorist rhetoric, and it's now seeped into the national discourse. what do you make of that? >> well, first of all, everybody should understand that most people in maine are extremely welcoming and fair. >> of course. >> but to hear summon like mr. fitzsimmons is very disconcerting. people who think that other people coming from away, particularly from other continents are somehow going to take away their jobs and we need to do something to stop it, really exactly the opposite is true. it's not taking a piece of the pie away from anybody. it's really helping to expand
that pie, and maine, we've got a very white population, frankly. i think only 2% african-american, but we have suffered our own discrimination through the years going back a century more when the french catholics were flooding over the borders into our state to work in the mills and the ku klux klan was very upset that white culture in maine was going to be destroyed by that influx, and now maybe a third of our state is franco-american, and they are proud mainers and we're proud to have them. >> sir, thank you so much. i'm sure it's, you know, seeing this person who you saw having made those comments and now you see them in this video, i know it must be pretty stunning, and we are so glad that you came to talk with us. roger cates. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> we are less than 24 hours away from the start of former president trump's second impeachment trial in the senate, and his attorneys accuse of democrats of political theater and that trump's fight like hell statement did not incite the
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hi there. you're watching cnn on this monday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. we are now less than 24 hours away from the second impeachment trial of former president donald trump. we're getting some new details this afternoon on exactly how this thing will proceed. a source tells cnn that senate majority leader chuck schumer and minority leader mitch mcconnell are closing in on an agreement that would give each side up to 16 hours to present their cases. a final decision hasn't been made yet as to whether witnesses will be called, so stand by for that. also, as for the president himself, the former president, his legal team just unveiled a bit what have their strategy will be, accusing the democrats of, quote, political theater. house managers just responded to that filing this brief saying this, quote, the evidence of president trump's conduct is overwhelming. he has no valid excuse or defense for his ac