No escape: Senators to be quiet, unplugged for Trump trial

(AP) - No cellphones. No talking. No escape.

In this image from video, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., escort Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts into the Senate chamber in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (Source: Senate Television via AP)

That’s the reality for the 100 senators who will be sitting at their desks for the duration of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

They aren’t even allowed to talk at length to the senators sitting next to them or walk on certain areas of the Senate floor.

While senators might privately grumble about the restrictions, they agree the rules are justified as they consider the serious matter of removing the president from office.

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa jokes that if there weren’t restrictions, senators would be “Googling stuff” and playing games on their phones.

Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in

Advocates for and against Trump are giving no ground in the shadow of his Senate impeachment trial.

The president’s defenders are arguing that his pressure on Ukraine broke no U.S., law, so it wasn’t impeachable in the first place.

The House Democrats who are prosecuting the abuse and obstruction charges say there need be no crime and that the Constitution defines a higher threshold for impeachment.

Before the arguments begin, expect a fight over the structure of the trial when it resumes on Tuesday.

Trump denies the charges and has cast himself as a victim of Democrats who want to overturn his 2016 election.

Schiff accuses NSA, CIA of withholding documents on Ukraine

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is accusing U.S. intelligence agencies of withholding documents from Congress on Ukraine that could be significant to President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff is the lead House impeachment manager.

He contends that the National Security Agency in particular is holding back documents and that “there are signs” the CIA might be as well.

There’s no immediate comment from the agencies in response to his charge.

Democrats are seeking to focus on new evidence about Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and are pushing the Senate to consider new documents and testimony.

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