In Brief

Oration and fidget spinners: inside Donald Trump’s impeachment trial

Democrats setting out case but some senators accused of nodding off

Democrats continued to set out their case against Donald Trump for abuse of power on day three of the Senate impeachment trial yesterday.

Jerry Nadler, a senior Democrat, said the US president’s attempt to solicit election help from Ukraine was an abuse that “threatens the entire system” of US democracy.

The Guardian says that following “about nine hours of argumentation,” lead prosecutor Adam Schiff gave a “stirring oration” in which he said that in the United States, “right matters” and “you know that what he did was not right”.

Urging the Senate to remove Trump from office, he said: “You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country. You can only trust this president to do what’s right for Donald Trump.”

Meanwhile, Republicans have voted against taking witness testimony and have complained the trial was bringing no new evidence to light. They have also argued that the Democrat case is repetitive and too long.

As early as tomorrow, Trump’s lawyers will take the stage and argue that the president did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and that the Democrats’ charge that he abused his power has no constitutional significance.

CNN has quipped that “senators are soon going to start seeing Adam Schiff in their sleep,” and, according to reports, some of that sleep may be happening during the hearing itself.

The BBC says that US senators have been accused of “falling asleep, playing games and breaking other rules” at the trial. Jim Inhofe and Jim Risch are among members who have apparently “nodded off,” and crossword puzzles, fidget spinners and a paper aeroplane have been spotted.

Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, was criticised after she was spotted reading a book in the chamber. She tweeted that the book - How Trump Haters Are Breaking America, by Kim Strassel – “provides good insights into today’s proceedings”.

Phones are banned in the chamber and Pat Leahy, a Democrat, was heard drawling “my precious” as he retrieved his phone from a cubby outside.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Recommended

Parks, mindful robots and selfish vaccines
Paris at dusk
Podcast

Parks, mindful robots and selfish vaccines

Quiz of The Week: 9 - 15 January
A Covid-19 mass vaccination site at Etihad Tennis And Football Centre, Manchester
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 9 - 15 January

‘Shocking care home outbreak’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Shocking care home outbreak’

Named: the UK city most likely to survive zombie apocalypse
zombie
Tall Tales

Named: the UK city most likely to survive zombie apocalypse

Popular articles

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day
Tall Tales

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day

Why Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse
Matteo Renzi holds a press conference
Getting to grips with . . .

Why Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 17 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 17 Jan 2021

Free 6 issue trial then continue to