Jan 21, 2020

Lawmakers stretch impeachment trial rules by wearing Apple Watches

Photo: Qi Heng/Visual China Group via Getty Images

Both parties were caught stretching the Senate impeachment trial rules on Tuesday, keeping Apple Watches strapped to their wrists and ignoring a ban on electronic devices in the chamber, CQ Roll Call reports.

Why it matters: The no-phones rule in the decorum guidelines is meant to cut off access to the outside world. The latest versions of Apple Watches have cellular capabilities, meaning lawmakers and their staffers can text, call and surf the web even if their other devices are left outside the room.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court, for example, does not allow Apple Watches in its courtroom.

What we know: Per Roll Call, lawmakers seen in the Senate chamber with watches on their wrists were

  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
  • Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
  • Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
  • Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
  • Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Go deeper: Live updates: Senators debate rules of Trump impeachment trial

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Republicans criticize lack of "new" impeachment information while blocking Democratic subpoenas

Head impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republicans say they're growing tired of Democrats repeating the same arguments, as the GOP continues to block Democrats' efforts to seek new evidence.

What's happening: Senate Democrats have repeatedly pushed to subpoena new documents and witnesses in the impeachment trial. But Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have blocked efforts to do so until after they've heard opening arguments, if ever.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020

Trump impeachment debate recap: Senators speak ahead of final vote

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Senators spent Tuesday debating the articles of impeachment against President Trump ahead of the trial's resumption on Wednesday, when the chamber is expected to vote to acquit.

The big picture: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in condemning Trump's conduct toward Ukraine as "inappropriate," but ultimately said she would vote to acquit. Sen. Mitt Romney, who along with Collins was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of witnesses, is the Democrats' last chance for a bipartisan conviction vote.

The GOP senators signaling support for witnesses following Bolton report

From left: Sen. Susan Collins, former national security adviser John Bolton, Sen. Mitt Romney. Photos: Getty Images

At least three Republican senators are signaling support for calling John Bolton as a witness in President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, following reports that the former national security adviser's forthcoming book includes allegations that Trump said he conditioned aid to Ukraine on the nation investigating his political rivals.

The state of play: The revelations from Bolton's book could be enough to sway the four Republican senators needed to vote for witness testimony in the trial, GOP sources told Axios on Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 30, 2020