Feb 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Rand Paul calls for shorter impeachment trials

Screenshot via Fox News

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tells Axios that a lot of time was wasted with repetitious arguments at President Trump's impeachment trial, and that any future trials should be streamlined.

What he's saying: "If you ever do impeachment again, it's got to be a lot shorter," Paul told Axios in his Senate office Monday. "After sitting through hundreds of hours, it seems like, of repetitive testimony, I think we should change the process."

Paul said he agrees with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) that impeachment could be the new normal in American politics.

  • "I think that one of the messages that's going to come out of this is [that] for the time we spent doing it, I don't think [it] has done anything good for the country."

Paul said the Democratic House managers "said the same thing over and over again, every 30 minutes for 24 hours."

  • "I think eight hours would be plenty for each side, and then I would alternate every hour — go back and forth, so you don't hear 24 hours of the same people saying the same damn thing over and over again."
  • "The Supreme Court has really, really complicated arguments and really, really complicated cases," Paul continued. "Their longest oral argument is 30 minutes" for each side.
  • "People gave some of us a hard time for not paying attention every second of 100 hours. But they ... were giving speeches over and over and over again, and they really weren't trying to get our votes. They knew they weren't getting any new votes."

The bottom line: Paul said he thinks impeachment "ends up being tactically and politically a mistake for the Democrats. ... They've done this and gotten nothing."

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,490,954 — Total deaths: 345,962 — Total recoveries — 2,228,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,250 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.