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Trump attorney Jay Sekulow holds the Mueller report as Rep. Adam Schiff and other impeachment managers listen. Photo: Senate TV via AP

On opening day of the defense casePresident Trump's legal team didn't try to burn down the house by going after the Bidens.

The state of play: The team put on a fairly conventional legal rebuttal — trying to poke holes in the House impeachment managers' case, and arguing that Democrats just don't have enough evidence of wrongdoing to throw Trump out of office — especially in a year when he's up for re-election.

  • "They have the burden of proof, and they have not come close to meeting it," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said.

In the chamber: 

  • Sen. Collins, Murkowski and Gardner were the most diligent notetakers of the Senate Republicans who are being eyed as possible votes to call witnesses.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney, sitting at the back of the chamber, and Sen. Lamar Alexander mostly sat back and listened.
  • Republicans mostly paid close attention to most of the presentations, though a few began looking away or reading as White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin spoke. Democrats looked more bored.
  • Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer listened closely, scowling.

2020 watch:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders sat slumped back in his seat, fidgeting or resting with his chin in his hand (though he leaned forward with a puzzled look when Philbin criticized Schiff).
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent a long time hunched over a legal pad, writing and not appearing to pay close attention — though she sat up and listened to Cipollone's closing remarks.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar took some notes and listened to some of the arguments, but often looked away and stared around the room.

What to watch: Whether the Trump team stays focused on the legal issues or veers into attacks on the Bidens when they resume arguments Monday at 1 p.m.

  • Either way, Cipollone said the team doesn't plan to take the full 24 hours — because they don't think they need it.

Go deeper: Impeachment trial draws shrugs — by design

Go deeper

NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Driving the news: The gun rights group said it would reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

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