Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Senators got their chance to ask questions Wednesday following the completion of both sides' opening arguments throughout the eighth day of President Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

The state of play: The most memorable moment came when Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz responded to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who asked if it would even matter if there were a quid pro quo. Dershowitz argued that a quid pro quo can only exist in a purely corrupt form if it benefitted the president financially.

  • "If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment," he said.
  • Lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) argued that "efforts to cheat an election are always going to be in proximity to an election," warning senators that an acquittal could mean that "the next president of the United States can ask for an investigation of [them]."

What's happening: Senators are granted 16 hours between Wednesday and Thursday — Wednesday's session took about 8 hours — to submit prewritten questions to Chief Justice John Roberts, who will direct them to the House impeachment managers or Trump's legal team for a five-minute response.

Other highlights

Schiff said in response to a question from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) there is "no way" for senators to render an impartial verdict without hearing testimony from Bolton and other current and former top Trump officials.

  • Patrick Philbin, a member of Trump's legal team, argued against calling Bolton as a witness because it would set a precedent allowing the House to move on impeachment "in a hurried partisan fashion" and tie up Senate business for months with procedural witness debates.

Philbin rebutted claims from House managers that Trump's withholding aid put Ukraine at risk. Philbin noted that the aid was for future use and that "it wasn't jeopardizing anything at the front lines." He added that no "decision makers" in the Ukraine government knew the aid was paused.

  • House manager Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) responded: "The evidence does not show that ... We know that the Defense Department official Laura Cooper testified that her staff received two emails from the State Department on July 25th revealing that the Ukrainian embassy was asking about assistance ... I would propose that the Senate subpoena those emails so that we can all see for ourselves what exactly was happening."

Dershowitz argued that removal based on abuse of power would "destroy" the criteria for impeachment, stating, "Bribery, a serious crime, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Crimes or misdemeanors akin to treason and bribery. That's what the framers intended."

  • Schiff responded: "If we are to interpret the Constitution now as saying that a president can abuse their power ... None of the founders would have accepted that kind of reasoning."

What you need to know:

Go deeper:

Go deeper

59 mins ago - Sports

Disney announces partnership and documentary series with Colin Kaepernick

Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Walt Disney Company announced Monday that ESPN Films will produce an exclusive docuseries on political activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick as part of a larger deal with Kaepernick's production arm RA Vision Media.

Driving the news: Former ESPN personality Jemele Hill tweeted that she'll be serving as a producer on the docuseries, after leaving the network two years ago following a dramatic falling out in 2018. At the time, Hill's outspoken tweets about President Trump put the network in the crosshairs of a polarizing debate over race and politics.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 11,495,412 — Total deaths: 535,185 — Total recoveries — 6,217,763Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 2,897,613 — Total deaths: 129,953 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots — Medical community urges public to wear masks.
  4. States: Texas hospitals in danger of being overwhelmed amid surge.
  5. Politics: Meadows says Trump "is right" to claim 99% of coronavirus cases are "harmless."

Court orders temporary shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline in San Francisco in 2017. Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A federal judge ordered Monday the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline — a project at the heart of battles over oil-and-gas infrastructure — while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts a new environmental analysis.

Why it matters: The latest twist in the years-long fight over the pipeline is a defeat for the White House agenda of advancing fossil fuel projects and a win for Native Americans and environmentalists who oppose the project