Senators began debate Tuesday afternoon over the rules that will guide the impeachment trial of President Trump — just the third in history of a U.S. president — focused on his conduct toward Ukraine.
The Senate rejected by a 53-47 party-line vote the Democrats’ first amendment to subpoena documents and other records from the White House related to the Ukraine probe. The White House stonewalled requests for those records by House investigators during their inquiry.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., presiding over the trial, gaveled in the proceedings at 1:18 p.m. Senators are hearing from House managers and Trump’s attorneys regarding a resolution proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that seeks a swift trial.
Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), have panned the proposal, arguing that it is part of an effort to “cover up” Trump’s dealings. In public appearances Tuesday, the House impeachment managers urged the Senate to reject McConnell’s rules.

Trump’s conduct has been so “perfect” that Republican Senators are adamantly opposed to hearing testimony from the very people who just happen to have the most direct knowledge of that conduct of anyone alive. And in voting against subpoenaing the documents that Trump’s White House denied to the House, GOP Senators are already in the process of carrying Trump’s own coverup to completion. -- gs

* Paul Sonne, Rosalind S. Helderman, and Natalie Gryvnyak report on the mysterious Igor Fruman, goon #2 in Rudy’s squad:

Lev Parnas, Rudolph W. Giuliani’s trusted fixer in the Ukraine saga, has dominated the airways on the eve of President Trump’s impeachment trial, turning over eye-popping text messages to House lawmakers and pointing the finger at the president in prime-time cable interviews.
Meanwhile, his onetime sidekick and fellow Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, is nowhere to be seen.
Holed up under house arrest in Miami and facing federal campaign finance charges, Fruman has split with Parnas, retained counsel from Trump’s world and stayed true to his reputation as the quiet partner in the Soviet-born duo who stumbled into a presidential impeachment scandal. Unlike Parnas, whose approach is scorched earth, Fruman isn’t saying a word.

Maybe one of the oligarchs has let him know that there’s a bank account waiting for him if he keeps his mouth shut.

A Washington state man has been diagnosed with the mysterious virus that broke out last month in China, becoming the first confirmed case in the United States of an illness that has killed at least six people and sickened hundreds more, according to U.S. officials.
The man, in his 30s, is in stable condition at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash. Officials said they are monitoring him there out of an abundance of caution, not because he is seriously ill. The man arrived in the United States last week, before federal health officials began screening travelers from the central Chinese city of Wuhan at Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York’s John F. Kennedy international airports, the first such effort since the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

There’s no need to panic. Yet.