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 Democratic amendments to subpoena records from the White House, State Department, Defense Department and Office of Management and Budget related to the Ukraine probe. The White House stonewalled requests for those records by House investigators during their inquiry.

The Senate also rejected amendments to subpoena Trump administration officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; his senior adviser, Robert Blair; and top Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey. Each amendment was tabled on a 53-to-47 party-line vote.

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.

The impeachment charges center on the allegation that Trump withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a political rival, as well as his son Hunter Biden.

●White House calls for Trump acquittal in ‘rigged’ impeachment as Senate prepares for quick trial.

●Trump’s lawyers, Senate GOP allies work privately to ensure former national security adviser John Bolton does not testify publicly.

●Republicans rally behind Trump as Senate impeachment trial begins.

January 21, 2020 at 11:50 PM EST
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Schumer offers seventh amendment as Senate returns from recess

By Felicia Sonmez

Democrats pressed onward as the Senate returned from a brief recess, with Schumer offering his seventh amendment of the night.

In contrast to the earlier measures aimed at subpoenaing documents and witnesses, the latest amendment “would allow for the Senate to prevent the selective admission of evidence and to provide for appropriate handling of classified and confidential materials,” according to Schumer’s office.

January 21, 2020 at 11:20 PM EST
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An embarrassing moment for Trump’s legal team

By Aaron Blake

Trump’s impeachment managers made little secret Tuesday that they’d rather put House Democrats on trial than Trump.

They repeatedly alleged mistreatment of Trump in his impeachment, rather than dwelling upon the evidence against him.

But in one instance, one of them badly overreached.

Read more here.

January 21, 2020 at 11:10 PM EST
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Blair, Duffey amendment is voted down

By Felicia Sonmez

The Senate rejected the Democratic amendment to subpoena Blair and Duffey.

The amendment, like those that came before it, was rejected on a 53-to-47 vote.

The Senate is now in a brief recess, with Democrats readying a seventh amendment for when the chamber returns.

January 21, 2020 at 10:35 PM EST
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Senate rejects effort to subpoena Defense Department documents

By Felicia Sonmez

The Senate once again voted to reject a Democratic amendment on a 53-to-47 vote. This amendment would have allowed the chamber to subpoena key Defense Department documents related to the impeachment inquiry.

The impeachment managers are now outlining the case for their sixth amendment, which would allow for subpoenas to be issued for the testimony of two other Trump administration officials, Blair and Duffey.

“As plentiful evidence confirms, officials throughout the government were stumped — literally stumped — about why the freeze was happening,” Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.), one of the impeachment managers, said. “They were thwarted when they tried to get explanations from Blair and Duffey. Consistent with President Trump’s effort to hide all evidence, Blair and Duffey have defied the House’s subpoenas at the president’s direction.”

January 21, 2020 at 9:50 PM EST
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Senate reconvenes to consider fifth Democratic amendment

By Felicia Sonmez

The Senate reconvened Tuesday night to consider the fifth amendment offered by Schumer. This one would allow the Senate to subpoena Defense Department documents and records related to Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine.

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), one of the impeachment managers, returned to the floor to introduce the amendment — but first, he said he wanted to get “something off my chest.”

“Counsel for the president and some other folks in this room have been talking a lot about how late it’s getting, how long this debate is taking,” Crow said.

He noted that it’s even later in other places, such as Europe, “where we have over 60,000 U.S. troops.”

“I don’t think any of those folks want to hear us talk about how tired we are, how late it is,” Crow said. “We have time to have this debate.”

January 21, 2020 at 9:45 PM EST
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McConnell halts proceedings in effort to condense votes on remaining amendments

By Mike DeBonis

McConnell halted the Senate trial proceedings at 9:29 p.m. in an apparent bid to negotiate an end to an hourslong debate over rules for the trial going forward.

McConnell’s move to put the Senate into a quorum call, a procedural move to pause the chamber’s proceedings, came after Schumer said he planned to call numerous additional amendment votes — possibly later into Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Among the amendments, he said, would be to summon additional witnesses and documents as well as measures to more closely align the Trump proceedings with the 1999 Clinton trial.

“There will be a good number of votes,” Schumer said. “We are willing to do some of those votes tomorrow. There is no reason we have to do them all tonight and inconvenience the Senate and the chief justice. But we will not back off on getting votes on all of these amendments, which we regard as extremely significant and important to the country.”

McConnell, who has pushed to keep the trial on a rapid schedule, responded: “All of these amendments could be dealt with at the appropriate time” -- that is, after the opening arguments are made.

January 21, 2020 at 9:40 PM EST
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Senate rejects Democratic measure to subpoena acting White House chief of staff Mulvaney

By Felicia Sonmez

On a 53-to-47 vote, the Senate rejected the fourth Democratic amendment, which would have allowed the chamber to subpoena Mulvaney.

The acting White House chief of staff had defied a House subpoena last year as investigators sought information on how $391 million in congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine was withheld at the same time Trump was pressuring a foreign leader to investigate his domestic political rivals.

January 21, 2020 at 9:30 PM EST
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Schiff says intelligence agencies are withholding Ukraine evidence on ‘instruction of others’

By Ellen Nakashima

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), lead impeachment manager, said Tuesday that U.S. intelligence agencies are withholding evidence on Ukraine “on the instruction of others or with the advice of others.”

In an interview with CBS News’s Norah O’Donnell, Schiff said, “We have requested intelligence, relevant intelligence, concerning Ukraine as a part of our oversight ability.” But some spy agencies, he said, “have stopped cooperating.”

He indicated that they were withholding intelligence “on the issue of how Ukraine has responded to the pressure campaign” by Trump and his personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to get Ukraine to announce publicly investigations into a political rival.

Such information, he said, ”would be very pertinent.”

“If there was more evidence that bears on that question and it’s being withheld by the intelligence community at the urging of the president, that is a corruption of the intelligence community,” Schiff said.

Schiff apparently was elaborating on comments he made on Sunday to ABC News’s “This Week,” in which he said that the intelligence community “is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine.”

Schiff said that “the NSA, in particular,” was holding back “potentially relevant” documents that senators might want to see during the impeachment trial, which began in earnest Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in an email Sunday that the “intelligence community is committed to providing Congress with the information and intelligence it needs to carry out its critical oversight role.”

January 21, 2020 at 9:20 PM EST
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Schumer to offer amendment to subpoena Defense Department materials

By Felicia Sonmez

Schumer is expected to offer a fifth amendment Tuesday night following the vote on the motion to subpoena acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

The latest amendment would allow the Senate to subpoena Defense Department documents and records related to Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine.

January 21, 2020 at 9:15 PM EST
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Democrats play video of Trump saying he would ‘love’ to have officials testify

By Felicia Sonmez

Trump made his first appearance in the impeachment managers’ presentation Tuesday night as Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) played a video of the president saying he would “love” to have members of his administration testify.

The footage was from a December exchange with reporters ahead of a meeting between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London.

“So, when it’s fair — and it will be fair in the Senate — I would love to have Mike Pompeo,” Trump said. “I’d love to have Mick. I’d love to have Rick Perry and many other people testify.”

January 21, 2020 at 9:00 PM EST
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Klobuchar calls Cipollone comment about 2020 candidates ‘unnecessary’

By Elise Viebeck

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), a Democratic presidential hopeful, said White House counsel Pat Cipollone was wrong when he said the Senate’s 2020 candidates would prefer to be in Iowa on the campaign trail.

Earlier in the day, Cipollone addressed the senators running for president, saying: “It’s a partisan impeachment that they’ve delivered to your doorstep in an election year. Some of you are upset because you should be in Iowa right now, but instead we’re here.”

“I thought it was kind of unnecessary when the president’s lawyer kind of poked at us for being there,” Klobuchar said. “That’s our job. He said, ‘Oh, they’d rather be in Iowa.’ No, we have a constitutional duty to do our job.”

Klobuchar said she would supplement her schedule with tele-town halls and that her husband and daughter were in Iowa in her stead.

January 21, 2020 at 8:50 PM EST
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Jeffries displays chart showing every previous impeachment trial has included witnesses

By Felicia Sonmez

Jeffries displayed a chart Tuesday night emphasizing the Democratic request for witnesses during the Senate trial.

During his remarks outlining the case for the fourth Democratic amendment, Jeffries displayed a chart showing that witnesses were included in every one of the 15 impeachment trials of presidents, judges and others that have taken place in the Senate.

The number of witnesses ranged from three to 112, with the average number of witnesses per trial standing at 33, according to Jeffries.

“In at least three of those instances, including the impeachment of Bill Clinton, witnesses appeared before the Senate who had not previously appeared before the House,” Jeffries said.

January 21, 2020 at 8:40 PM EST
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GOP senator accuses managers of ‘dilatory tactics’

By Elise Viebeck

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) accused the House impeachment managers of using “dilatory tactics” to prolong debate over the organizing resolution and said the Republican leadership still hopes to hold a final vote on the measure Tuesday night.

Speaking to reporters during a dinner break, Blunt said that “if it’s up to Leader McConnell,” the resolution will receive a vote before the Senate gavels out for the evening. But he predicted the floor action would last several more hours, as Democrats offer more amendments.

As of 8:30 p.m., House impeachment managers were arguing in favor of an amendment to seek evidence from Mulvaney. It is expected to be voted down, like similar amendments to subpoena documents from the White House, the State Department and OMB.

“Everybody knows how these votes are going to go,” Blunt said, adding: “I think [the impeachment managers] have already made almost all their presentations about three times.”

January 21, 2020 at 8:15 PM EST
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Senate returns from dinner to debate fourth Democratic amendment

By Felicia Sonmez

The Senate returned from its brief recess to debate the fourth amendment offered by Democrats.

The amendment would allow the Senate to subpoena Mulvaney.

Jeffries made the Democratic case for the amendment in floor remarks Tuesday night.

“Mr. Mulvaney is a highly relevant witness to the events at issue in this trial. Mr. Mulvaney was at the center of every stage of the president’s substantial pressure campaign against Ukraine,” Jeffries said.

According to the evidence obtained by the House, Mulvaney played a “crucial” role in planning and executing the Ukraine scheme and carrying out the coverup, Jeffries said.

“President Trump’s complete and total obstruction makes Richard Nixon look like a choir boy,” he added.