OnPolitics: Roberts, rules and order

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OnPolitics: Roberts, rules and order


Tuesday kicked off what is expected to be several marathon days in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

First order of business? Rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the keys to that vehicle, and Democrats spent much of Tuesday trying to pass amendments to those rules that would allow them to subpoena White House chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and State Department documents, among other things.

In another fun little wrinkle, four senator-jurors are also, you know, running for president. So while they may rather be in Iowa (probably because the weather is so nice… 😐), Sens. Michael Bennet, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have all committed to being in the Capitol during the trial. 

Taking the campaign helm? Surrogates. Julian Castro. Rep. Ayanna Pressley. JVN. Husbands. Daughters. The works. 

“I am a mom. I can do two things at once,” Klobuchar quipped.

Meanwhile, across the pond …

One pretty important person wasn't in DC Tuesday: President Trump. 

Trump left Monday for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the president seemed determined to ignore the trial and instead brag about the U.S. economy.

“America is thriving, America is flourishing, and, yes, America is winning again like never before,” Trump said during a campaign-style speech during a morning session at Davos.

Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the president didn't plan to watch the trial while in Switzerland, “but will be briefed by staff periodically.”

So what do Americans think about all of this?

A new poll out Tuesday showed a majority of Americans say introducing new evidence should be allowed in the Senate trial, beyond what was submitted from the House inquiry.

Impeachment fashion report!

And now, a new (probably-never-happening-again) feature on the hottest fashion on the Hill. Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the Senate impeachment trial, won't be wearing the same signature arm stripes his predecessor, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, did at President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial. 

Our Supreme Court guru Rich Wolf had this to say:

“Was it a special impeachment flourish? Nope. Rehnquist added the stripes four years earlier, in January 1995, in a whimsical emulation of Lord Chancellor in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera ‘Iolanthe.' ” 

Ah, of course, Iolanthe!

Roberts has never adorned his robe with any accoutrements, and the trial won't be any different.

And now, we get to do this all again tomorrow. Maybe with fewer puns, but no promises.

— Annah Aschbrenner

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