Journalism might be known as the first-draft of history, but leave it to Twitter to disrupt even that old adage.
Years from now, tweets — for better or worse — might be the initial record referenced by future presidents, lawmakers, lawyers, and maybe even school children, to understand what happened to Donald Trump in 2020 during just the third presidential impeachment trial in the country’s history.
Let’s make it simple. POLITICO presents: “Impeachment, via Twitter.”
Thursday, Jan. 16
The House sends the impeachment articles to the Senate
House impeachment managers Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Jason Crow, Val Demings and Sylvia Garcia just walked the articles of impeachment to the Senate to formally present them pic.twitter.com/QAu4aXZ9hI— POLITICO (@politico) January 16, 2020
Some details about Chief Justice's impeachement role:— Kimberly Robinson (@KimberlyRobinsn) January 16, 2020
- He'll wear his normal robe (no stripes)
- He'll attend arguments in the AM, Sentate trial in the PM
- If he misses an argument, Justice Thomas will preside
- He'll be driven across the street, escorted by #SCOTUS security
There’s no sense of apology for putting our nation through something that will tear at us.— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) January 16, 2020
There’s no sense of sorrow for putting the Chief Justice through this.
Nothing. Just insults to the opposition.
I can’t think of something more unAmerican.
I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2020
Friday, Jan. 17
Trump adds big names to his impeachment defense team
BREAKING: President Trump will be represented by former Bill Clinton special prosecutors Kenneth Starr and Robert Ray, plus retired Harvard constitutional law professor Alan Dershowitz, at his Senate impeachment trial https://t.co/lGrRMI6Djk— POLITICO (@politico) January 17, 2020
this is definitely an “are you fucking kidding me?” kinda day.— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) January 17, 2020
Monday, Jan. 20
Trump legal brief attacks impeachment
President Trump’s lawyers on Monday offered a sweeping condemnation of the articles of impeachment against him.https://t.co/50P6Lybr9y— POLITICO (@politico) January 20, 2020
You should never have a trial if no crime was committed. It is a desecration of justice. This should be thrown out to prevent a precedent from forming which would allow future Congresses to overstep their constitutional boundaries.— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 20, 2020
Tuesday, Jan. 21
Senate holds an all-day marathon debate over trial rules
The historic impeachment trial of President Trump will begin in earnest this afternoon with a contentious vote on the rules that will govern the trial https://t.co/8eIEtYsnSF— POLITICO (@politico) January 21, 2020
Here's the interaction from 1966 that set the Senate precedent for drinking milk in the chamber: pic.twitter.com/iXCRT5b6UD— Amelia Frappolli (@AmeliaFrappolli) January 21, 2020
The hand-written changes to McConnell impeachment resolution, changing two-day limit on opening arguments to three days ... Signed by McConnell himself pic.twitter.com/jRAyd8Agex— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) January 21, 2020
Lofgren's presentation could be tomorrow's winning lottery numbers and Republicans would still vote down the amendment— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) January 21, 2020
If there’s any unfairness in these proceedings, it’s the astounding mismatch between the high skill and preparation of the House managers and the rambling, dissembling, and gaslighting of @realDonaldTrump’s counsel. It’s like the New York Yankees versus the Bad News Bears.— George Conway (@gtconway3d) January 21, 2020
1/ Ken Starr joined Trump’s impeachment defense team, leading to renewed scrutiny about his tenure at Baylor.— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) January 21, 2020
Here’s what you should know about his time at Baylor, which was rocked by scandal over how the administration handled sexual assault cases. https://t.co/Jbk5CmC0rU
Democratic House Manager @RepJeffries closes his argument for impeachment evidence by addressing Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow with iconic bars from The Notorious B.I.G.:— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) January 22, 2020
"If you don't know, now you know."#TrumpTrial #HakeemJeffries #Juicy #Biggie #ImpeachmentTrial
You know who doesn't seem to be flagging... Chief Justice John Roberts.— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 22, 2020
I take his continued alacrity as evidence that, mentally, he hasn't had a damn thing to do. His brain has been on vacation this whole damn time.
Wednesday, Jan. 22
The Senate trial really begins
Learned a new word today: "pettifogging"— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 22, 2020
Truly extraordinary admonishment from Chief Justice Roberts: "Those addressing the Senate should remember where they are."— Catie Edmondson (@CatieEdmondson) January 22, 2020
The GOP-controlled Senate today will cede the floor to Rep. Adam Schiff for what Democrats see as their last, best shot to convince a handful of Republican senators to demand witnesses and documents in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial https://t.co/GaajBUC4DX— POLITICO (@politico) January 22, 2020
Trump's lawyers argue that he can only be impeached for committing a crime. Plenty of people have explained why this is historically incorrect-@kewhittington, @_John_Mikhail, @tribelaw, to name a few.— Carissa Byrne Hessick (@CBHessick) January 22, 2020
But the substance of the argument, which sounds in due process, is also wrong
In an incredible exchange at Davos, @realdonaldtrump admits he is comfortable with the status of the impeachment trial because the White House is withholding evidence. "Honestly, we have all the material. They don't have the material." As always, he says the quiet part out loud. pic.twitter.com/Gk3h1QZyAi— Justin Hendrix (@justinhendrix) January 22, 2020
Been thinking about this: If I were Schiff I'd ask for Lin-Manuel Miranda to testify as a historian and just have him perform Hamilton live... https://t.co/QBtKi2VMVK— Matt Laslo (@MattLaslo) January 22, 2020
Thursday, Jan. 23
House Democrats continue their impeachment presentation
Dems continue arguments in Trump impeachment trial https://t.co/dJN2Dt4zIH— POLITICO (@politico) January 23, 2020
A group of the White House House defense team has spread out talking to reporters, pushing back against the Dem’s case against Trump.— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 23, 2020
The Senate basement has effectively become a spin room for both parties before/during breaks of the Senate trial. pic.twitter.com/Xy3aRs1J7W
POTUS packing impeachment trial week with big events - USMCA signing, Middle East peace plan and Netanyahu visit, rally in NJ... https://t.co/GX8FUuzMQJ— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) January 23, 2020
Bannon: It was President @realDonaldTrump that sent Ukraine the military hardware, anti-tank missiles, and ground radars— The War Room (@WarRoom2020) January 23, 2020
Obama sent the hand warmers and extra pairs of socks
Listen & watch 👉 https://t.co/huLTzc781F
Scenes from Senate Floor:— Ali Zaslav (@alizaslav) January 24, 2020
Senator Tillis, who told CNN today he’s made up his mind to acquit, sits with absolutely nothing on his desk except a pencil & water.
Almost every other senator has papers, a notebook, binders or books in front of them.
Sens Johnson and Cramer had iPads on their desks today, despite the fact that electronics are not permitted during the trial on the floor— Ali Zaslav (@alizaslav) January 24, 2020
Sen Sasse peeled and ate a clementine, Sen Thune was chomping on gum and Sen Cotton flipped his purple fidget spinner around on his desk.
Friday, Jan. 24
House wraps up its presentation
House managers to turn attention to obstruction-of-Congress charge against Trump https://t.co/ZBnNimkFDL— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 24, 2020
After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020
Gotta respect the hustle of the PR folks working for this orthopedic spine surgeon who emailed to say he is available to offer "tips to help keep your spine comfortable and healthy while sitting on a senate seat" during the impeachment trial. pic.twitter.com/yMr7sFtM3G— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) January 24, 2020
Schiff reads the CBS "head on a pike" anonymous quote about what happens to senators that vote against Trump and a bunch of GOP senators say that's "not true." Collins shook her head— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) January 25, 2020
Schiff says he doesn't know if it's true or not but say he hopes it's not
Lisa Murkowski was poised to vote for witnesses in Trump's impeachment trial until Obama wore a tan suit in 2014— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) January 25, 2020
Saturday, Jan. 25
Trump defense delivers “coming attractions”
President Trump is the one on trial, but brace yourself to hear an awful lot about Joe Biden https://t.co/Pic3Da3ffU— POLITICO (@politico) January 25, 2020
Democrats have not spent one minute describing the consequences of what they're asking the Senate to do: Rip up the ballots of millions of Americans. pic.twitter.com/YSC0oEWVn9— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 25, 2020
Asked if he thought the defense team was effective, Romney: “I just don’t have any comments on the process or the evidence until the trial is over.”— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 25, 2020
“I think it’s very likely I’ll be in favor of witnesses but I haven’t made a decision finally yet and I won’t until“ it’s done
Monday, Jan. 27
Bolton book leak scrambles Trump defense
Breaking News: President Trump said he wanted to keep aid to Ukraine frozen until its officials helped him with investigations into Democrats, John Bolton wrote in an unpublished manuscript of a new book https://t.co/J1tJ5oPZAY— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 26, 2020
Will be interesting to see mood among Republican senators toward Bolton. By putting his account on paper, he has put them in a tough position. GOP senators will attend lunch shortly before impeachment trial resumes. Fascinating fly-on-wall stuff.— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 27, 2020
That was fascinating. Jane Raskin offered a full-throated defense of Rudy Giuliani, saying he wasn't on "a political errand" but just being a good defense attorney. "It turns out, Rudy was spot on," she told the Senate. The president's allies have largely avoided defending him.— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 27, 2020
Jane Raskin is doing a masterful job defending me in my role as defense counsel. As she pointed out, I did not dig up dirt on Joe Biden. The information RE his outrageous criminal conduct was handed to me, along with a video tape, 4 witnesses &...— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 27, 2020
Spent a couple hours in the Senate gallery this afternoon, and I would describe the atmosphere as....somnolent.— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 27, 2020
Just insane stuff happening on Lou Dobbs tonight pic.twitter.com/2RD8A3CpS4— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) January 28, 2020
Apparently the White House team decided to pretend that John Bolton doesn’t exist.— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) January 28, 2020
Tuesday, Jan. 28
Witness debate heats up as Trump prepares to wrap defense
Pressure is building on the Senate GOP to haul in impeachment witnesses — and they’re searching for a relief valve https://t.co/EgQ3qq72kM— POLITICO (@politico) January 28, 2020
WH aides are telling senators that allowing Bolton or other witnesses to testify could trigger a nasty court battle that could last months.— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 28, 2020
It's time for your daily ~vibe check~ in the Senate chamber.— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) January 28, 2020
It's day 7 of the trial, and senators are pretty clearly worn out. The Senate convened slightly later than usual, and senators were slower to trickle into the chamber. There's a collective sense of exhaustion.
The Witch Hunt continues! https://t.co/7zkUnuPlw6— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020
Jay Sekulow has won 9 cases before the Supreme Court. https://t.co/PsDXW0avLY— Rachel Bovard (@rachelbovard) January 29, 2020
Wednesday, Jan. 29
The Q&A begins
It's Q&A time. All 100 senators will get 16 hours to pose their most pressing questions in the impeachment trial.https://t.co/NBgWLk9M7F— POLITICO (@politico) January 29, 2020
Breaking: Lev Parnas making his way to the United States Senate pic.twitter.com/fRrwkaiyJr— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) January 29, 2020
Murkowski met with McConnell for 20-30 minutes this morning. She declined afterward to discuss their conversation or her current thinking in witnesses.— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) January 29, 2020
“I’m not going to share my personal thoughts with you this morning. “
According to new data from C-Span, House managers made their argument for a total of 1,277 minutes, and White House lawyers made their arguments over 586 minutes. Adam Schiff spoke for nearly as long as all of the WH lawyers combined, as he spoke for 505 minutes.— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) January 29, 2020
How come the White House won’t answer when Trump ordered the hold on Ukraine military aid? Because it is not ‘in the House record’. And it’s not in the House record... because the White House refused to answer the House— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) January 30, 2020
Good question, @SenatorRomney
Thursday, Jan. 30
Q&A wraps up
Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, claims GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham "was in the loop" about their efforts in Ukraine to uncover dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. https://t.co/rBb1nC4vRG pic.twitter.com/lEgPB8gUQ7— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 30, 2020
We are about to enter day 2 of the question-and-answer session. The Senate cloakroom tallied that senators asked 93 questions in Wednesday night’s session, which ended in the 11 p.m. hour.https://t.co/flXwRpmBxx— POLITICO (@politico) January 30, 2020
In Senate, the impeachment situation seems to be stabilizing. Expectations of no witnesses, quick vote. Time for another surprise, don't you think?— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 30, 2020
Richard Nixon once made this argument: "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 30, 2020
He was forced to resign in disgrace.
In America, no one is above the law. https://t.co/MXctxLr1sj
Rand Paul: I have a question to present to the desk for the House manager Schiff and for the president's counsel.— POLITICO (@politico) January 30, 2020
*Chief Justice John Roberts receives and reads Paul's written question*
Roberts: The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted pic.twitter.com/HC0QGht4V1
Why did the Chief Justice just block a question from @RandPaul on the origins of this circus? America deserves to know the truth, including who did Schiff meet with, when and why!— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 30, 2020
Senate erupts in laughter when @RepAdamSchiff discloses Dept of Justice lawyer today stated that the remedy, if the President ignores a Congressional subpoena, is impeachment. "I didn't think they'd do this on the same day" we are here debating the removal of the President— Judy Woodruff (@JudyWoodruff) January 30, 2020
You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial. You don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 30, 2020
If Republican Senators choose a cover-up, the American people and history will judge it with the harshness it deserves.
One of the senators should ask Schiff if he intends on using his impeachment performance to fundraise or launch a campaign for higher office. And would his impeachment motives be subject to scrutiny and even investigation?— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 30, 2020
Wow from Murkowski: "This dispute about material facts weighs in favor of calling additional witnesses with direct knowledge. Why should this body not call Ambassador Bolton?"— Catie Edmondson (@CatieEdmondson) January 31, 2020
I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense.1/15— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) January 31, 2020
This is not going to end well — for the GOP. https://t.co/AZXSCOdSkI— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) January 31, 2020
Friday, Jan. 31
The witness vote
Despite all the huffing and puffing, we are where we were a few weeks ago: asking ourselves who the fourth “yes” vote for witnesses could be, and coming up empty https://t.co/tje86snIAS— POLITICO (@politico) January 31, 2020
I predicted a swift acquittal last week. Get ready to see indictments drop on the other side, the foreign governments who spied on us and interfered in our election exposed and a landslide in 2020 with the house flipping red. The attempt to coverup the truth has ended. Big news!— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) January 31, 2020
I don’t know how much of this was baked in the cake but McConnell seems to get everything he wants: no witnesses, a safety valve for Collins, Romney isolated, and his close friend and ally Lamar Alexander lays out the “he did it but not impeachable” position.— Blake News (@blakehounshell) January 31, 2020
Impeachment coverage looks rad pic.twitter.com/FvBi94JjCv— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) January 31, 2020
NEW FROM @MAGGIENYT & @NYTMIKE: In a May WH meeting, TRUMP asked @AmbJohnBOLTON to call @ZELENSKYYua to ensure he'd meet with @RudyGiuliani during his planned trip to Kyiv to push investigations into the BIDENS, etc.— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 31, 2020
Also in the mtg: MULVANEY, CIPOLLONE. https://t.co/aUnPPQfEMM
POTUS statement: “I never instructed John Bolton to set up a meeting for Rudy Giuliani, one of the greatest corruption fighters in America and by far the greatest mayor in the history of N.Y.C., to meet with President Zelensky. That meeting never happened” https://t.co/f9SOgKs9VO— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 31, 2020
(3/5) Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 31, 2020
By a vote of 51 to 49, the Senate refused to subpoena witnesses in this impeachment trial.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 31, 2020
I've never heard of a trial where you don't have witnesses.
This is a sad day in American history.
Monday, Feb. 3
House, Trump lawyers deliver closing arguments
.@Sen_JoeManchin: "I see no path to the 67 votes required to impeach President Trump…however, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his actions." pic.twitter.com/XfKgYrxqBb— CSPAN (@cspan) February 3, 2020
Trump is compiling a post-impeachment enemies list and Bolton is at the top of it. Trump had told people he wants Bolton criminally prosecuted. My latest:https://t.co/p7ZjjszDhP— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) February 3, 2020
"We used to be great friends... And now he's changed," says Jill Biden, wife of Joe Biden, about Sen. Lindsey Graham's stance on the impeachment trial. "It's hard when you consider somebody a friend and they've said so many negative things. That's been a little hurtful." pic.twitter.com/tjR1JsFrDJ— New Day (@NewDay) February 3, 2020
Closing arguments in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial are about to start, with Democratic impeachment managers making their final case even as they know Trump is sure to be acquitted on Wednesday https://t.co/Aem4qQBveX— POLITICO (@politico) February 3, 2020
MURKOWSKI: “I cannot vote to convict.”— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 3, 2020
She has harsh words for everyone, including Trump, but says House process was “rotten.” She also says she decided to vote against witnesses because she didn’t want to see a tie vote result in attacks on Roberts.
Wednesday, Feb. 5
Senators are elected to make tough choices. We must study the facts & exercise independent judgment in keeping with our oaths.— Doug Jones (@SenDougJones) February 5, 2020
I've studied the record for months. Unfortunately I believe the President abused his power for his own benefit.
My statement: https://t.co/uJkC497Vso
Asked if he's concerned about any blowback for continuing to pursue probes, Nadler told me: "I think when you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore, you have to spotlight that. You have to protect the Constitution, whatever the political consequences." pic.twitter.com/nZLIhnVy2K— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 5, 2020
A Senate vote on 2 articles of impeachment against President Trump is set for 4 p.m. Eastern. Here's the latest:— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 5, 2020
—Before the vote, senators will explain their decisions on the Senate floor
—Sen. Doug Jones, Democrat of Alabama, said he'll vote to convict https://t.co/zNonUkKGCk
Sen. Mitt Romney says he knows he will receive brutal criticism for his vote: "Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences, other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?" https://t.co/pZ46hjTyU1 pic.twitter.com/BnW9SfCXaM— ABC News (@ABC) February 5, 2020
Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 5, 2020
He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP.
Historical note: @MittRomney's vote to remove President Trump from office will make this the first bipartisan vote to remove a president from office in US history.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 5, 2020
It will fail, as with Johnson and Clinton, but no Democrats voted to remove those two Democratic presidents.
Moments like this are what the Senate was made for. The Framers knew the country would need a firewall to keep partisan flames from scorching our Republic.— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) February 5, 2020
So they created the Senate. Today, we will fulfill this founding purpose.
Manchin: "I must vote yes on the articles of impeachment"— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) February 5, 2020
The Senate voted 52-48 to acquit Trump on the first article of impeachment: abuse of power. Mitt Romney joined all Democrats. https://t.co/MywbTcf95T— POLITICO (@politico) February 5, 2020
47-53: Senate acquits President Donald Trump, finding him not guilty on Article II: Obstruction of Congress on party line vote. 67 votes were needed to convict. pic.twitter.com/gi36gl0ywF— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) February 5, 2020
As the president's impeachment trial began, Republican senators pledged an oath to defend the Constitution.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 5, 2020
Today, 52 of them voted to betray that oath—and all of us.
We’re entering dangerous territory for our democracy. It’ll take all of us working together to restore it.
Senate thanked Chief Justice Roberts for presiding over Senate impeachment trial and is presented "Golden Gavel" usually reserved for Senators who presiding over Senate for 100 hours. Chief Justice Rehnquist received the award after 1999 Senate trial.https://t.co/bLpQ8zL3Gt pic.twitter.com/uFJLE4tzk8— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) February 5, 2020