Late night hosts can't believe Trump's Ukraine 'henchmen' left a 'literal paper trail' of impeachment evidence

Peter Weber

The House voted Wednesday to send its articles of impeachment to the Senate, setting up the trial of President Donald J. Trump. The Late Show recreated the formal handover ceremony.

The reality of walking the articles of the impeachment to the Senate was much more pedestrian, but this is still "an historic day," Stephen Colbert said in Wednesday's monologue. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't have the votes to avert a trial, and "one person that the Senate might want to hear from" is Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani's dirt-digging Ukraine fixer, he said, running through the "trove of ridiculously incriminating impeachment evidence" Parnas released through the House Intelligence Committee.

"The most damning evidence" includes "a series of handwritten notes by Parnas on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Vienna," and a letter from Giuliani to Ukraine's president-elect explaining that "Trump knew and approved of what Giuliani was doing," using "two words not generally associated with President Trump: knowledge and consent," Colbert said. "You don't write the crime down, you dummy!"

Yes, "Trump will become the first former steak salesman to be tried for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live, but "Mitch McConnell won't even commit to questioning witnesses or admitting new evidence," despite the new Parnas "bombshells," documentary and in interviews with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. He read some bizarre, ominous-sounding texts Parnas released, adding sarcastically: "Ah yeah, nothing to investigate there, Sen. McConnell."

The "new evidence about Trump and his shady dealings with Ukraine" is pretty mind-boggling, Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Seriously, they wrote down the plot of their crime and then kept it? That is a literal paper trail. ... Only Donald Trump would hire henchmen who are also into scrapbooking." So "we'll see how many senators decide they're interested in hearing more evidence, but at least for Nancy Pelosi, her job is now done," he said, though Pelosi "seemed a little spaced-out" in her press conference, like maybe her "edibles just kicked in at the wrong moment."

Late Night's Seth Meyers took a deeper dive into the "damning new evidence" about "Trump's henchmen," noting that "it's well-established these guys worked directly for Trump in his scheme to get Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election by digging up dirt on Joe Biden." He wasn't impressed with the caliber of Trump's "meathead goon" help, either: "Trump's like a mall Santa for wannabe goodfellas," except "these guys are a lot dumber than the criminals on TV."

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