politics

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump's defense team continued Monday its second day of arguments in the president's impeachment trial in the Senate, against the backdrop of a news report that Trump directly told his former national security adviser, John Bolton, in August that he would hold up aid to Ukraine until the country launched investigations into his political rivals.

Watch the trial live here.

Alix Mattingly

In our latest edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled, a voter ID bill passed a major hurdle on its way through the legislature. Anti-abortion advocates are throwing their support behind new abortion restrictions, and Republican education leaders are pushing for every school in the state to have an armed guard.


Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

House Democrats on Friday finished their third and final day of arguments that President Trump, impeached by the House, now should be convicted and removed from office by the Senate.

The president's lawyers will get their turn to lay out the case for acquittal starting this weekend.

"A toxic mess"

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

House Democrats finished their second day of oral arguments on Thursday, contending that that President Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigations was not only an attempt to cheat in the 2020 election, but Democrats said it was also the kind of behavior the nation's founding fathers hoped to guard against.

Creative Commons

The sponsors of a Kentucky voter ID bill have made changes to the proposal, no longer strictly requiring a photo ID in order to cast a ballot in elections.

The bill originally required voters to show a photo ID or else cast a provisional ballot that would require the voter to follow up at their circuit clerk’s office.

Now voters who have some non-photo forms of ID would be able to cast a ballot as long as they say they have a “reasonable impediment” to getting a photo ID.

 


Updated at 10:51 p.m. ET

House Democrats concluded on Wednesday the first of three days of opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, arguing that the president must be removed from office for abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

Updated at 1:57 a.m. ET on Wednesday

After more than 12 hours of action Tuesday, the Senate adopted the ground rules for the coming weeks in President Trump's impeachment trial. It brought a reminder that even this highly scripted ordeal may include a few surprises after all.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

Updated Jan. 21 at 2:26 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made last-minute, handwritten changes Tuesday to the parameters for how President Trump's impeachment trial process will play out. Departing from a draft resolution he released Monday night, the resolution now allows impeachment managers and the president's defense to have 24 hours to make arguments over three session days. The draft had stipulated 24 hours over two days. McConnell also altered the rules for admitting the House evidence into the record.

Kentucky LRC

In Kentucky politics, Gov. Andy Beshear gave his first state of the commonwealth address, calling on the legislature to reach across party lines.

The state legislature finished its first full week, advancing a bill to move gubernatorial elections to even-numbered years, and the sponsor of an anti-sanctuary cities bill has made changes following criticism.

Jonese Franklin from member station WFPL talked to capitol reporter Ryland Barton for latest edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.


Abbey Oldham

Rand Paul says there’s no mystery concerning how the vote for President Trump’s upcoming trial in the U.S. Senate will turn out.

Sen. Paul predicts that none of the 53 Republican U.S. Senators will vote to remove Trump from office.

In an interview with The Hill, the Kentucky Republican said he thought every Senator, regardless of party, had already made up their mind about how they’ll vote.

“I think the votes have been decided. As much as anybody will be pretending to be judicious about this, I don’t think that there’s one senator who hasn’t decided how they’re going to vote,” Paul said. 


On an unusually warm January afternoon, 28-year-old Icy Coomber attended a poster-making session for the fourth annual Women's March in Washington, D.C.

Unlike the friend she accompanied to the event, Coomber did not participate in any of the previous anti-Trump demonstrations. Three years ago, the first march drew hundreds of thousands of people to the nation's capital and hosted sister marches in cities around the world.

News organizations and journalists' advocates are challenging restrictive new ground rules for reporters assigned to cover the Senate impeachment trial.

Correspondents who submit to an official credentialing process are granted broad access throughout the Capitol complex and usually encounter few restrictions in talking with members of Congress or others.

But now Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has imposed new requirements for the impeachment trial, negotiated in part with Republican leadership:

Fayette Co. Public Schools

Off-duty police officers hired to do security at Kentucky public schools would be required to carry guns under a bill sponsored by a top Republican in the state Senate.

The proposal comes a year after the legislature passed a sweeping school safety bill requiring every school in the state to employ a school resource officer. That bill didn’t say that the officers had to be armed.

Campbellsville Republican Sen. Max Wise was the primary architect of the school safety bill and is sponsoring the gun requirement, Senate Bill 8. He says the legislature always intended to have armed officers in public schools.

 


Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Amid much pomp and circumstance, the Senate took some of its first steps on Thursday to prepare for next week's impeachment trial of President Trump, just the third such trial in Senate history.

Chief Justice John Roberts, having crossed First Street from the Supreme Court building over to the Capitol, joined senators in the chamber and then was sworn in by Senate President pro tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Roberts will preside over the trial.

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