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Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has known for weeks that he didn’t have the votes to outright dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump as opposed to opening the case up for trial in his caucus. While the White House initially pushed for the inclusion of a motion to dismiss the case in McConnell’s rules resolution, the caucus has remained hesitant to take that leap due to opposition from some key moderates, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AK), Lamar Alexander (TN), Susan Collins (ME) and Mitt Romney (UT).

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After a late night of proceedings in the Senate, in which the majority party shot down each and every one of the minority’s amendments to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) rules for the impeachment trial, we were expecting Senate Republicans to file procedural motions this morning, including a possible motion to dismiss. It’s just after 10 a.m. ET and we’ve seen nothing, meaning Senate Republicans likely lack the votes to support an outright dismissal. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

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The Senate impeachment trial will officially begin this afternoon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) officially placing his rules for the trial on the Senate floor. The rules are designed to push the proceedings through the upper chamber quickly, with each side getting just 24 hours to make their opening arguments within two calendar days. McConnell is also barring any House evidence from entering the record automatically — everything must be approved by vote.

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This week in impeachment

Impeachment heads to the Senate: This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment managers, a team of seven lawmakers led by committee chairs Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), who delivered the articles of impeachment to the Senate on Thursday and who will represent the House in its case against Trump. After the articles were delivered, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was sworn in, followed by senators, with the trial set to begin next week.

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The Republican majority in the Senate has maintained for weeks that it wants to conduct impeachment proceedings following the precedent set by the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. Now President Trump’s legal team appears to be following suit. Multiple outlets are reporting this morning that Trump’s team will include Ken Starr, the independent counsel who led the investigation into Clinton, and Robert Ray, who eventually took over the probe. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following.

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In the last 24 hours, Lev Parnas, the indicted pal of Rudy Giuliani, made waves with the release of evidence he’s provided the House Intelligence Committee and explosive claims he made during two cable news hits on Wednesday evening. Among many, many other things, Parnas’ latest remarks place President Trump and his top officials directly in the center of the effort to get Ukraine to probe the Biden family. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following.

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Happy Wednesday, January 15. At 10 a.m. ET House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce who she’s chosen as impeachment managers, just ahead of a House vote this afternoon to send the articles to the Senate. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following.

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In the age of Trump and cable news soundbites, political feuds are often perpetuated by a politician’s own words. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) went after former Vice President Joe Biden directly on the debate stage, questioning his record on race by invoking his comments about a 1970s-era busing program. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) dug into Mayor Pete Buttiegieg’s courtship of top-dollar donors by calling out his “wine cave” adventures.

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