When the chamber arrived on Friday, prayed, and made the pledge, there were only 18 senators in the chamber – six of whom were Republicans. More were added at the beginning of the trial, but Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell was one of the last to arrive at the Chamber at 12:12 p.m.
Michael van der Veen, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, speaks during the second impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on February 12, 2021.
When Trump’s attorney Michael Van der Veen played recordings of Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Who objected to the electoral college count in 2017, Raskin played with his thumbs. He seemed to notice the sound of his voice, but didn’t look up at the screens immediately.
Republican senators seem far more alert than they have been in the last two days when the House impeachment executives came up with their arguments. Many are taking notes, and Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., Was particularly vigilant today and was seen chuckling a number of times, including footage from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Questioning the results of the electoral college. He smiled and also nodded as footage of democratic reactions to protests in the summer was played.
On the other side of the chamber, some Democrats could be seen shaking their heads and sometimes whispering during the presentation. When Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Was mentioned regarding the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., Sanders was seen fidgeting with the cuff of his shirt, leaning back in his chair and taking no notes made.
After van der Veen had finished his argument, a whisper broke out. Several Republican senators nodded and giggled.
Reporters in the Senate Chamber noted that while David Schoen spoke, only three Republican seats were empty and almost all of the senators were paying attention. Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., Continued to take notes as he did throughout the process.
When Schön brought up the alleged manipulation of exhibits by the house’s impeachment managers, senior property manager Raskin angrily began to scribble in his notepad.
– ABC News’ Trish Turner