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Live Feed: Closing arguments get religious in appeals to convict

Check back for updates as the Deseret News reports live from Washington on the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and related developments

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks during closing arguments in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.
Senate Television via Associated Press

Deseret News reporter Matthew Brown is in Washington, D.C., and will be publishing updates about the trial throughout the day.

Closing arguments take of religious tone in pleas to convict Trump

4:40 p.m.

Several House managers appealed to senators’ religious sensibilities in urging conviction of President Donald Trump.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asked senators to be numbered among the “Davids who slew Goliath” by exercising faith in the Founding Fathers in convicting Trump, who is “guilty as sin.”

Deploying the rhetorical tools of a skilled preacher, New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem called on senators to “walk by faith through the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, the peaks and the valleys, the trials and the tribulations of this turbulent moment. Walk by faith, faith in the Constitution, faith in our democracy, faith the rule of law, faith in government of the people, by the people and for the people. Faith in all-mighty God. Walk by faith.”

And Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, hearkened to the Catholic faith of her childhood and the influence of scripture to explain how she concluded it’s time to hold Trump accountable and remove him from office.

“I’m a Catholic and my faith teaches me that we all need forgiveness,” Garcia said. “I have given this president the benefit of the doubt from the beginning. Despite my strong opposition to so many of his policies, I know the success of our nation depends on the success of our leader. But he has let us down.”

Perfect timing: Mike Lee fills bound notebook during last speech of closing arguments

1:20 p.m.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee caught the attention of journalists for his prolific note taking during the 12-day impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

And during the closing argument by House manager Rep. Adam Schiff, Lee was on his last page. His writing was getting visibly smaller and smaller as he approached the bottom of the 8 x 10 inch page.

When he ran out of space to write, the second-term senator began thumbing through earlier pages of scribbles.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: Trump is a ‘clear and present danger’

During closing arguments in the Senate impeachment trial, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., said Trump’s “crimes against the American people and the nation remain in progress.”

While she was speaking, the president tweeted, calling the impeachment ‘totally partisan’ and ‘a Hoax’:

Demings was followed by New York Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries who said Trump “hasn’t stopped trying to pressure Ukraine to smear his opponent, nor has he stopped obstructing Congress.”

“President Trump remains a clear and present danger to our national security.”

Sen. Mike Lee blasted for commending Mitt Romney

10:25 a.m. MST

Deseret News Opinion Editor Boyd Matheson, a past chief of staff for Sen. Mike Lee, said his former boss endured a barrage of criticism for lauding fellow Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney after Friday’s vote on calling additional witness testimony in the impeachment trial.

“This was no small gesture; it came at a price. Many of Lee’s supporters responded with condescending derision, while his Twitter feed was melted down by thousands of rants, jeers and cries that he was no longer fit to be a senator and should be tossed aside along with Romney,” Matheson wrote.

Lee voted against additional witness testimony but lauded Romney for standing his ground and voting for new witnesses.

Read Matheson’s column here.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, walks from the Senate subway in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.
Manuel Balce Ceneta, Associated Press

Romney not welcome at conservative conference

9:30 a.m. MST

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote Friday to have additional witnesses testify in the impeachment trial reportedly resulted in an official non-invitation to the Conservative Political Action Conference later this month.

The day Romney and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted with Democrats in a failed attempt to call more witnesses, CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp tweeted: