Trump’s impeachment trial starts Tuesday, and Supreme Court lets churches reopen in California

Protesters hold signs saying “impeach Trump” and “love not hate” outside the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 10, 2019. Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial kicks off on February 9, 2021. Photo by Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0).

Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial kicks off on Tuesday. In a brief filed this morning, his lawyers argued that Trump “did not direct anyone to commit unlawful actions” and that the case should be dismissed entirely because he can’t be held responsible for the actions of a “small group of criminals.”

The House impeachment managers rejected that request. But the brief gives more clues about the president’s planned defense. 

Also, Trump will not be testifying. Trump’s legal team rejected a request from House impeachment managers that he do so. 

In other news, the voting machine company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News and some of its hosts. Late Friday, Fox canceled Lou Dobbs’ show. He was one of the hosts named in the suit. 

Also late Friday, the Supreme Court partially struck down California’s restrictions on indoor religious services for counties in the strictest reopening tier. 

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