Bernie Sanders jumps past Joe Biden in new national poll

The last big question in President Trump’s impeachment trial is whether a handful of Republicans will open the door to witness testimony. Thursday’s Late Show dramatized how hard Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is working to keep that from happening.

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“Today, senators wrapped up the Q&A — tomorrow they move on to the F&U,” Stephen Colbert joked in his monologue. “Now, there was a short moment of levity” from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), but also a “frightening call to action” from Trump’s legal team. That invitation to “join the Hive-mind” capped “a couple of strange days for Trump’s lawyers,” he said. “Yesterday, Alan Dershowitz made this interesting argument: Trump can’t be impeached because he believed his re-election is in the national interest,” and “if this rationale alarms you, well, you’re in good company,”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, compared Trump to French King Louis XIV, and Colbert agreed, listing a handful of similarities. “The only real difference is Trump’s motto: ‘Let me eat cake,'” he said. Still, Dershowitz has “stiff competition” from Pam Bondi in the race for Trump’s worst lawyer.

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Bondi “clearly could not find her notes, and was lost without them,” Seth Meyers said at Late Night, playing the clip (several times) and laughing. “Democratic House prosecutors have laid out a very clear, specific, detailed case against President Trump: He held up hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine in order to extort that country to help him cheat in the 2020 election by digging up dirt on Joe Biden,” Meyers said. Trump and his team, on the other hand, “can’t keep their talking points straight because they don’t have a coherent defense.”

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“During the impeachment scandal, we have watched the Republican defenses of Donald Trump evolve bigly,” Trevor Noah agreed at The Daily Show. “First it was: There was no quid pro quo. Then it was: Okay, even if it was a quid pro quo, it wasn’t an abuse of power. Now it’s: There’s no such thing as an abuse of power. … So clearly, Republicans are okay with Donald Trump going too far, but why?” He brought out Neal Brennan to explain his theory. It involves “kinky sex,” but in a mostly-safe-for-work way. Watch below. Peter Weber

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