Trump's Senate impeachment trial, Day 2: Schiff warns of Russian attack, the need to protect 2020 election

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Schiff warns of Russian attack on US mainland, the need to protect 2020 election in Day 2 of Trump's Senate impeachment trial
The Russians could attack the U.S. and removing President Trump from office is necessary to preserve the integrity of the 2020 election. Those were the claims Wednesday from Democrat Adam Schiff on Wednesday during Day 2 of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

The lengthy arguments from Schiff and other House Democrats broke little new ground, if any. Trump's lawyers sat by, waiting their turn, as the president blasted the proceedings from afar, jokingly threatening to face off with the Democrats by coming to "sit right in the front row and stare at their corrupt faces."

The challenge before the House impeachment managers was clear. Democrats were given 24 hours over three days to prosecute the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against Trump. They must try win over not just fidgety senators sitting silently in the chamber but also an American public that's deeply divided over the president and his impeachment in an election year.

Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sought to keep the stakes high in his arguments. He suggested at one point that military aid to Ukraine was essential so the U.S. would not have to fight Russians at home.

"As one witness put it during our impeachment inquiry, the United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there, and we don't have to fight Russia here," Schiff said, drawing rebukes from commentators across the political spectrum.

Schiff attracted the most criticism, however, for later arguing that Trump must be removed from office by the Senate -- rather than by voters in the 2020 election -- saying it was impossible to be sure the 2020 election won't be compromised. Click here for more on our top story

Other developments in Trump's Senate impeachment trial:
- Biden says he won’t be part of witness deal some Democrats reportedly eyeing
- Got milk: GOP pols drink dairy on Senate floor, following strict impeachment rules
- Trump posts record-breaking number of tweets in one day

Firefighters battle the Morton Fire as it consumes a home near Bundanoon, New South Wales, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Firefighters battle the Morton Fire as it consumes a home near Bundanoon, New South Wales, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

3 Americans battling Australian wildfires killed in C-130 crash 
Three American firefighters died in a water tanker plane crash Thursday while battling wildfires in Australia, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed.

Rural Fire Service officials said they had located the plane, a C-130 Hercules, that crashed in the snowy Monaro region of New South Wales state. Coulson Aviation in the U.S. state of Oregon said in a statement that one of its C-130 Lockheed large air tankers was lost after it left Richmond in New South Wales with retardant for a firebombing mission. It said the accident was “extensive" but provided few other details.

The victims were not immediately identified. Click here for more

Kendra Espinoza of Kalispell, Montana, center, stands with her daughters Naomi and Sarah outside the U.S. Supreme Court, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)

Kendra Espinoza of Kalispell, Montana, center, stands with her daughters Naomi and Sarah outside the U.S. Supreme Court, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)

Supreme Court justices spar over major school-choice case
The Supreme Court appeared closely split during oral arguments Wednesday in a case with potentially major implications for the school choice movement, as the justices -- including Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over President Trump's impeachment trial the previous night until 2 a.m. -- sparred with the lawyers and each other.

The case, Montana Department of Revenue v. Espinoza, centers around a tax-credit scholarship program passed in May 2015 that gave Montanans up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, helping students pay for their choice of private schools. The state's revenue department made a rule banning those tax-credit scholarships from going to religious schools before the state's Supreme Court later struck down the entire law. Click here for more. 
 
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SOME PARTING WORDS

Sean Hannity slams lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff's arguments at President Trump's Senate trial, saying the California congressman "looked like a lunatic."

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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Enjoy your day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.