• The Democrats made their case to the public as if it were "cable news," Gaetz told Politico, while commending their use of multimedia during the trial.
  • Meanwhile, the defense team's case looked like "an 8th grade book report," Gaetz told Politico. "Actually, no, I take that back," he said, noting that an 8th grader would actually know how to use PowerPoint and iPads.
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Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is one of President Donald Trump's strongest and most vocal defenders in Congress.

He has repeatedly gone to bat for the president and shielded him amid a snowballing impeachment process in which Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The president is currently standing trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, which is widely expected to clear him of wrongdoing.

But Gaetz doesn't seem impressed with Trump's defense so far.

After the first day of opening arguments, during which seven House impeachment managers acting as prosecutors laid out their case against the president, Gaetz told Politico they presented their case to the public like it's "cable news" and praised their use of multimedia during the trial.

Meanwhile, the defense team's case looked like "an 8th grade book report," Gaetz told Politico. "Actually, no, I take that back," he said, noting that an 8th grader would know how to use PowerPoint.

Other Republican lawmakers also offered grudging praise of the Democrats' performance.

Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana told reporters during the first day of the prosecution's opening arguments that the evidence itself was news to many senators.

"Nine out of ten senators will tell you they haven't read a full transcript of the proceedings in the House," Kennedy said. "And the tenth senator who says he has is lying."

House impeachment managers took center stage again on Thursday for the second day of opening arguments. On Wednesday, they gave senators and the public a broad yet detailed overview of Trump's months-long scheme to force Ukraine to launch politically motivated investigations targeting his rival while withholding vital military aid and a White House meeting that Ukraine's president desperately sought.

On Thursday, the impeachment managers began laying the constitutional groundwork that they said supports Trump's impeachment and removal from office.

Arguments began at 1 p.m. ET and are expected to go until roughly 9:45 p.m. ET. Democrats will get one more day to make opening arguments, after which Trump's defense will get their chance to mount a rebuttal.

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