Democrats Pressure Resistant Republicans to Join Push to Oust Trump

Democrats planned to plow ahead on Thursday at U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with their arguments for removing him from office, but Republicans showed no signs of softening their resistance to the Democratic case.

U.S. Representative Adam Schiff and other Democratic impeachment managers are pressing their argument that Trump should be convicted of two articles of impeachment passed by the House last month – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden last year, and impeding the inquiry into the matter.

Blocked so far in their drive to persuade the Republican-led Senate to let them call new witnesses, Democrats are using their time instead to outline an extensive narrative, complete with video clips, based on the testimony presented during hearings in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

The case focuses on efforts by Trump and his aides to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender, and Biden’s son on unsubstantiated corruption charges as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine was frozen during that period.

“We have the evidence to prove President Trump ordered the aid withheld, he did so to force Ukraine to help his re-election campaign,” Schiff said during arguments on Wednesday that stretched for eight hours. “We can and will prove President Trump guilty of this conduct and of obstructing the investigation into his conduct.”

Trump denies wrongdoing and his fellow Republicans, who control the U.S. Senate, say his behavior does not fit the description of “high crimes and misdemeanors” outlined in the U.S. Constitution as a reason to oust a president.

He is almost certain to be acquitted by the 100-member Senate, where a two-thirds majority of those present is needed to remove him from office. But the case could help determine whether Trump wins a second term in November’s election.

Democrats have two more days to make their opening arguments. Trump’s defense team, a group of White House lawyers and outside counsel, will have three days for rebuttal.

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said it was unclear whether the Trump defense would need all three days.

“We will make a determination on our presentation based on what we are responding to and based on our affirmative case,” Sekulow said. “I don’t know if it will take 10 hours, 14 hours, 24 hours or six hours.”

PARTISAN DIVIDE

Democrats said they will focus on the Constitution, the impeachment articles and the facts relating to them on Thursday.

“Now we’re going to start talking about the law, the impeachment articles and bringing together the facts and the chronology here,” Democratic Representative Jason Crow, one of the impeachment managers presenting the case, said on CNN.

So far, the House impeachment managers’ presentation appears to have had little impact on the Senate’s deep partisan split.

“I didn’t hear anything new, at all,” said Republican Senator John Barrasso. He repeated Republican criticism that Democrats are pursuing a politically-driven effort to oust Trump from office before the November presidential election.

But Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said: “Anyone following this testimony will see that the truth is right there in plain sight. It’s very clear that President Trump used all the agencies of the federal government to pursue his scheme.”

Senator John Kennedy, a Republican close to Trump, was listening to what he called Schiff’s “eloquent” presentation.

“Most if not all senators are hearing the prosecution and the case of the defense for the first time,” Kennedy said, adding that most senators had not read a transcript of the proceedings from the House impeachment investigation. “Senators, because they’ve been busy being senators, have not heard the case.”

Trump, who arrived back in Washington on Wednesday night from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, condemned the proceedings as “unfair & corrupt” in a Twitter post on Thursday.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll released on Wednesday found a bipartisan majority of Americans want to see new witnesses testify in the impeachment trial.

Trump barred administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton, from testifying in the House investigation and withheld documents sought by lawmakers.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, Patricia Zengerle, Susan Cornwell, David Morgan Richard Cowan, Doina Chiacu; Editing by Scott Malone, Peter Cooney and Paul Simao)

Responses

  1. This Schiff-Sham-Show is SOOOO exciting!! In fact, reports are surfacing the American people are tuning the Swamp’s charade out and watching reruns on television. Also, a D’RAT Senator was caught sleeping in the back row of the Senate Chamber. The fake Indian squaw was seen playing some sort of game on paper. Rand Paul was seen doing a crossword puzzle. Senator Feinstein left an hour early (she “wasn’t feeling good”. Did she get sick of listening to all the BS?) Twenty one Senators were seen walking out and back in the Chamber at various times. And now there’s repeat, repeat, regurgitate the same thing over and over. Are the Swamp creatures trying to convince themselves since they have NOTHING?

  2. Not only Democrats are pressuring American Fascist Senators, real Republicans are attacking them, too.

    Oh, this IS delicious! Have a look.

    “https://mobile.twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1219996689731411968”

  3. “Notice the dem senators have made up their minds before hearing the complete trial. This is total BS.” Sherri

    I am confused.

    So then you are O.K. with nearly 100% of the American Fascist Party senators pre-announcing that they will not listen to any evidence and just exonerate the king because that’s what the king wants. Do I have that right?

    That is certainly what the Senate leader has chosen to do.

  4. Notice the dem senators have made up their minds before hearing the complete trial. This is total BS. These people are a disgrace and our country is at risk. This tells you when DC doesn’t like presidential policy (which is the president’s job to decide) they will impeach. They should all be arrested for sedition, because this is a coup attempt. If the military would back them (go research as there were calls long and loud from media for such) they would stage a military coup.

    1. “Notice the dem senators have made up their minds before hearing the complete trial. This is total BS.” Sherri

      I am confused.

      So then you are O.K. with nearly 100% of the American Fascist Party senators pre-announcing that they will not listen to any evidence and just exonerate the king because that’s what the king wants. Do I have that right?

      That is certainly what the Senate leader has chosen to do.

  5. In short: “Help us impeach Trump because our Queen of Mass Corruption lost the 2016 election and also because we know we have no one who can come close to beating him in 2020. We MUST eliminate the competition so our leading Socialist or Communist candidate will become our dictator.”

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