House Democrats are expected to wrap up opening statements in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump today. During another lengthy session yesterday, California's Adam Schiff argued that Trump must be removed from office. He called Trump dangerous and said the evidence is overwhelming.
Schiff added – "If the truth doesn't matter, then we're lost." New York Democrat Jerry Nadler said the charges against Trump are among the most serious charges ever brought against a president. And to illustrate the GOP argument against removal, he played a clip of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham from 1999 – and President Clinton’s Impeachment trial. In it, Graham said an actual crime isn’t necessary for removal. In other highlights:
Nadler argued that Trump solicited help from a foreign government to help him "cheat" in his re-election campaign and then stonewalled Congress. The House impeached Trump for abusing power and obstructing Congress in the investigation of the Ukraine scandal.
Florida Democrat Val Demings said Trump tried to leverage vital U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for a promise to launch an investigation of Democrats. Texas Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia cited inescapable proof of a "quid pro quo."
New York Democrat Hakeem Jeffries said Trump committed "corruption and abuse of power in its purest form." Jeffries tried to convince skeptical Republican senators that the evidence against Trump is "hiding in plain sight." He said Trump must be held accountable for his misdeeds.
Nadler argued that the "Constitution is not a suicide pact." He said the Constitution does not leave the U.S. "stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways" that threaten America's security and democracy. Nadler chairs the House Judiciary Committee.
What’s next? Once Democrats conclude their opening statements, Trump's defense team will have an equal amount of time for rebuttals. After impeachment by the House, the Senate will determine whether to remove Trump from office. It’s believed that’s highly unlikely in the Republican-led Senate.
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