House Democrats are finishing their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial Friday, making their last, best effort to convince Republican senators that what the President has done merits his removal from office.
What We Know:
- Democrats have outlined this week their charges that Donald Trump only grew interested in corruption in Ukraine when it appeared that Joe Biden could become a serious political threat.
- Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff, D-Calif, continued to lay out the arguments behind the first article of impeachment, which charges that the president abused the power of his office by withholding $391 million in military aid to Ukraine while he pressured the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into activities there of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
- Schiff said the man who considered his July 25th call with the President of Ukraine “perfect” is not going to stop asking foreign countries to meddle in our elections.
- Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, another manager, charged that Trump “created a toxic mess at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” Jeffries also stated that Trump “tried to cheat, he got caught, and then worked hard to cover it up”.
- Democrats also advised that Trump’s refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony in the impeachment inquiry was textbook case of obstruction. They showed video clips of Trump’s attacks and said it amounted to “witness intimidation”.
- Whether this closing argument convinces the handful of Republicans that they need to hear more from the witnesses Democrats want to call, remains an open question. After many long days and hours of arguments and timelines that repeat the facts of the case, they all likely know well by now that the senators have been growing restless.
- Republicans have largely stood by Trump, and because they hold a majority in the Senate, Trump is likely to be acquitted of both charges.
The President’s team will begin it’s opening arguments Saturday. Saturday’s session is expected to take place from 10am-1pm.