US House of Representatives Impeachment Managers will use their final day of opening arguments in the Senate Impeachment trial of United States President Donald Trump to press for his removal from office.
The managers, who act as prosecutors in the trial, spent the first two days presenting evidence from witness testimony in their House Inquiry and how that evidence relates to the two articles of impeachment; Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.
This comes as a number of Republican Senators sitting as jurors in the trial complain about the repetitiveness of the evidence being presented despite continued pressure from Democratic Senators for the Senate to subpoena documents and new witnesses.
In the absence of any new consensus around new witness testimony and moves to see documents blocked by the White House, impeachment managers have painstakingly gone through the charges Trump faces while providing a timeline of his alleged misconduct.
Democratic House Impeachment Manager, Hakeem Jeffries, says Trump sought to advance his personal political interests.
“The president’s defenders may argue, as Mick Mulvaney tried to do that, quid pro quo arrangements are a common aspect of US foreign policy. Nonsense, there are situations where official United States acts like head of state meetings or the provision of foreign assistance are used to advance the national interests of the United States. That is not what happened here. Here, President Trump sought to advance his own personal political interests facilitated by Rudolph Giuliani, the human hand grenade.”
Adam Schiff, the lead House prosecutor, says a president’s first and only objective is to get foreign leaders to do what is in the best interest of the US.
“Consistent with the faithful execution of his or her oath of office, a president’s first and only objective is to get foreign leaders to do what is in the best interests of the United States. That’s not what happened on July 25th. On that date, President Trump used the head of state call with the leader of Ukraine to help himself; to press a foreign leader to investigate the president’s political opponent in order to help his re-election campaign. President Trump abused his authority as commander-in-chief and chief diplomat to benefit himself.”
While Senators and the President’s Defence team are not allowed to speak or interrupt presentations inside the Chamber, they have taken to the cameras waiting just outside as Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow did. He says they will refute the case.
“Look, anytime a good lawyer listens to the other side’s arguments and you respond accordingly. We will build, as I said before, we’re going to present…we will refute their case and we will present our case.”
Republicans have expressed frustration at what they believe to be the repetitive nature of the facts being presented. First Republican Senator and Juror, Tim Scott, says Democrats have recycled facts.
“If you say it often enough it must be true. And the good news is the Democrats have literally bought into that premise that if you just say it often enough, it must be true, and we’ve heard the same story. Rinse it, recycle it and repeat it. Rinse it, recycle it, repeat it.”
This sentiment was echoed by Republican Senator and Juror, John Barrasso.
“What we heard from the managers yesterday, the day before, it is the same thing day after day after day. It does seem that after about an hour and a half, they start repeating themselves as if you could impeach by just kind of repeating the same thing by repetition. We are ready for the president’s team to put their defence on. The president didn’t have a chance to do that in the House.”
This is an inaccurate statement given the White House’s rejection of an invitation to participate in hearings before the House Judiciary Committee.
Democratic Senator and Juror, Mazie Hirono, say Republicans have fought all efforts to present new evidence and documents.
“One of the things said that’s that I noticed is that the Republicans have said that we’re being repetitive. Well, you know what? They spent all of Tuesday fighting back all of our efforts to present new evidence and new documents, so they’re being totally hypocritical in saying that this is all…We haven’t produced any new stuff as though the things that have already been presented isn’t damning enough of what the president did, and what the president did is are impeachable offenses in my view.”
With Impeachment managers concluding their opening arguments late Friday, the President’s defence team will then have the next three days of the Senate hearings to argue for why he should not be removed from office; expect to hear language about an unfair process in the House, that Democrats are seeking to nullify the last and next election and that their client has done nothing wrong.