Monday, 24 February, 2020

President Trump's legal team to begin impeachment defense

Donald Trump Enlarge Image Reuters
Wilbert Douglas | 26 January, 2020, 00:24

US President Donald Trump fulminated against his impeachment trial on Thursday as Democrats prepared to resume making their case to the Senate on why he should be removed from office.

Cipollone, opening the rebuttal for Trump's defense team after days of House Democrat presentations to the Senate, said that Democrats "are asking you to do something very, very consequential, and I would submit to you ... very, very unsafe". But they argued that the President's actions were not a nefarious plot to solicit foreign election interference.

Trump denies wrongdoing and his fellow Republicans have said his conduct did not fit the description of "high crimes and misdemeanours" outlined in the US Constitution as rationale to oust a president.

Lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff called dramatically for the Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office Thursday, saying the United States leader can not be trusted to put the country's interests ahead of his own.

"I want to hear what the various cases are that are presented by both sides before we have that vote", Romney said.


"This is a determination by President Trump that he wants to be all-powerful, he does not have to respect the Congress, he does not have to respect the representatives of the people, only his will goes", said Nadler. "They have one coming up in nine months".

They left few doubts that Trump's sole motivation in secretly freezing aid to Ukraine last July was to force Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce one investigation into Biden and a second into an unsupported story that Kiev helped Democrats in the 2016 election.

The President is now on trial before the Republican-majority Senate. Such an act would require a two-third majority in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Tuesday's start of the impeachment trial drew about 11 million TV viewers, according to Nielsen ratings data, a figure that fell short of the roughly 13.8 million who watched last November for the first day of the House impeachment inquiry into Trump.

President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in NY on September 25, 2019.


"It reminds of the shopping channel, the hits of the '80s, you hear it again and again and again and again", Tillis said.

Thursday, Democrats were trying to debunk that using past statements from the president's own attorneys and allies.

Asked about the voicemail, Van Drew told the Inquirer on Friday: "I've pledged my support for the president in the Oval Office, on the floor of the House when I voted against impeachment, in South Jersey diners, and everywhere in between". Rather, the lawyers said, Mr. Trump froze the aid because he wanted to see if Mr. Zelensky was serious about fighting corruption generally.

Members of the House also allege that during the chamber's investigation, Trump prevented officials from testifying and blocked documents.

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Manager Rep. Adam Schiff, who gave the Democrats' opening remarks on Wednesday, said they intend to "apply the facts to the law regarding the abuse of power by the president".

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