White House, House Lawmakers Lay Out Impeachment Cases as Trial Looms

SOTU Dershowitz Spar_00000000

Regarding the charge that Trump abused his power by asking a foreign power to launch investigations that would benefit him politically, the lawyers argued the House is trying to undermine the president's power to determine foreign policy.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the leader of seven House impeachment managers, told ABC News' "This Week" show, "The facts aren't seriously contested, that the president withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to an ally at war with Russian Federation, withheld a White House meeting that the president of Ukraine desperately sought to establish with his country and with his adversary the support of the United States in order to coerce Ukraine to helping him cheat in the next election".

And they said the charge Trump obstructed Congress was "frivolous and dangerous" and represented an attempt to alter the separation of powers outlined by the Constitution.

Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial lasted five weeks; Andrew Johnson's went on for three months in 1868.

The document filed by the Democratic House impeachment managers explained why the House passed the two articles of impeachment, and listed evidence supporting the charges.

Seeking to show he is still conducting presidential business despite the trial, Trump is scheduled to depart late on Monday for Davos, Switzerland, to join global leaders at the World Economic Forum.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to announce the rules for the trial, but has said he is cooperating with the White House and wants it done quickly.

Senate Republicans have still not set the rules for the impeachment trial a day before the proceedings are set to commence.

"The 100 members of the senate who serve as the jurors in this trial and also are the ones that vote on the rules, so I think every single one of us has to look inside our hearts and do our very best to provide impartial justice", Smith said.

They include former national security advisor John Bolton and Trump acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

Unless four Republican senators break ranks, at the end of the arguments McConnell can defeat any motion to subpoena witnesses, and then can easily hold a vote to acquit Trump - meeting the White House timeframe.

Asked if this means Trump's legal team will seek an immediate dismissal of the charges, the source declined to share "the exact strategy that we will have in the courtroom", but added "it is clear and I think this brief makes it clear that these charges are so insubstantial and so deficient on their face, they would merit immediate dismissal".

Democrats are pressing Republicans to support a witness resolution. He then addressed the senators - "Senators, I attend the Senate in conformity with your notice for the objective of joining with you for the trial of the President of the United States. I need witnesses and further evidence to guide me to the right destination, to get to the truth".

Republicans have long signaled the strategy, which has, in turn, been disputed by other scholars.

'And this whole controversy about whether there should be witnesses is really a question of, does the Senate want to have a fair trial, or are they part of the cover-up of the president?' he continued. They argue that the president can not be impeached for an abuse of power short of a crime and that the president didn't abuse his power anyhow.



Other news