Senate impeachment trial: Democrats make their case against Trump

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Senate impeachment trial: Democrats make their case against Trump
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Senate impeachment trial: Democrats make their case against Trump
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After about eight hours of presentation, the first day of arguments by the House managers in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump concluded just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Looking ahead, Rep. Adam Schiff said that on Thursday the managers “will go through the law, the Constitution and the facts as they apply to Article One.”

Schiff, speaking for the final time Wednesday evening, offered a sweeping review of the events following the whistleblower’s complaint on Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The timeline Schiff outlined began with the whistleblower report then progressed through the fallout from the report, the opening of the impeachment investigation, and the eventual bringing of the articles of impeachment. Throughout his statements, Schiff put emphasis on the White House’s attempt to block information.

“Despite the clearer letter of the law, the White House mobilized to keep the information in the whistleblower complaint from Congress,” Schiff said.

Schiff repeatedly emphasized Trump’s ongoing attempts to get an investigation into the Bidens launched — referencing Trump’s comments to President Xi Jinping of China and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s travels to Vienna.

Upon reaching the end of the timeline, Schiff chose to emphasize the way the story continues to develop, citing the recent Government Accountability Office decision, emails that have come to light through Freedom of Information Act requests, and statements by Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

“Since the House voted on these articles, evidence has continued to come to light related to the president’s corrupt scheme,” Schiff said.

Toward the end of his remarks, Schiff once again made an impassioned plea to call for witnesses and documents, suggesting more players could be implicated in Trump’s “scheme.”

“You and the American people should know who else was involved in this scheme,” Schiff said. “You should want the whole truth to come out, you should want to know about every player in this sordid business. It is within your power to do.”

Here is how the full day unfolded.

8:48 p.m. Schiff picks up arguments after dinner

Rep. Adam Schiff just turned the mic over to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who is detailing what happened when news of the aid freeze to Ukraine first broke. Schiff plans to return to the mic after Lofgren to finish the evening.

Schiff picked up arguments after dinner with events that followed the July 25 Donald Trump-Volodymyr Zelenskiy call, and the “increasingly explicit pressure campaign” on Ukraine to launch investigations into Hunter Biden and Burisma.

“Why would you go outside the normal channels to do that?” Schiff asked

“When your objective has nothing to do with policy, when you’re objective is a corrupt one . . . an illicit one,” he added. “It means an impermissible one. It means one that furthers your own interests at the cost of the national interest.”

Relying on the testimony of David Holmes, Ambassador Bill Taylor and Gordon Sondland, Schiff attempted to illustrate how concerned diplomats abroad were at the withholding of aid and what the president expected of Ukraine and Zelenskiy.

He also pointed out that Taylor’s first-person cable to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raising concerns about the withholding of military aid to Ukraine is being withheld from Congress by the State Department.

He made an appeal to the bipartisan foreign policy consensus on Capitol Hill toward supporting Ukraine — and argued that Trump’s withholding of aid tarnished America’s reputation abroad.

“It breaks our word and to do it in the name of these corrupt investigations. It is also contrary to everything we espouse around the world,” he said.

“It’s worse than crazy,” he said, quoting Taylor yet again. “It’s repulsive, it’s repugnant.”

You can read the rest of Benjamin Siegel, Trish Turner, Katherine Faulders, Stephanie Ebbs, and Quinn Owen’s article at ABCnews.com

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