Democrats to focus on legality for removing Trump

Thursday 23rd January, 2020
Democrats to focus on legality for removing Trump

Accra, Jan. 23, (UPI/GNA) - Democratic managers will resume their opening presentations Thursday at the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

The seven managers, who are acting as the de facto prosecutors in the Senate, are expected to focus on the Constitution and lay out the legal grounds for Trump's removal from office. They spent about eight hours Wednesday detailing the first article of impeachment -- arguing the president abused his power last year by withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Thursday's session -- Democrats' second of three days to make their opening statements -- will begin at 1 p.m. EST.

Manager Rep. Adam Schiff, who gave Democrats' opening remarks Wednesday, said they plan to "apply the facts to the law as it relates to the president's abuse of power."

Democratic managers are expected to take eight hours per day to fulfill the 24 hours they're allotted to make their opening presentation before Trump's White House attorneys make their case, most likely on Saturday. They will continue their opening remarks Monday and Tuesday before the questioning stage begins mid-next week. After that, the off-ramp stage will consider motions, including any by the White House to dismiss the case and those to include witnesses.

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow indicated Wednesday, however, the president's defense team will not seek to dismiss the case.

"I want to let them try their case," he told reporters. "And we want to try our case because we believe without a question the president will be acquitted. There is not a doubt."

Wednesday's session followed a marathon fight to set the rules on Tuesday, during which Republicans defeated nearly a dozen Democratic amendments -- including those to include key administration witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer assailed his GOP counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and accused him of continuing a cover-up in behalf of Trump.

Trump, who returned to the United States Wednesday after attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, said he would like to see witnesses like Bolton appear at the trial, but said it's out of the question due to national security concerns.