WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic prosecutors warned as they closed out their case in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial that he will persist in abusing his power unless Congress intervenes to remove him from office.
Rep. Adam Schiff has wrapped up the presentation by urging Republican senators to “Give America a fair trial” by ensuring witnesses are called to testify.
The Democrats accused Trump of laboring to cover up his actions with Ukraine that finally led to the charges now against him.
They also insisted the president only released congressionally approved military money to Ukraine because he had “gotten caught" withholding it.
They said Thursday that he abused his presidential power in his Ukraine dealings and should be convicted because "right matters.”
Republicans in the Senate appear unmoved by the Democratic push for witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. Democrats have darkly warned that they will live to regret not delving deeper into the evidence of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
One of the managers, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, even told them it was “treacherous” to vote against gathering more evidence.
Still it appears the Democrats are no closer to persuading the necessary four Republicans to break with their party in a critical vote expected next week. Without bipartisan support, a motion to call witnesses is certain to fail.
The president’s legal team is preparing its defense, expected to start Saturday.
Trump bemoaned the schedule in a morning tweet, saying it “looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”
Democratic House prosecutors have made an expansive argument at Trump’s impeachment trial that he abused power like no other president in history, swept up by a “completely bogus” theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
The Democrats say that led Trump to demand that Ukraine investigate his rival Joe Biden — while he withheld crucial military aid as leverage.
Democrats said there was no evidence that Biden did anything improper in dealings with Ukraine.
Republicans outside the chamber challenged Democrats’ argument and pledged to find out more about Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, senators found a new outlet to focus their attention: fidget spinners handed out by North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr.
Lead prosecutor Adam Schiff is the face of the House’s impeachment case against Trump. Though he has six managers by his side, Schiff is setting the tone, working methodically to convince the Senate Trump deserves to be removed from office.
Schiff told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday it is like he is “introducing myself to a number of the senators” at Trump’s impeachment trial.
He said many Republicans are “finding I’m not the demon” that he’s often portrayed to be.
Republicans were complimentary of Schiff but said they learned nothing new about the case against the president.
Retired law professor Alan Dershowitz says he hasn’t changed at all and has a long history of representing people whose views he doesn’t necessarily agree with.
Dershowitz is part of Trump’s defense team at the Senate impeachment trial.
He says he ran into Trump on Christmas Eve at Mar-a-Lago and Trump asked him if he was really going to be part of the team.
The impeachment is the latest high-profile case Dershowitz has participated in over the last half-century, but perhaps no other work he’s done has so befuddled his associates, friends and former students.