Democrats urge Republican ‘courage at Trumps impeachment trial


Senate Republicans said lead impeachment prosecutor Adam Schiff insulted them during the trial by repeating an anonymously sourced report that the White House had threatened to punish Republicans who voted against President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, center, stands with his son, Jordan Sekulow, left, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, while arriving at the Capitol in Washington during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.

Schiff and the other House Democratic prosecutors presented their opening arguments in the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday, accusing Trump of seeking to cheat in the upcoming presidential election. Saturday's opening arguments begin at 10 AM ET and are expected to last three hours.

In the third presidential impeachment trial in United States history, Trump, a Republican, is accused of attempting to coerce Ukraine's government into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

House impeachment managers laid out the case that Trump's refusal to allow top officials to testify and to supply subpoenaed documents to the Ukraine investigation supported the second charge against him, obstruction of Congress.

Democrats are still fighting to call for additional witnesses, but it doesn't seem likely at this time they have swayed enough Republicans to make that happen.

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Republicans have largely stood by the president throughout the week, and because they hold a majority in the Senate, it remains unlikely that Trump will be removed from office.

On the clip Trump's team played Saturday, Schiff says that the call transcript "reads like a classic organized crime shakedown", describes it, and then says, "This is in sum and character what the president was trying to communicate".

The House Democrats who presented their case over the past three days will march through the Capitol to deliver a 28,758-page trial record document to the Senate before the impeachment session opened formally at 1500 GMT. "That's insulting and demeaning to everyone to say that we somehow live in fear and that the president has threatened all of us".

Republicans counter that the Democrats have failed to make their case against Trump.

"We don't believe that they have come anywhere close to meeting their burden for what they're asking you to do", Cipollone said.

Republicans and Democrats want to see people like Bolton and Pompeo tell Senate what they know about the Trump administration's policies in Ukraine.

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Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito said Friday she hasn't made up her mind about witnesses.

Sekulow has signaled that the defense team is likely to go after former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as the Russian Federation investigation into the President and the opposition research dossier from ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.

They wanted witnesses like John Bolton to appear to give evidence.

"This is what good lawyers do, you point to evidence that favors your case", he said.

Referring to the Democrats" presentation, Tillis told reporters: "It reminds of the shopping channel, the hits of the "80s, you hear it again and again and again and again".

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