Second day of Trump impeachment arguments focuses on abuse
The second day of arguments from House prosecutors seeking U.S. President Donald Trump's ouster began on Jan. 23 with the Democratic team focusing on one of the two charges against the president -- abuse of power.
Trump's multiple requests to Ukraine to declare publicly investigations into leading Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden were founded squarely in his personal interests to win re-election, not to root out corruption, impeachment manager Jerry Nadler, who is the House Judiciary Committee chairman, said from the well of the Senate.
"The President's conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous. And it captures the worst fears of our founders and the framers of the Constitution," he said. "No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections."
Trump has said he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, on claims of corruption, but the explanation was dismissed by congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, one of the seven House managers being led by congressman Adam Schiff.
"President Trump asked for the investigation into Biden based on a made-up theory that no one agreed with—no one," the former judge said, adding there is “no evidence, nothing, nada” to back up the assertion.
The abuse of power article is centered on Trump's decision to hold up millions of dollars in security assistance to Ukraine as well as a coveted Oval Office meeting sought by President Volodymyr Zelensky while he was seeking to have the probes declared.
In addition to abuse of power, Trump is also charged with obstruction of Congress stemming from his refusal to cooperate with the House's inquiry and demand that top officials and government agencies do the same.
House prosecutors will have a final eight-hour day of arguments beginning on Jan. 24
Trump's team is expected to bring up their case beginning on Jan. 25, and some reports have said senators are considering an abbreviated session that day which would begin in the morning as Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the proceedings, will not have any duties over the weekend at the Supreme Court.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told reporters on Capitol Hill the president's team "will be putting on a vigorous defense of both facts and rebutting what they've said."