Democrats call on Senate to add witnesses for a 'fair trial' of Trump

Democrats concluded their 24 hours of opening arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump with a blistering assessment of his effort to get Ukraine to announce investigations which would politically benefit him, as Democrats pleaded with GOP Senators to subpoena documents and witnesses blocked by the President.

"I implore you, give America a fair trial," Schiff said. "She's worth it."

In a final summary of the House impeachment arguments, Schiff said the President had clearly stepped over the line by trying to get Ukraine to start an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

"President Trump has abused the power of his office, and must be removed," said lead House prosecutor Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

"Our founders worried about a situation just like this," Schiff added, arguing the House charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress have 'been proved.'

For Republicans, the third straight day of arguments by House prosecutors was like hundreds of fingernails on a Senate blackboard, as they all but accused Schiff of making up a story about President Trump.

“It's kind of a story of the entire three days, of this invented story, weaving through bits of facts, but all this fiction weaved in it,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), as he told reporters that Schiff's final speech was 'insulting to everybody.'

"I don't anything they've said so far is impeachable," said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who earlier in the day told reporters that he thought the arguments of Rep. Schiff were 'horrible.'

"They shouldn't need anymore information to make a final decision," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), who made clear the GOP leadership position that Republicans should not vote for extra documents or witnesses, worried it will drag out the trial well into February.

With the White House legal team ready to start arguments on Saturday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - who said he had been in touch with the President just yesterday - said there was no reason to ignore the story of Hunter Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden.

"The President is frustrated and I am frustrated that we live in a country where only one side gets looked at," Graham told reporters, as he accused the news media for a second straight day of carrying the water for Democrats in this impeachment fight, and hinted he would start his own investigation.

The end of the House prosecutors arguments set the stage for the White House to begin its defense of President Trump, which is set to begin at 10 am ET on Saturday, and last for about three hours.

Schiff tried to preempt some of the expected arguments.

"If they couldn't get Ukraine to smear the Bidens, they want to use this trial to do it instead," Schiff said about anticipated talk from the President's lawyers about investigating Hunter Biden.

If the Senate refuses to call witnesses next week, then the President's impeachment trial could conclude by the end of January, or the first days of February.

About the Author