Democrats concluded their case in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump late Friday night in the Senate. House impeachment managers, led by Representative Adam Schiff of California, argued that President Trump should be removed from office for his conduct in handling of aid to Ukraine last summer. Representative Schiff portrayed President Trump as a danger to American ideals, saying that the president’s actions with Ukrainian aid is part of a larger pattern of appeasing Russia. Continuing, Mr. Schiff alleges that Trump’s actions are geared toward his own self interests and not the interest of the American people.
As Mr. Schiff’s time came to an end, he encouraged senators to be impartial in their judgment of the president for the sake of the country. Schiff’s words seemingly fell on deaf ears as many Republican senators already hinted that they would not be willing to vote for subpoenaing additional witnesses or documents from the White House. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso told reporters that “We’ve heard plenty,” indicating that he would vote not to hear any further evidence from House impeachment managers. Schiff also made note of reports of senators being warned that the president would “have their head on a pike” if they voted against his agenda. Many senators appeared indignant at Schiff’s words, breaking the silence in the chamber to express that such reports were not true.
In addition to Schiff’s arguments surrounding abuse of power, fellow House impeachment manager Jerry Nadler of New York made the House’s case alleging that Trump obstructed Congress. Representative Nadler argued that in refusing to allow witnesses to testify and not providing House investigators with necessary documents, President Trump undermined the ability of the federal government to correct wrongs. Nadler alleges that Trump’s actions are unprecedented and called the forty-fifth president a dictator.
As Trump’s team begins their defense of the president this weekend, it seems less and less likely that Democrats will be able to sway four Republicans to join their cause and demand that the Senate hear from witnesses. Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer encouraged Republicans to join them in subpoenaing witnesses, warning that the American people want to know the truth. Schumer warns that Republicans could face major political consequences in the November election if they do not vote for witnesses after Trump’s defense team makes their case early next week. Democrats have thus far reached out to moderate Republicans who might want to hear witnesses, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.