Democrats make plea to 'common sense' in closing arguments of Trump impeachment

Henrietta Brewer
February 3, 2020

House Democrats impeached the president December 18 by a party-line vote, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stemming from a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Mr. Trump requested a corruption probe into a political rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, while withholding financial aid to Ukraine.

Mr Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives for abuse of power related to his withholding of US$391 million (S$533.67 million) in congressional-approved security aid to Ukraine.

As the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump wraps up this week, some lawmakers on the Hill are already looking to the next impeachment - and some Republicans already have their eyes on former Vice President Joe Biden. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said that if Biden were to win the White House this fall, he would open himself up immediately to an impeachment inquiry.

But key Republicans have decided the president's actions toward Ukraine do not rise to the level of impeachable offence that warrant the dramatic political upheaval of conviction and removal from office.

His assertion came as Washington awaited the results of today's all-important Iowa caucuses that will indicate which of the 11 Democratic candidates are gaining early momentum to challenge Mr Trump in November's presidential election. A two-thirds majority, or 67 senators, is needed to remove a president from office.

Democrats slammed their Republican counterparts following Friday's vote. Democrats argued that every other impeachment trial of USA officials has called witnesses.

By yesterday, this Trump's-guilty-but-we-don't-care contingent had grown to a size that would've been hard to predict when the impeachment trial first began a few weeks ago - when the principal Republican line was that the charges against the president were baseless. "America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, where the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial".

The impeachment trial has resumed Monday as House impeachment managers gave their closing arguments.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who had been considered a possible swing vote on witnesses, said there was no need for more evidence.

That plot set in motion the character assassination of a USA ambassador, a perceived regional retreat by the U.S., the suspension of a promised White House meeting and military aid to Ukraine, a direct demand by Trump himself that the Ukrainian president do him a "favor" and a whistleblower complaint.

"But I'm not letting the senators off the hook".

"When the history books are written about this tumultuous era, I want them to know I stood up to tyranny", he said on the floor. And I think Iowans understand that experience matters.

Monday's Iowa vote is headed to a photo finish, with leftist Bernie Sanders holding a narrow polling lead over Biden.

Other reports by iNewsToday