The Democratic House managers will continue their opening statements in front of the Senate for the second day.

Day 2 of Opening Statements

Remember what Schiff said yesterday? Well, Rep. Demings insisted impeachment is not about the 2020 election.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia alleged that Trump only cared about corruption when Biden surged to the top of the polls. She also claimed Trump is helping Russia meddle in our elections.

The Senate broke for a short recess, but Trump lawyer told reporters that his client did not commit an impeachable offense:

“We’ve got lawyers that are going to put forward when our side of the case goes that represents multiple schools of thought on what is and is not an impeachable offense, but they have one thing in common, that the actions alleged and the actions of the President do not reach that level no matter which school of thought you’re on,” Sekulow said.

Sekulow added: “We’re going to use a sufficient amount of time to not only defend our case and point out the inconsistencies of their case, but we’re going to do it in an appropriate manner. We’re not going to try to run the clock out. We’re going to do what we think, what our legal team thinks, is appropriate to present our case.”

House manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia explained to the Senate why Trump would want to hurt Biden:

Ms. Garcia said Mr. Trump was motivated by Mr. Biden entering the Democratic presidential race last year, and then leading in polls, meaning was a leading contender to run against Mr. Trump in 2020 and had shown strength in head to head polls.

“It wasn’t until Biden began beating him in polls that he called for the investigation,” Ms. Garcia said, adding that Mr. Trump wanted to tarnish Mr. Biden. “He had the motive, he had the opportunity, and the means to commit this abuse of power.”

She alleged that Mr. Trump didn’t care about any actual corruption.

“President Trump made clear he cared only about the announcement…of the investigations, not the actual investigations,” she said.

She also tackled the subjects of the investigations Mr. Trump requested of Ukraine: that Kyiv probe Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, as well as the theory that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked a Democratic National Committee server in the 2016 election.

She played clips from officials who said they didn’t know of any corruption by the Bidens — and that the senior Biden was a central part of international efforts to clean up corruption in Ukraine — and that there was no evidence that Ukraine hacked the DNC server.

“In short,” Ms. Garcia said, “the allegations against Vice President Biden are groundless, and so there is no comparison, none at all, between what he did and President Trump’s abuse of power.”

Recap

On Wednesday, the managers argued in front of the Senators that “Trump’s efforts to press Ukraine to open investigations that could help him politically warrant his removal from office.”

At the end of the day, Schiff promised that the managers on Thursday “will go through the law, the Constitution and the facts as they apply to Article I.” They “will apply the facts to the law as it pertains to the president’s abuse of power.”

If all 47 senators who caucus with the Democrats vote to have witnesses and evidence in the trial they need four Republican senators vote with them.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney have dropped hints they would like to hear from witnesses and read the evidence.

They just need a fourth senator. Georgia Sen. David Perdue said on Sunday “he would be ‘open’ to having witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial but ‘only within the scope’ of the two articles of impeachment.”

CNN provided a timeline on how the Senate could acquit Trump by the end of the month:

  • Today: Democratic arguments
  • Friday: Democratic arguments
  • Saturday: Trump team arguments
  • Monday: Trump team arguments
  • Jan. 28: Trump team arguments
  • Jan. 29: Senator questions
  • Jan 30: Senator questions
  • Jan 31: Four hours of debate on whether to subpoena witnesses and subpoenas, a vote on witnesses and documents and a vote on other motions; If all votes fail, the Senate could move to the acquittal vote

 

 
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