30-second recap: Impeachment Trial Day 12

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Impeachment trial day 12 recap

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Senators heard closing arguments Monday from House managers and President Donald Trump’s defense attorneys as the final vote on whether the president will be removed from office or not is set for Wednesday.

While the president’s acquittal seems certain – Democrats would need 20 Republican votes to remove Trump from office – House managers urged senators to vote to remove Trump on the two articles of impeachment he was charged with in the House.

Trump was impeached in December after a whistleblower told Congress in August that Trump had told Ukrainian officials to announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for the release of military aid and a White House meeting for the new Ukrainian president.

Here is what happened Monday during the closing arguments in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate:

Crow warns of ‘lasting implications’

Impeachment manager Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colorado, opened up the House talked about historical speeches and warns that what is done now in this impeachment will be repeated in the next presidential impeachment.

“What you decide on these articles will have lasting implications on the future of the presidency,” Crow said. Crow told senators they have a duty to vote to remove Trump from office.

“No one is above the law. Even those elected president of the United States and I would say especially those elected president of the United States.

“... I submit to you on behalf of the House of Representatives that your duty demands that you convict President Trump,” Crow said, “Now, I don’t pretend that this is an easy process. It’s not designed to be easy. It shouldn’t be easy to impeach or convict a president. Impeachment is an extraordinary remedy, a tool only to be used in rare instances of grave misconduct. But it is in the Constitution for a reason in America."

Demings lays out the case

Rep. Val Demings, D-Florida, was the second House manager to speak. She said Trump “weaponized” the U.S. government for Trump’s personal gain.

“The evidence that was presented to you is damning, chilling, disturbing and disgraceful,” Demings said. “President Trump weaponized our government and the vast powers entrusted to him by the American people and the Constitution to target his political rival and corrupt our precious elections [and] subverted our national security and our democracy in the process. He put his personal interests over those of the country, and he violated his oath of office in the process.”

Zeldin: 'Not wacky enough'

Commenting on Demings’ presentation, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-New York, said his only problem with Demings’ presentation is that it wasn’t “wacky enough.”

'New normal’

House manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, said a president who gets away with abusing his or her power then “thwarts the impeachment power of Congress” is above the law and would set a “new normal.”

“A president who can obstruct and thwart the impeachment power becomes unaccountable,” Jeffries said. “He or she is effectively above the law. Such a president [is] more likely to engage in corruption with impunity. This will become the new normal, with this president and for future generations.”

Adam Schiff urges senators to vote to convict the president

“Today, we urge you in the face of overwhelming evidence of the president’s guilt and knowing that if left in office he will continue to seek foreign interference in the next election, to vote to convict on both Articles of Impeachment and to remove from office Donald J. Trump.”

Schiff also named several people who worked on the impeachment process in the House. He said they are “brilliant,” and that they have been threatened and have felt unsafe.

Starr returns

Kenneth Starr begins the closing arguments for the president’s defense. Starr referenced Martin Luther King Jr. who quoted Unitarian pastor Theodore Parker saying, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Starr then chastised the House managers saying, "You didn't follow the rules. You should have.”

The impeachment process was flawed

Patrick Philbin, deputy White House counsel, repeats an argument he made last week that the impeachment as a whole was made in bad faith and should be dismissed.

“The House violated every principle of due process and fundamental fairness in the way the hearings were conducted,” Philbin said.

He also accused Schiff of being “an interested witness who had been involved in — or at least his staff — in discussions with the whistleblower, then guided the factual inquiry in the House.”

Sekulow: ‘Stand firm’

‘You must acquit’

Trump’s attorney, Pat Cipollone, opened and closed the defense argument. He accuses the Democrats trying to both overturn the 2016 election and hamper the 2020 one.

“At the end of the day, the key conclusion, we believe the only conclusion based on the evidence and based on the articles of impeachment themselves and the Constitution, is that you must vote to acquit the president,” Cipollone said. “At the end of the day, this is an effort to overturn the results of one election and to try to interfere in the coming election that begins today in Iowa.”

Schiff ends the day

Schiff has the final say in the closing arguments, calling on senators to have the courage to impeach Trump because “he will do it again.”

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