This Monday morning, the final stretch of President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial kicked off with fiercely direct closing arguments from House impeachment case managers. Although the Republican majority in the Senate and the party’s many past capitulations to Trump essentially lock in an acquittal for the president when the final vote is taken on Wednesday afternoon, over the weekend on Face The Nation, lead case manager (and House Intel Committee Chairman) Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) pointed out that Dems have still managed some wins thanks to the chance to make their case publicly.
On Monday, case co-manager Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) spoke first and tied the question of whether or not to rule the president guilty to the duty that Senators are supposed to be fulfilling in the chamber to begin with.
‘Today you have a duty to perform, with fidelity, not without a sense of surrounding dangers, but also not without hope. I submit to you on behalf of the House of Representatives that your duty demands you convict President Trump.’
That’s pretty direct!
Schiff added a similar comment, sharing:
‘Donald Trump has betrayed his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. But it is not too late for us to honor ours, to wield our power to defend our democracy.’
Schiff: "Donald Trump has betrayed his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. But it is not too late for us to honor ours, to wield our power to defend our democracy."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 3, 2020
Meanwhile, Crow also pointed out that impeachment is meant as “a tool only to be used in rare instances of grave misconduct,” and that’s exactly what’s transpired ahead of these proceedings via the president’s plot to bribe Ukraine into investigating his opponents.
Crow also discussed the conspiracy theories about the Bidens and Democrats in general that underlined Trump’s attempt to get Ukraine to launch investigations. Crow asked:
‘How many falsehoods can we take? When will it be one too many?’
Fellow impeachment case manager Rep. Val Demings (D-Fl.) spoke next. She discussed the huge scope of the president’s plot not just to carry out that initial abuse of power but also to obstruct any attempts at investigating his behavior and holding him accountable.
She pointed out:
‘Even as President Trump has orchestrated this cover-up and obstructed Congress’s impeachment inquiry, he remains unapologetic, unrestrained, and intent on continuing his sham to defraud our elections… President Trump’s Constitutional crimes, his crimes against the American people and the nation remain in progress.’
Although a couple of Republicans broke with the party line and voted last week in favor of hearing from witnesses before the trial wound to a close, that wasn’t enough for a necessary majority in favor of witnesses, and there’s no indication that any Republican Senators plan to break with the party again and vote to declare the president guilty on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a few moderate Democratic Senators, including Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, and Alabama’s Doug Jones have been reported to be not immediately sure of which way they’ll vote on Wednesday.
The impeachment is already looming large ahead of the 2020 elections. The Trump campaign has featured impeachment in a very large portion of their ads, and there’s no sign that Trump is going to stop trying to drive home his poor me response to the proceedings as November gets closer. In the meantime, the first official votes will be tallied on Monday at the Iowa caucuses.