The eighth full day of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump in the US Senate has ended. Here are five important tips:
Witnesses in doubt
While impeachment officials, led by Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, urged senators to name former national security advisor John Bolton as a witness to the process, the few Republican senators who could be open to this gave no new indication that they were would be voted for by witnesses.
Connected: Republicans moderated under pressure to call witnesses when Trump rages in Bolton
Trump’s defense team, meanwhile, argued that calling witnesses could “change the nature and scope of the trial” and lead to legal challenges that would prolong the trial. Schiff denied the point, but the Republicans wanted to end the process after only two weeks.
After a week of silent opening speeches, the format of the Wednesday session, in which the lawyers had five minutes to answer the questions posed by the senators, enabled the two sides to get involved in disputes almost immediately.
When Trump’s team claimed that the president withheld corruption aid for Ukraine due to corruption concerns, House managers pointed out that Trump had never raised concerns about corruption in Ukraine until Joe Biden announced a presidential bid. And when Trump’s team said the house didn’t get Bolton’s testimony, Schiff corrected them.
Otherwise, the two sides disputed whether the indictment must be based on an underlying crime and whether the subpoenas of the House of Representatives of the executive were valid.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who headed the trial, was not asked to make important decisions about permitted questions or statements – with one exception: Roberts reportedly informed the senators behind the scenes that he was not answering a question asked by Rand Paul of Kentucky would call the whistleblower, whose complaint triggered the impeachment investigation.
“We agree to be bound by the Supreme Judge,” said Schiff, pushing to call witnesses. “We will not try to contest a negative decision. Will the president’s lawyer do the same? … you’re afraid he’s fair … that should tell you something about the weakness of your position. “
Debate on the timeline
Schiff said Trump’s team argued against witnesses by threatening to end the trial indefinitely. “If you dare to have witnesses in a trial,” Schiff said, “We will have you paid for it with endless delay.”
Schiff argued that Roberts, “a perfectly good senior judge,” could make quick decisions that would prevent Bolton or others’ testimony from taking a long detour in the process.
Aggressive Dershowitz defense
At the beginning of the session, Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz put forward an extremely broad defense of Trump’s behavior, arguing that a president who thinks his re-election is good for the country cannot be charged because he uses his power to keep his own To promote re-election The President would, in his own eyes, act on behalf of the country.
“If a president does something that he believes will help him be elected in the public interest, it cannot be the kind of consideration that leads to impeachment,” said Dershowitz.