Politics

Watch Live: Day 4 of Donald Trump’s Impeachment Trial in the Senate

Friday’s arguments are expected to focus on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress.

Friday is Day 4 of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, and it marks the Democratic House managers’ final day of arguments. On Thursday, the House managers both laid out their case against the President and attempted to preëmpt the response of Trump’s legal team, which is expected to begin its arguments on Saturday. For the first hour of arguments, Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, dissected constitutional law as it relates to Presidential impeachment, laying down a theoretical foundation for how the House’s two articles of impeachment could lead to Trump’s removal from office and refuting the popular Republican claim that the President cannot be impeached without having committed an actual crime. To make his point, Nadler even cited comments made by current defenders of the President, including Attorney General William Barr; Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and a member of Trump’s legal-defense team; and Senator Lindsey Graham, who was shown, in video from the Clinton impeachment, saying, “When you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime.” Graham, who’d left the chamber minutes before, was not present for his onscreen appearance.

The managers also spoke extensively of the Bidens. In the course of an hour, Sylvia Garcia, a first-term representative from Texas, sought to dismantle an allegation that Joe Biden had successfully removed a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, the energy company on whose board Biden’s son Hunter served, a claim that Trump has consistently put forward without evidence. (Following Garcia’s defense of Biden, Adam Schiff, the lead House manager, clarified that the managers are impartial to the results of the Democratic Presidential primary.) The Times called the day’s Biden focus a “calculated risk”—although the managers were the first to establish a defining narrative surrounding the Bidens, who are sure to feature heavily in the Republican arguments, they also risked making the family appear material to the trial. Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, said, “They have opened the door,” and Republican senators began to call—outside of the chamber’s walls—for the Bidens to testify.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Schiff returned to the dais for a closing argument. After repeating salient facts of the House’s case, he implored Senate Republicans—of whom only four need to defect from the Party line next week in order to demand that the trial feature witnesses—to see Trump’s actions as posing a danger to American democracy. “You can’t trust this President to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump,” he said. “He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election, if he’s allowed to.” It echoed how Nadler had opened the day’s arguments. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” he’d said. “It does not leave us stuck with Presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy.”

Friday’s arguments are expected to focus on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress. You can watch the proceedings in the live stream above.


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