Democratic Impeachment Managers Continue Their Oral Arguments To Remove Trump

Jan 23, 2020
Originally published on January 23, 2020 9:58 pm
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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And now to politics - the impeachment trial of President Trump continues today in Washington.

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JOHN ROBERTS: The Senate will convene as a court of impeachment.

CHANG: Chief Justice John Roberts there kicking off the second day of Democrats presenting their opening arguments after eight hours yesterday and another 16 hours and 42 minutes until the president's lawyers would get their turn.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Not that anyone's counting.

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ADAM SCHIFF: Thank you to the senators for two now very long days.

SHAPIRO: That's Democrat Adam Schiff of California nodding to the slow pace of the proceedings so far and poking fun at the strict requirement that senators in the chamber stay silent.

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SCHIFF: Of course, it doesn't hurt that the morning starts out every day with the sergeant-at-arms warning you that if you don't, you will be imprisoned.

SHAPIRO: Even the chaplain acknowledged the marathon ahead in his opening prayer.

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BARRY BLACK: May our senators not permit fatigue or cynicism.

CHANG: Then Democrats laid out their case, focusing on the first article of impeachment against President Trump - abuse of power.

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JERRY NADLER: Since President George Washington took office in 1789, no president has abused his power in this way.

CHANG: That's Jerry Nadler, Democrat from New York and one of the House impeachment managers. He continued a theme this week of invoking the Founding Fathers' intent behind the Constitution's impeachment clause.

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NADLER: The framers were not naive. They knew that power corrupts. They knew that republics cannot flourish and that people cannot live free under a corrupt leader.

SHAPIRO: Texas Representative Sylvia Garcia went through the finer details of the case, arguing that President Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son was an abuse of Trump's official power for personal gain.

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SYLVIA GARCIA: President Trump directed this scheme with corrupt intent, with one corrupt objective - to obtain foreign assistance in his reelection bid in 2020 United States presidential election.

SHAPIRO: President Trump spent much of the day tweeting, saying the trial was, quote, "the most unfair and corrupt hearing in congressional history."

CHANG: Democrats are expected to finish their opening arguments tomorrow. And President Trump's legal team will begin to lay out its defense over the weekend. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.