WASHINGTON (WFLA) – House impeachment managers argued their case for impeaching President Donald Trump on Thursday.
The seven Democrats serving as House impeachment managers, or prosecutors, focused their arguments Thursday on detailing how they say President Trump abused his power.
Lead prosecutor Rep. Adam Schiff of California stressed the now-infamous phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“If the call was perfect, if these investigations were legitimate, if the White House had nothing to hide – then ask yourselves: Why did the White House readout omit any mention of these investigations?” Schiff asked, referencing the printout the White House distributed after the call.
Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York focused on arguing that President Trump’s motives were clear, quoting George Washington’s farewell address warning of foreign influence.
He later played a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Trump’s biggest allies, during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial. Graham was an impeachment manager for Clinton’s trial.
“In President Clinton’s trial, (Graham) flatly rejected the notion that impeachable offenses are limited to violations of established law,” Nadler said.
In the clip played by Nadler, Graham states, “What’s a high crime? How about if an important person hurts somebody of low means? It’s not very scholarly but I think it’s the truth. I think that’s what they meant by high crimes. Doesn’t even have to be a crime.”
There was also a lighter moment during the trial when Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York joked that they all come together to subpoena the Baseball Hall of Fame to find out who voted against Derek Jeter.
The impeachment managers started delivering their argument on Wednesday. Schiff led those opening arguments, laying out the case he and other House Democrats built during the impeachment inquiry hearings late last year.
The prosecutors spoke for about eight hours combined on Wednesday. They get a total of 24 hours over the course of three days to present their case before President Trump’s legal team gets to present its case against impeachment. The defense is expected to start delivering arguments on Saturday.
Wednesday’s arguments started at 1 p.m. ET, less than 12 hours after a marathon day of debate on Tuesday over the rules and procedures for the trial. Senate convened at 12:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday to begin its debate and didn’t end up voting on the rules until nearly 2 a.m. Wednesday.
During that marathon debate, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed 11 amendments to the resolution introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The amendments proposed subpoenas for documents and testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. All 11 amendments were voted down along party lines.
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