The impeachment trial by the US Senate on President Donald Trump kicked off today Tuesday with war of words and varied reactions as Rep. Adam Schiff accused the president of engaging in a ‘corrupt’ effort to get Ukraine to help him ‘cheat’ in his reelection.
Schiff, a California Democrat who is heading a team of impeachment managers, made his case before 100 senators seated at their desks – telling them they must provide for a ‘fair trial’ that lets each side make its case.
President Trump ‘seeks the full and complete destruction of a co-equal branch of government,’ said Schiff, who played video of Trump saying the Constitution’s Article II gives him the power to ‘do whatever I want.’
On Ukraine, Schiff accused Trump of ‘soliciting a foreign power to help him cheat in the next election.’
He called for a full trial complete with appearances by witnesses – including by acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and forced out national security advisor John Bolton.
‘You may never know the full scope of the president’s misconduct or those around him, and neither will the American people’ without hearing from them, Schiff said.
READ THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Article I: Abuse of Power
Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.
He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.
President Trump also sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations.
President Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit. In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.’
Article II: Obstruction of Congress
As part of this impeachment inquiry, the Committees undertaking the investigation served subpoenas seeking documents and testimony deemed vital to the inquiry from various Executive Branch agencies and offices, and current and former officials.
In response, without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas. President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.
In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”