Mitch McConnell is running for President 2020
Impeachment prosecutors appeal to senators' consciences
Washington (AP) - At the end of the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, the prosecutors urged the Senate to hold the US president accountable for abuse of power.
Shortly before the verdict expected on Wednesday in the trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys made their closing statements in the Senate on Monday. The head of the prosecution team, Democrat Adam Schiff, appealed to the senators to convict Trump in the face of "overwhelming evidence". The president's defense team again denied the allegations. Everything looks like the Senate will acquit Trump. Its Republicans have a majority in the Chamber.
The US House of Representatives had indicted Trump with the majority of Democrats for abuse of power and obstructing the investigation in Congress. Trump is said to have urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden in order to influence the 2020 US presidential election in his favor.
The Democrats see it as proven that Trump made the announcement of such investigations conditional on the release of military aid for Kiev and a meeting with Zelenskyi in the White House. When that came out, Trump did everything possible to block the investigation by the House of Representatives. Trump denies the allegations.
The decision on the two counts lies with the Senate, which takes on the role of a court in impeachment proceedings. The chamber is due to vote on the charges this Wednesday and thus pass its final verdict on the case.
Because of the Republican majority in the Senate, it is extremely unlikely that Trump could be removed from office. To do this, 67 senators would have to vote for at least one of the two counts. At least 20 Republicans would have to join the Democrats. That is not in sight.
Nevertheless, the prosecution tried to speak to the Republican senators' conscience. Jason Crow, Democratic member of the Prosecutor's Office, appealed to them: “You have a duty to do. Your duty is to condemn President Trump. "
This is not an easy step, but it is not without reason that the US constitution provides for the impeachment of the president, warned Crow. "In America, nobody is above the law." The indictment has proven that Trump abused his office to influence the next election to his own advantage.
The Democratic MP Val Demings from the prosecution team warned that Trump continues to pose a threat to democracy in the US - for the constitution and the upcoming presidential election in November. Team Democrat Hakeem Jeffries said it was up to the Senators to see if Trump could go ahead with his machinations and influence the next election.
A new president will be elected in the United States on November 3rd. Trump wants to run for a second term. Former Vice President Joe Biden is running to challenge Trump with the Democrats, but has a lot of competition within his party. In the US state of Iowa, the first area code in the presidential race was due on Monday evening (local time). Even after a possible acquittal of Trump, the Democrats are likely to make the Ukraine affair an important issue in the election campaign and thus try to reduce the president's chances of re-election.
In the closing speeches in the Senate on Monday, both sides repeated their well-known arguments. Trump's defense attorneys once again denied the Democrats' allegations and called on the senators to acquit the president. Mike Purpura, one of the president's legal advisors and a member of the defense team, said the charges against Trump were inadequate and doomed.
The Democrats had fought to the last to have new witnesses summoned and government documents requested in the Senate trial. The Republicans finally crushed this demand with their votes last Friday. The Democrats spoke of a "tragedy". They argue that without a trial with witnesses, an acquittal is of no value in the end.
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