Schiff: Nothing more dangerous than president acting with impunity

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 22, 2020 - Duration: 01:40s

Schiff: Nothing more dangerous than president acting with impunity

The lead Democratic prosecutor, Representative Adam Schiff, said in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that "nothing could be more dangerous to a democracy than a commander in chief who believed that he could operate with impunity, free from accountability, nothing that is, except a Congress that will let it be so."


Schiff: Nothing more dangerous than president acting with impunity

"In unprecedented fashion, the president ordered the entire executive branch of the United States of America to categorically refuse and completely obstruct the House's impeachment investigation," Schiff said on the Senate floor.

"Nothing could be more dangerous to a democracy than a commander in chief who believed that he could operate with impunity, free from accountability, nothing that is, except a Congress that will let it be so." Schiff accused President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday of setting up a corrupt scheme to pressure Ukraine to help him win re-election this coming November.

In the opening argument for the prosecution, Representative Adam Schiff said Trump had pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son on unsubstantiated corruption charges.

Democrats argue that Trump was trying to find dirt on Biden, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his son Hunter who had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, to help the Republican president win a second term.

The president denies any wrongdoing.

Trump is almost certain to be acquitted by the Republican-controlled 100-member Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office.

But the trial's effect on Trump's November re-election bid is unclear.

The case against Trump is focused on a July 25 telephone call in which he asked Zelenskiy to open a corruption investigation into the Bidens as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

Schiff's team will have three days to make their case.

Trump's defense team will have three days after that for rebuttal in a trial that could potentially conclude next week.

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