Democrats make last-ditch plea to convict Trump in Senate trial

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 3, 2020 - Duration: 03:03s

Democrats make last-ditch plea to convict Trump in Senate trial

Even with acquittal seemingly assured, the Democrats prosecuting U.S. President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial unleashed a blistering attack on him on Monday with a forceful appeal for conviction.

Zachary Goelman reports.

Democrats make last-ditch plea to convict Trump in Senate trial

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE JASON CROW, SAYING: "I submit to you on behalf of the House of Representatives that your duty demands that you convict President Trump." Democratic managers made a last-ditch appeal to a Republican-controlled Senate in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE VAL DEMINGS, SAYING: "We have proved that the president abused his power." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE HAKEEM JEFFRIES, SAYING: "A president who can obstruct and thwart the impeachment power becomes unaccountable." (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: "Donald Trump has betrayed his oath his oath to protect and defend the constitution.

But it is not too late for us to honor ours." In their closing arguments, Democrats hammered their case, arguing that witnesses and testimony show that Trump withheld Congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine in an effort to pressure Kiev into announcing potentially damaging investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Democrats in the House of Representatives approved articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abusing his office and obstructing Congress's investigation.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: "Today we urge you in the face of overwhelming evidence of the president's guilt, and knowing that if left in office he will continue to seek foreign interference in the next election, to vote to convict on both articles of impeachment and to remove from office Donald J.

Trump, the 45th President of the United States." But the Democrats' sweeping oratory and arguments citing America's founding documents are unlikely to change the outcome.

It seems all but certain that the Republicans will vote to acquit the president this week.

Despite reports last week that Trump's former national security adviser was aware of the alleged pressure campaign against Ukraine, most Republicans voted to make this the first impeachment trial in U.S. history without witnesses.

Most Republicans have said they don't believe the actions alleged by Democrats merit removing Trump from office.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL PAT CIPOLLONE, SAYING: "You must vote to acquit the president." (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL PATRICK PHILBIN, SAYING: "This was a purely partisan impeachment from the start." (SOUNDBITE) (English) DONALD TRUMP ATTORNEY JAY SEKULOW, SAYING: "These articles fail on their face as they do not meet the constitutional standard for impeachable offenses.

No amount of testimony could change that fact." And Trump's legal team presented a unwavering defense of their client, attacking the case as illegitimate, partisan, and an effort to subvert the will of the voters.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL PAT CIPOLLONE, SAYING: "We put our faith in the Senate, because we know you will put your faith in the American people.

You will leave this choice to them where it belongs." The final word on Monday came from Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who argued that while impeachment and removal might seem an extreme measure, the founders meant it to be used in cases such as this.


They meant it to be used rarely, but they put it in the constitution for a reason.

For a man who would sell out his country for a political favor.

For a man who would threaten the integrity of our election.

For a man who would invite foreign interference in our affairs.

For a man who would undermine our national security and that of our allies.

For a man like Donald J.


They gave you a remedy, and they meant for you to use it." A final vote to convict or acquit is expected Wednesday.

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