The lawyers of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, closed his final session of arguments in the Senate on Tuesday with a call to end “here and now” the political trial against him for pressures against Ukraine to investigate one of his political rivals, former vice president Joe Biden.
“It is time for this to end here and now,” said Pat Cipollone, leader of President Trump’s defense team in his intervention in the Senate.
Cipollone has repeatedly criticized the dangerous “political game” put into practice by the Democrats to remove the president from office.
Previously, another of the president’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, insisted that the charges against Trump are too weak to carry out a presidential impeachment process based on a dispute over political differences.
“The threshold for political judgment cannot be so low,” Sekulow said.
BRIEF OF DEFENSE
With the intervention on Tuesday, again marked by brevity, Trump’s defense put an end to his initial arguments.
The succinct defense plea contrasts with the lengthy sessions of Democratic prosecutors, headed by lawmaker Adam Schiff, who said during long hours that the evidence was “overwhelming” to dismiss Trump for charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
This Wednesday and Thursday will be the time when the hundred senators will submit their questions in writing to be answered by both the Democratic prosecutors and the defense.
In this way, the key day would become Friday, when the proposal to have new evidence and witnesses, something considered a necessity and desired by the Democrats, but what they oppose would be submitted to debate, and then to a vote Trump’s lawyers and his Republican allies.
The Republicans have a majority in the Senate of 53 votes to 47, so the Democrats would need the support of four Republican senators to reject the initiative of a quick trial raised by the leader of the Republican majority, Senator Mitch McConnell, and get prolong the process.
The pressure is centered on a group of moderate Republican senators, including Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who could vote with the Democrats and thus open the door to continue the procedure with the appearance of witnesses.
For now, however, Republicans have voted in block against the various amendments tabled by the Democrats and these four senators have avoided ruling on what their vote on the call for witnesses could be, so uncertainty remains.
NEW WITNESSES: BOLTON
The presentation of defense arguments was shaken this week by the revelation of former White House National Security advisor John Bolton, who according to excerpts from an upcoming book leaked Sunday by The New York Times, says the The president told him that he wanted to continue withholding military aid to Ukraine to force that country to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, for corruption.
“Responding to an unpublished manuscript about which some journalists may have an idea of what he says, I don’t know what they would call it. I would call it inadmissible,” Sekulow said Tuesday.
According to the New York newspaper, Trump told Bolton in August that “he wanted to continue freezing the $ 391 million of security assistance to Ukraine until Ukrainian officials helped him with the investigations” against the Democrats, including former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had worked for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
The Democrats initiated investigations against the president after a complaint from an informant to the intelligence services over a telephone call in July between Trump and his counterpart from Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, in which the American asked the Ukrainian to open investigations against the Biden for alleged corruption in the European country.
According to the Democratic opposition, Trump conditioned the delivery of almost 400 million dollars in aid to Ukraine and also the scheduling of a meeting with Zelenski in the White House to his demand that Kiev announce that he planned to investigate Biden, current candidate of his party to this year’s presidential elections.