Senate impeachment trial live updates: Democrats make ‘abuse of power’ case


uschools/iStock(WASHINGTON) — When the Senate trial of President Donald Trump resumes Thursday afternoon, lead House manager Adam Schiff says Democrats “will go through the law, the Constitution and the facts as they apply to Article One” — the article of impeachment that accuses the president of ‘abuse of power.On Wednesday, after laying out the timeline of Trump’s pressure campaign against Ukraine, including withholding military aid to get Ukraine to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, Schiff argued that the president violated the Constitution.Alan Dershowitz, the former Harvard Law professor who is playing a role on Trump’s defense team, is expected to argue, as he’s been doing on tv, that a sitting president cannot be impeached for ‘abuse of power’ as Democrats charge.Also on Wednesday, the first of three days of opening arguments, Democrats flatly dismissed the notion of offering Joe or Hunter Biden as witnesses in exchange for Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, “That trade is not on the table.”The day also revealed at least one protester, three milk-drinkers and several chatty senators — among although such moments in the chamber weren’t seen on camera because of long-standing restrictions on what Senate-controlled cameras can show.Democrats have roughly 16 hours left to use over two days before the president’s legal team takes the Senate floor on Saturday to begin their 24 hours of opening arguments over three days.

This is how the day is unfolding. Please refresh for updates.12:38 p.m. Graham compliments Schiff on presentation of House case, but asks ‘will it stand up?’Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters shortly before Thursday’s proceedings begin, and when asked about a reported he had with Schiff after Wednesday’s trial session ended, Graham confirms that he complimented Schiff, a fellow former prosecutor, on his presentation.”He’s well-spoken, did a good job of creating a tapestry, taking bits and pieces of evidence and emails and giving a rhetorical flourish making the email come alive,” he says. “Quite frankly, I thought they did a good job of taking bits and pieces of the evidence and creating a quilt out of it,” he says. “But will it stand up?””The point is: let’s see what the other side says then we’ll make a decision about what the president actually did or didn’t do,” he adds. “All I can do tell you is it from the presidents point of view, he did nothing wrong, in his mind.””There are bunch of people on my side who want to call Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. I want to end this thing sooner rather than later,” Graham says, explaining he will not vote for witness and documents. “I want the American people to pick the next president not me, and so what I think is the best thing to happen is to have oversight of Ukrainian potential misconduct and move on to the election. I am not going to use my vote to extend the trial,” Graham continues.”I love Joe Biden, but I can tell you, if the name was ‘Trump’ a lot of questions would be asked.”

11:48 a.m. Schumer says a Trump acquittal will have ‘zero value’ if not witnessesAt a morning news conference, without saying their names, Schumer calls again on four Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee — to join Democrats in calling for witnesses and documents, before directly addressing the president and his GOP allies.”I will say this to president than any of my Republican friends: if the American people believe this is not a fair trial, which right now they seem to believe because there were no witnesses and documents, acquittal will have zero value to the president or to the Republicans,” he says.”The bottom line is the president is clearly covering up, his people are covering up, and the question is: Will our Republican colleagues rise to their constitutional mandate to create a fair trial?” Schumer adds, “and I don’t think it will sit very well with history or with the American people if they don’t.”Asked about reports of possible deal on witnesses, Schumer says not a single Republican has approached him on the subject — further shutting down the idea.”No Republicans are talking to us about deals. We want these four witnesses … they go to the truth,” he says. (Yesterday, when asked a similar question, Schumer said witnesses should be relevant to the case, seeming to say a deal involving Biden testimony would be off the table for him. Today’s answer seems a bit more open-ended.)–ABC’s Sarah Kolinovsky Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.