Senators’ questions show minds made up

Highlights from Trump defense team's arguments

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WASHINGTON – If you can tell a book by its cover, the questions posed by Republican and Democratic senators at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial Wednesday clearly showed one thing: Most of their minds are made up.

Hour after hour, Republicans directed friendly questions to the president’s lawyers, while Democrats tossed softballs to House managers prosecuting the case against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Frequently, senators merely asked their side to respond to the other side’s arguments.

So it was unsurprising to hear many Democrats asking about the need for witnesses such as John Bolton, the former White House national security adviser whose upcoming book may provide the link between Trump’s desire for Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and the delaying of military aid.

And it came as no shock that Republicans focused on perceived shortcomings in the House impeachment process and the problems and delays that could cause if the Senate seeks new testimony and documents. 

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