Trump impeachment updates: Senators question prosecutors, lawyers

Trump impeachment updates: Senators question prosecutors, lawyers


The Senate impeachment has resumed. Refresh here for live updates.

WASHINGTON – A handful of conservative Republicans asked whether the legal standards are different between a House impeachment and a Senate conviction, and whether House Democrats had made their case.

Patrick Philbin, a deputy White House counsel defending President Donald Trump in the impeachment trial, said the House prosecutors hadn’t made their case and hadn’t cited laws the president broke.

The question came from Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Martha McSally, R-Ariz. 

House Democrats accused Trump of abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, while withholding $391 million in military aid. The House also accused Trump of obstruction of Congress for directing his administration to defy subpoenas during the inquiry.

In responding to the question, Philbin said the House simply made an accusation with its impeachment vote and then faced the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in the Senate trial. Philbin said the House managers failed because the summary of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, and Zelensky’s later comments, showed no pressure for investigating Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. 

“They have failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Philbin said.

– Bart Jansen

Demonstrators protest on their way to the Capitol during the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Schumer question puts spotlight on Bolton

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked the first question on behalf of Democrats, putting the spotlight on John Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser and a key witness who Democrats have been eager to hear from in the Ukraine scandal.

“Is there any way for the Senate to render a fully informed verdict in this case without hearing the testimony of Bolton, Mulvaney and the other key eyewitnesses or without seeing the relevant documentary evidence?” Schumer’s question stated, which was read aloud by Chief Justice Roberts.


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