Trump's impeachment defense team argues voters should decide his fate

Marco Green
February 6, 2020

Trump plans to present a vision of "relentless optimism", as one aide put it, and to summon lawmakers from both parties to work together on economic policies and other issue areas.

He called the House managers' case "strong", and said they effectively showed "what the president did was wrong".

The pervasive toxicity at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue all but forestalls the possibility of legislative accomplishments this year.

While the Senate is safe ground for Trump, the Democratic majority in the House is expected to continue aggressive probes of Trump's alleged corruption.

Mr Sekulow said neither charge brought against Mr Trump represented an impeachable offence, and accused Democrats of seeking to negate the 2016 election results and subvert the will of the American people. "Congress is virtually going to be at a standstill".

Seeing Pelosi, the U.S. House of Representatives speaker, for the first time since she stormed out of a White House meeting four months ago, Trump declined to shake her outstretched hand as he gave her a paper copy of his remarks before starting to speak. But she said that the House managers did not meet the burden of showing the president's conduct was worth removal from office. "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there can not be war and investigation".

Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat, apparently unaware of more recent USA history, asked on Twitter, "Have we ever had an impeached President, deliver the State of the Union address while he is on trial in the Senate?"

The Senate voted on Friday not to hear from any witnesses, including Mr Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton, who in an unpublished book depicts Mr Trump as playing a central role in pressuring Ukraine. He could be the lone GOP senator voting to convict the president when the Senate votes Wednesday afternoon on both articles.

The U.S. Senate's top Republican exhorted fellow senators on Tuesday to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, warning the fate of the country depended on it, even as his Democratic counterpart called Trump a threat to democracy.

Yet Trump in recent weeks has offered a stark counter to the bipartisan bonhomie described by Cipollone. Nearly every day, Trump has fired off Twitter broadsides against the "Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats", as he referred to them in one such tweet Sunday, and maligned the party's leaders.

With the focus shifting to the final vote, all eyes will be on whether any Democrats facing potential tough re-election battles in November will vote to acquit the president.

The White House accused Pelosi of disrespecting Trump's guests of honor by ripping up the speech.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi tried to shake hands with President Donald Trump but he turned away
Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi tried to shake hands with President Donald Trump but he turned away

Looking ahead to Tuesday night's address, Sen.

Pelosi, a frequent thorn in Trump's side, created a viral image with her seemingly sarcastic applause of the president a year ago.

"I see no path to the 67 votes required to impeach. My expectations are so low these days". Not just for himself, but for all future presidents.

"We must vote to reject the House abuse of power, vote to protect our institutions, vote to reject new precedents that would reduce the framers' design to rubble, vote to keep factional fever from boiling over and scorching our republic", he said.

"It doesn't feel like we're setting ourselves up to pass anything big", Murphy said.

© Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post An hallway at the U.S. Capitol is empty January 18 before the Senate impeachment trial began.

Or he could seek to calm the waters by entirely avoiding the topic of impeachment, just as Bill Clinton did during his post-impeachment State of the Union in 1999. "I hope he will smother people with the milk of human kindness", Roberts said.

What time is the State of the Union?

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, departs as Republican senators leave a closed-door strategy session at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Trump said the diagnosis was not good news, but added: "What is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and victor that you will ever meet".

Democrats responded to Trump's speech, where he proclaimed a "great American comeback" and touted his achievements, by refusing to follow Republicans in repeated standing ovations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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