In Opening Salvo, Trump Accused at Trial of Corrupt Ukraine Scheme

The lead Democratic prosecutor accused President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday of setting up a corrupt scheme to pressure Ukraine to help him win re-election this coming November.

Trump sounded a defiant note, telling reporters in Switzerland that Democrats did not have enough evidence against him.

In the opening argument for the prosecution, Representative Adam Schiff said Trump had pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son on unsubstantiated corruption charges last year.

In his dealings with Ukraine, Trump solicited foreign interference to improve his chances in this year’s U.S. presidential election, Schiff said, laying out the main Democratic argument for why Trump abused his power and should be found guilty.

“To implement this corrupt scheme President Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into two discredited allegations that would benefit President Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign,” Schiff said.

Democrats argue that Trump was trying to find dirt on Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his son Hunter who had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, to help the Republican president win a second term.

Trump denies any wrongdoing and his fellow Republicans in the Senate say his behavior did not fit the description of “high crimes and misdemeanors” outlined in the U.S. Constitution as a reason to oust a U.S. president.

Trump is almost certain to be acquitted by the Republican-controlled 100-member Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office. But the trial’s effect on Trump’s November re-election bid is unclear.

The case against him is focused on a July 25 telephone call in which he asked Zelenskiy to open a corruption investigation into the Bidens as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

“Nothing could be more dangerous to a democracy than a commander in chief who believed that he could operate with impunity, free from accountability. Nothing, that is, except a Congress that is willing to let it be so,” said Schiff, who is leading the prosecution team of Democratic “managers” from the 435-seat House of Representatives.

Democrats have up to three days to make their case. Trump’s defense team will have three days after that for rebuttal in a trial that could potentially conclude next week.

It is the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. The opening days have been dominated by arguments over Democratic requests for more witnesses and records.

The Trump administration has not complied with subpoenas for documents and has urged officials like former national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to participate in the impeachment investigation.

In Davos, Switzerland, Trump told reporters at the World Economic Forum that he was happy with the way the trial was going.

“I thought our team did a very good job. But honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material,” Trump said.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and David Morgan; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Andy Sullivan and Howard Goller)

Responses

  1. “Glad to see you recognize this Schiff-Sham-Show as a “show trial “.” Confused James

    No, you can’t succeed at playing that game when the factual details are missing from your argument. You see, Schiff doesn’t run the Senate, Moscow Mitch does. That blows you tact out of the water.

    Also, you STILL are confuddled by what socialism and fascism are and who belongs in each camp.

    #outnow “refusefascism.org”

  2. “I’m wondering how the Ukraine can improve Trump’s chances of winning the election. This notion just seems really odd to me. I’m pretty sure that just about everyone who voted for him the first time will vote for him again, possibly more.” Tiffany

    King Donald The Loser is a relatively simple guy trying to protect his ass, Tiffany.

    You see, he saw how successful just announcing an investigation into his opponent helped him so much, back in 2016, that he thought going for Round 2 with Ukraine announcing an investigation into his then main rival would help him out again. Ooops! Turns out that is illegal.

    And you are right. Just about everyone who did vote for him in 2016 will vote for him again. Well, not quite.

    Women abandoned him. The military wised up and their numbers are down. Any conservative Democrat or independent who voted for him must be having second thoughts. Anyone with a shred of integrity will never vote for him again. He has never had a popularity number above 50% (let alone AT 50%) AND more than 50% of the electorate now want him removed from office. Their internal polling numbers must be really disheartening.

    Cult-45 are hanging in there, though, but they are what, 28-35%? Good luck, chump.

  3. I’m wondering how the Ukraine can improve Trump’s chances of winning the election. This notion just seems really odd to me. I’m pretty sure that just about everyone who voted for him the first time will vote for him again, possibly more.

    1. King Donald The Loser is a relatively simple guy trying to protect his ass, Tiffany.

      You see, he saw how successful just announcing an investigation into his opponent helped him so much, back in 2016, that he thought going for Round 2 with Ukraine announcing an investigation into his then main rival would help him out again. Ooops! Turns out that is illegal.

      And you are right. Just about everyone who did vote for him in 2016 will vote for him again. Well, not quite.

      Women abandoned him. The military wised up and their numbers are down. Any conservative Democrat or independent who voted for him must be having second thoughts. Anyone with a shred of integrity will never vote for him again. He has never had a popularity number above 50% (let alone AT 50%) AND more than 50% of the electorate now want him removed from office. Their internal polling numbers must be really disheartening.

      Cult-45 are hanging in there, though, but they are what, 28-35%? Good luck, chump.

  4. syphilis you are a worthless lying POS just like michael (with a capital B), confuction, baal paul and others. Totalitarianism is your game and we will fight you every step and we will win just as we did in 1776. None of you are relevant to anything because all you can do is lie. That is all you have.

  5. I don’t know how many times I need to tell you this confuction but fascism is a left wing organization just like communism and ALL totalitatrian governments. It is socialism on steroids and you and all of your pals in the demonrat/communist party are part of it. As long as you continue to lie I will be right here to set you lies straight.

  6. <Phyllis Softa<

    Did you hold your nose and watch Schiff tell lie after lie? Sorry, but you cannot ignore his twisting of the facts and expect anyone to believe anything coming out of his mouth. In an email I received from the White House this morning, it listed five (5) bald faced LIES Schiff tried to push down our throats. IF you ignored his made up BS, that's your problem. Schiff is known to be a congenital liar and he proved it in yesterday's attempt to present the "facts – ?" as he wants the American people to swallow without question. The ,man is unfit to be a representative; even for the Socialists/Fascists!

  7. Voters need to hold the members of the American Fascist Party accountable for the way that this showtrial is being handled by them.

    #outnow “refusefascism.org”

    1. Glad to see you recognize this Schiff-Sham-Show as a “show trial “. The more Shiff talked the deeper the hole he dug for the Party of Hate Americans and actually helped President Trump get closer to a landslide victory in November. I hope Schiff keeps on talking his manufactured BS for the next couple of days. It may mean the emptying of the House of the Socialist/Fascist scumbags and the return of the GOP to full power and to work FOR the American people.

      #Socialists-R-Idiots.

  8. The irony is that Schiff’s family has profited from his connections just like the Bidens have, though not as blatantly or as much. WHY was the investigation requested? For corruption by Biden?

    reading the Schiff subtitles: I’m too stupid to realize that drawing attention to Trump’s Ukraine call soaks Gropin’ Joe and his crackhead, stripper-impregnating son.

    1. LOL…now you are sounding like the defense team Trump hired. They had no defense so they recited Trump lies. The real irony is that you have never claimed Trump was innocent. Lots of whataboutism but no offering of how violating the Impoundment Control Act is not breaking the law. No explanation of the violation of campaign finance laws. No explanation of obstructing the investigation. No explanation of abuse of power. Can you do that without saying BUT Biden. If Biden’s actions were illegal the DOJ would have found a crime and Trump would not have broken several laws to get Ukraine to announce an investigation—How many times has Trump said Ukraine is corrupt?? If there was an actual crime committed, you think Barr would not have charged THEM? Think, Screw, especially if you are going to call anyone else “stupid.” .

  9. I watched Schiff for an hour before shutting off the television. I could not believe a man could tell so many lies and his nose not get longer. I would expect his nose should be reaching the rear of the Senate Chamber because of the outright lies, twisting of phrases and taking the President’s words out of context in order to fit his narrative. I fail to understand how Schiff can keep a straight face and not bust out laughing with “You know I’m a comedian in real life and this is only satire, don’t you?” Unbelievable!

      1. Join the discussion…The pile of shiff’s lips were moving syphilis. That is how we know he was lying.

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