Opening arguments for both sides in the Trump impeachment trial ended on Tuesday. The trial isn’t over, but the core argument in each side’s case is clear.
The Democrats charge Trump, who was impeached last month by the House of Representatives, with abusing the power of the presidency and with obstructing Congress — and that his actions merit conviction and removal from office. Trump’s lawyers maintain the president’s innocence and argue that none of Trump’s actions rise to the level of impeachment.
These clips show the leaders of each side, explaining the essence of their arguments:
White House counsel Pat Cipollone
On Tuesday the leader of Trump’s team, Pat Cipollone, argued that if senators vote to remove Trump from office, they would deny Americans’ right to choose their president. “Why tear up their ballots?” he asked senators. Watch a clip of his remarks.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
On the final day of his remarks, last Friday, lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff declared Trump a “threat to the integrity of our democracy,” who puts his own interests over the nation’s. Watch a clip of his remarks.
The senators, who act as jurors in the trial, will now consider these arguments, among others, as they decide on their next steps.
The trial continues Wednesday.