Beginning up to 24 hours of opening arguments, House impeachment managers started Wednesday to lay out the basics of their case against President Donald Trump, arguing the evidence is overwhelming that the President is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
"Ultimately, the question for you is whether the President's undisputed actions require the removal of the 45th President from office," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who opened the House presentation with a speech of over two hours.
"Over the coming days, you will hear remarkably consistent evidence of President Trump's corrupt scheme and cover up," Schiff added, arguing that Mr. Trump tried to use Ukraine to do his 'political dirty work' in an effort to smear former Vice President Joe Biden.
Democrats charge the President withheld over $200 million in military aid for Ukraine in a bid to force the government to announce an investigation of Biden, and another investigation into what Schiff labeled 'that crazy conspiracy theory,' where Ukraine - and not Russia - hacked Democrats during the 2016 campaign.
.@RepAdamSchiff: "There is no serious dispute about the facts underlying the president's conduct. This is why you will hear the president's lawyers make the astounding claim that you can't impeach a president for abusing the powers of his office..." pic.twitter.com/bzKJWF71lC— CSPAN (@cspan) January 22, 2020
At the first break of the afternoon, the sharp break along party lines was clearly evident as Senators spilled out of the chamber.
"So far, we haven't heard anything new," Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters just off the Senate floor.
"What we ought to be presented is evidence by witnesses that have personal knowledge," Cornyn said, drawing an approving reaction from Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who was waiting to speak to reporters.
But Cornyn made clear those witnesses should have testified in the House - not in the Senate, as Democrats have asked the Senate to hear testimony.
Asked if there was any deal in the works between the two parties to have witness testimony - where Democrats would be able to call former Trump aide John Bolton, and Republicans would question Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden - Schumer told reporters that was not happening.
"That's not even on the table," Schumer said.
SCENE: Schumer waits for Cornyn to finish up remarks on how he heard “nothing new” from Adam Schiff.— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) January 22, 2020
Cornyn said they should present evidence from witnesses with personal knowledge & Schumer quips “hear, hear!”
BUT Cornyn says should have been done in the House, NOT the Senate pic.twitter.com/ZwcOp8xdcE
Schumer says a witness trade for Hunter Biden is off the table pic.twitter.com/GDyD4LL6rL— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 22, 2020
Under the rules, House prosecutors have up to 24 hours - over three days - to present their case, which means they could be talking on the Senate floor through Friday.
For now, there was no evidence that it was changing any GOP minds.
"I stayed awake, but I didn't hear anything new," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).
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