Trump's impeachment team argues he 'did nothing wrong'

World Sunday 26/January/2020 10:12 AM
By: Times News Service
Trump's impeachment team argues he 'did nothing wrong'

US President Donald Trump's defense team on Saturday argued that he had not committed an impeachable act when he apparently pressured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to launch an investigation into political rivals.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Democratic House managers, who serve as prosecutors in the Senate trial, did not make their case that Trump abused power and obstructed Congress.

"We don't believe that they have come anywhere close to meeting their burden for what they're asking you to do," Cipollone said. "In fact, we believe when you hear the facts ... you will find that the president did absolutely nothing wrong."

Trump is accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic political rivals in the US on his behalf and withholding Congress-approved aid to Ukraine pending an announcement of that probe.

'He will do it again'

Democrats on Friday gave their final arguments for Trump's removal from office, with Representative Adam Schiff urging Republican Senators to show "real political courage."

"If it meets the standard of impeachable conduct, as we have proved, it doesn't matter whether you like him. It doesn't matter whether you dislike him," Schiff said.

"What matters is when he is a danger to the country, because he will do it again. And none of us can have confidence, based on his record, that he will not do it again, because he is telling us every day that he will."

However, Trump is unlikely to be removed from office. Such an act would require a two-third majority in the Republican-controlled Senate. Republican Senators have yet to voice support for such an act.

Trump decries 'hoax'

Trump has repeatedly denied that he sought political favors targeting political rivals from the Ukrainian president.

In a tweet earlier this week, he accused Democrats of staging a hoax targeted at undermining his presidency.

"The Do Nothing Democrats just keep repeating and repeating, over and over again, the same old 'stuff' on the Impeachment Hoax," said Trump. "They ought to go back to work for our great American people!"