Trump impeachment trial: Final arguments

Hundreds of people gather in front of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump. Credit: Phil Roeder.

Today, both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team gave their closing arguments as the impeachment trial ends.

Congressman Adam Schiff asked the Senate to convict President Donald Trump of abuse of office and obstruction of Congress: “What are the odds -- if left in office -- that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you. 100%. Not 5, not 10 or even 50. But 100%. If you have found him guilty, and you do not remove him from office, he will continue trying to cheat in the election until he succeeds.” 

Trump’s team reiterated their claims that he did nothing wrong, and that Senators should leave the issue to voters.

White House counsel Pat Cippalone said, “It does not even allege a violation of law. It is passed in an election year. And we’re sitting here on the day that election season begins in Iowa. It is wrong. There is only one answer to that. And the answer is to reject those articles of impeachment, to have confidence in the American people.” 

Trump is all but guaranteed to be acquitted when Senators vote Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, in a court filing late Friday, the Trump administration acknowledged it has two dozen emails that reveal his thinking on why he withheld aid from Ukraine. This came hours after Senate lawmakers voted against subpoenaing new witnesses and documents. 

We also discuss another major story that happened during the first few days of the impeachment trial. About a week ago, the Trump administration threatened to withhold federal money from California if it didn’t drop a requirement that private health insurance plans cover abortion. 

Credits

Guest:
Jessica Levinson - Professor, LMU's Loyola Law School in Los Angeles - @LevinsonJessica

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin