Rep. Adam Schiff Argues Trump Must Be Removed From Office At Senate Impeachment Trial

Impeachment manager Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York) used comments that Trump defenders made during the Clinton impeachment trial as part of his case for why President Donald Trump should be removed from office based on the first charge, abuse of power.

He argued that a President does not have to commit a crime to be impeached, and then played a video clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) saying the same thing.

The clip showed then-Congressman Graham stating during the Clinton impeachment trial that an impeachable offense “doesn’t even have to be a crime.”

Graham had walked out of the chamber moments before the clip was played.

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In one clip Graham said, “when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you committed a high crime.”

He then played a clip of Alan Dershowitz, a defense lawyer for Trump, saying that a “high crime” does not have to be a “technical crime.” He has recently reversed his position, insisting that evidence of a crime is needed for impeachment.

Nadler then concluded his point by arguing that something may not be against the law, because power can be abused in “unforeseen ways.”

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy,” Nadler said. “No one anticipated that a president would stoop to this misconduct and Congress has passed no specific law to make this behavior a crime. Yet this is precisely the kind of abuse that the framers had in mind when they wrote the impeachment clause.”

The impeachment managers’ presentation went on for over nine hours, past 10 p.m. EST. Friday is the final day for them to present their opening argument, before the defense team responds.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) thanked the restless senators for “their long and considerable attention” during his opening remarks on Thursday.

“Of course, It doesn’t hurt that the morning starts out every day with the sergeant-at-arms warning you that if you don’t, you will be imprisoned,” Schiff said. “It’s our hope that when the trial concludes, and you’ve heard from us and you’ve heard the President’s counsel over a series of long days, that you don’t choose imprisonment instead of anything further.”

Schiff went to argue that Trump must be removed from office because he is certain to place his personal interests ahead of the national interest.

While the presentation on Thursday focused on the abuse of power charge, Friday’s will focus on the second charge — obstruction of Congress.

Katherine Huggins

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