Impeachment trial: House managers and Trump team make final arguments to Senate
House managers and White House attorneys will make their final arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump on Monday, two days before the Republican-controlled Senate is all but certain to acquit the president. Each side will have two hours to make their case, beginning at 11 a.m.
The closing arguments come after senators narrowly voted on Friday not to allow new witnesses to appear before the Senate, making this the first presidential impeachment trial in American history not to feature witness testimony.
Only two Republicans, Senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, supported a motion to allow consideration of new witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton. Romney and Collins were joined by every Democrat in the Senate, making the final vote 49 to 51.
House managers, led by Congressman Adam Schiff, say that Mr. Trump should be removed for withholding aid from Ukraine for several months, which they argue was an attempt to get Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. The House impeached Mr. Trump on two articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — in December.
The New York Times reported last week that Bolton described a conversation from May in his forthcoming book where the president explicitly said he was withholding aid in order to get Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter. The White House has denied this conversation took place.
The president’s lawyers will use their closing argument to focus on larger constitutional concerns about impeachment and congressional authority, CBS News’ Paula Reid reports, and are confident that the president will be acquitted. The president has continued to rail against the impeachment proceedings and Schiff, repeatedly referring to the trial as a “hoax.”
Chief Justice John Roberts is presiding over the trial. The final vote on whether to convict Mr. Trump is expected to occur on Wednesday, the day after Mr. Trump gives his State of the Union address.
What comes after closing arguments?
After both sides are given two hours to make their final arguments, senators will each have up to 10 minutes to speak and explain their vote, under the new organizing resolution adopted on Friday.
The 10-minute speeches will continue Tuesday and Wednesday, ahead of the vote on whether to convict or acquit Mr. Trump, currently expected at 4 p.m. Wednesday.