Impeachment prosecutors make abuse of power case, attack conspiracy theories
The Democratic impeachment managers continued to make the case against Donald Trump in the Senate on Thursday, focusing on abuse of power and accusing the administration and Fox News of pushing “completely bogus, Kremlin-pushed” conspiracy theories as a pretext to cheat the 2020 election by leaning on Ukraine for a political favour.
Sylvia Garcia shot down the “groundless” corruption allegations against Joe Biden concerning his tenure as vice president – the basis on which Trump asked Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky for a quid pro quo in his notorious 25 July call: a graft investigation in exchange for the release of $391m (£302m) in congressionally-approved military aid to battle Russian aggression.
“There was no basis for the investigation the president was pursuing and pushing. None. He was doing it only for his own political benefit,” said the former judge from Texas.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff pointed to a “convergence of interest” between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump: “The Russians not only got him to deflect blame from their interference in our democracy, but they got him to withhold military aid.”
Schiff also got a laugh by claiming Trump had “made a religious man” out of Putin:
His Judiciary Committee counterpart Jerrold Nadler meanwhile commented: “No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections…The president’s conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous.”
The prosecution team again made brilliant use of video clips – particularly from Fox pundits like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson to shoot down the pro-Trump network’s disingeuous efforts to gaslight its viewers.
They also embarrassed Trump loyalist and senator for South Carolina Lindsey Graham by running a vintage excerpt of him speaking during the Bill Clinton that completely contradicts his current stance on proceedings now his own man in the dock.
They also saved their biggest hits for primetime, when American viewers were most likely to be engaged in the latest marathon session:
Here’s John T Bennett’s report.