The 100 senators listened in silence on Wednesday as Democratic Chief Prosecutor Adam Schiff reviewed the history of the case that led to the impeachment trial.
The impeachment trial of Donald Trump came to a head on Wednesday, January 22, for the first of three days that will be devoted to the indictment of the Democratic prosecutors. Democratic prosecutors will try to prove the legitimacy of the impeachment case that was passed by the House of Representatives on December 18. Trump’s prosecutors have a total of 24 hours in which they will be uninterrupted by senators and the president’s attorneys, who will take over from them beginning Saturday.
The session avoided the skirmishes that had caused Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to reprimand Trump a few hours earlier. Roberts, who is conducting the trial, felt compelled to call both prosecutors and attorneys to order late Monday evening after acrimonious exchanges over the organization of the trial. “I think it is appropriate at this point for me to remind “both sides” that they are addressing the world’s largest deliberative body,” Roberts said.
Warned of the difficult task that awaits him, given the political balance of power in favour of the President of the United States, the leader of the Democratic prosecutors, Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tried to portray with the greatest seriousness the stakes of this impeachment trial before allowing his partners to enter into the intimacy of the Ukrainian case.
One recalls that the latter was triggered by the revelation of a deal submitted by Donald Trump in the summer of 2019 to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. Freshly elected, the latter had been summoned to open investigations against the political opponents of the President of the United States in order to obtain the unblocking of crucial military aid and an invitation to the White House which would have strengthened his stature and strengthened the position of his country.
Democratic values at risk, says Schiff
Adam Schiff began his perspective with a high praise from the Senate. For this, he relied on a famous article by one of the founding fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. The representative from California recalled that he had described the Senate as “a court worthy enough [and] independent enough” to be entrusted with the power of impeachment. It is for you to be the court that Hamilton envisioned,” he said. It is up to you to show the American people that [Alexander Hamilton’s] confidence and that of the other founding fathers was rightly placed in you. »