Senate Republicans Seem Unmoved By House's Argument

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Senate Republicans Seem Unmoved By House's Argument
House managers spent their second day of opening arguments focusing on alleged abuse of power by President Trump.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Day three of the impeachment trial kicked off with a slew of tweets from the president himself, fresh off his overseas trip to Davos, taunting Democrats and calling for the original whistleblower to testify.

"I see nothing that has changed in the last now day and a half of their two and a half days that we've been going here," Jay Sekulow, outside counsel for President Trump, said. 

House managers, all Democrats, focused their second day of arguments on abuse of power.

"It is an unprecedented betrayal of the national interest. It is a shocking corruption of the election process. And it is, without doubt, a crime against the Constitution, warranting, demanding, removal from office," Rep. Jerry Nadler said. 

Republicans say they're hearing nothing new.

"It's just repeating. I'll be interested to see how the president's attorneys respond to this," Sen. Ron Johnson said. 

Senate Republicans are already looking forward to hearing from President Trump's team.

"The managers have made a good case to be able to walk through all the issues. There's an old proverb that says the first one always seems right until they're cross-examined, and so I'm waiting to be able to hear the White House response in the coming days, and they'll have their opportunity to tell their side of the story," Sen. James Lankford said. 

"It has been only one day, but House managers are setting the bar very high for the president's counsel to meet. At this point I'm not sure how the president's counsel, as unprepared, confused and tending towards conspiracy theories as they have been, can clear it," Sen. Chuck Schumer said. 

The larger question still looming: whether new witnesses will be allowed.

"I'm not going to grant witness requests by the defense. They could have called all these people if they had wanted them in the House. ... I am not going to use my vote to extend the trial," Sen. Lindsey Graham said.

"If my Republican colleagues are interested in some new evidence, on top of the very substantial House record, there is a very simple answer: Vote with Democrats to call relevant witnesses and documents," Schumer said. 

House managers will continue their arguments Friday. President Trump's legal team is expected to begin its presentation Saturday.