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Democrats call Trump a national security risk before Senate trial

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on January 19, 2020 - Duration: 02:28s

Democrats call Trump a national security risk before Senate trial

Both Republicans and Democratic senators get ready to make their case for or against U.S. president Donald Trump's impeachment in a trial beginning this week.

Freddie Joyner reports.

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Democrats call Trump a national security risk before Senate trial

This week will mark just the third time in history a U.S. president has gone to trial before the Senate.

And like the starting line up in a championship match, both sides have put forward the people they think will mount the best offense and defense.

Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler is one of the so-called impeachment managers, or prosecutors, who will make the case that Donald Trump must be removed from office.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JERROLD NADLER, SAYING: β€œThere is ample evidence, overwhelming evidence, any jury would convict in three minutes flat that the president betrayed his country by breaking the law." On Sunday, Nadler told CBS News that Republicans who control the Senate have two options: a fair trial, or a coverup.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JERROLD NADLER, SAYING: β€œThis whole controversy about whether there should be witnesses is really a question of does the Senate want to have a fair trial, or are they apart of the coverup of the president.

Any Repubican senator who says there should be no witnesses or even that witnesses should be negotiated is a part of the cover up.” The House of Representatives last month voted on two articles of impeachment: one accusing Trump of abusing his office by trying to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his political opponents, and a second claiming the White House obstructed Congress's inquiry.

Democrats laid out their case in a 111-page argument that Trump posed a risk to national security.

The White House filed its response over the weekend, saying, quote: "This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election -- now just months away," Democrats insist the Senate hear from witnesses who refused to testify in House impeachment hearings.

Those include former national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump has called the impeachment process a sham, and argued that since Ukraine never launched any investigations, there was no wrong-doing.

Many Republicans seem to agree, such as Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) TEXAS SENATOR JOHN CORNYN, SAYING: "He's been charged with abuse of power, which is not treason, which is not bribery, which is not a high crime or misdemeanor, so this is the first time in history where a president has been impeached for a non-crime, for events that never occurred." The trial in the Republican-led Senate is unlikely to lead to Trump's ouster, as no Republican senators have voiced support for doing so and a two-thirds majority vote is required to convict.

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