Democrats continue push for conviction during closing arguments at Trump’s impeachment trial


U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren departs the U.S. Capitol following Trump's Senate impeachment trial in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2020.

With the outcome all but decided, House managers and President Donald Trump's defense lawyers stood before the Senate for what will nearly certainly be the final time at the impeachment trial on Monday, advancing two impassioned yet contradictory visions of the dangers facing American democracy.

The trial's outcome will have a lasting effect "not only for this president but for all future presidents: whether or not the office of the presidency of the United States of America is above the law", Crow added.

The president was impeached in December for abuse of power over pressuring ally Kiev to announce investigations that would have helped him politically, including into Joe Biden, a leading challenger in this year's presidential ballot.

Trump has called the impeachment effort an attempted coup by Democrats. "I believe that the constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday".

"I'm starting my day heading to the Senate floor for the impeachment trial".

The four Democratic senators running for president - Sens.

Trump is only the third USA president to be impeached.

Cipollone said the Senate should "leave the choice of the president to the American people". "That is neither freedom nor is it justice".

The Senate adjourned as a court of impeachment on Monday afternoon and will not reconvene as such until Wednesday at 4pm, when the vote to acquit or convict Trump will be held.

Numerous protests will occur near or outside the offices of Republican senators, who voted against witnesses because they believed more evidence was not needed to reach a conclusion on Trump's innocence.

"Impeachment is an extraordinary remedy - a tool only to be used in rare instances of grave misconduct", Crow said. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) also rejected the White House's line and said the president's actions were "wrong and inappropriate". Pelosi accused Trump of soliciting foreign power to meddle United States policy in a bid to undermine what some believe to be his main political rival in the upcoming presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called it a "grand tragedy".

"History will not be kind to Donald Trump", Schiff said.

Ken Starr, the former independent counsel during President Bill Clinton's impeachment, argued that convicting Trump would be akin to saying: "Your vote in the last election is hereby declared null and void, and by the way, we're not going to allow you, the American people, to sit in judgment on this President and his record in November".

The Senate is to vote at 4:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Wednesday on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and the Republican president is all but certain of being acquitted.

But key Republicans have decided the president's actions toward Ukraine do not rise to the level of impeachable offence that warrant the dramatic political upheaval of conviction and removal from office. "It is said that a single man or woman of courage makes a majority", Schiff said. Several Republicans, meanwhile, claimed over the weekend that the President had been chastened by the impeachment proceedings. He wrote that he believed Democratic claims that Trump used almost $400 million in aid to Ukraine as leverage to force an investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who worked on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.