25 January 2020 - 09:54
News ID: 448614
A
Democrats worked carefully at the impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump on Thursday to prove the Republican president abused his power by pressing Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son purely for political gain.

RNA - On the second day of their arguments for Trump’s removal from office, Democratic members of the House of Representatives sought to dismantle Trump’s long-standing allegation that Biden acted improperly toward Ukraine while vice president.

In more than eight hours of argument, House impeachment managers argued that Biden did nothing wrong and was only carrying out official US policy when he pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Victor Shokin, because of corruption concerns.  

Trump and his allies maintain that Biden wanted Shokin fired in order to end an investigation into a natural gas company, Burisma, where his son Hunter served as a director. Democrats said no evidence supported that allegation.

Democrats assert that Trump pushed for the inquiry into Biden because he was worried about facing the former US vice president in November’s presidential election.

Biden is currently tied with US Senator Bernie Sanders in national polls for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“If we allow this gross abuse of power to continue, this president would have free rein – free rein – to abuse his control of US foreign policy for personal interest, and so would any other future president,” US Representative Sylvia Garcia said on the Senate floor.

“And then this president, and all presidents, become above the law.”

Democrats in the House of Representatives launched an impeachment probe against Trump in September after an anonymous intelligence community whistleblower accused the president of pressing Ukraine's president to investigate the Bidens, as well as a debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.

Trump temporarily withheld $391 million in US military aid to Ukraine, which Democrats say was leverage for his demands.

Democrats contend senators should convict Trump on two charges brought by the Democratic-led House - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

But the Senate, which is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, remains unlikely to do so. A two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office.

Trump condemned the proceedings as “unfair & corrupt” in a Twitter post on Thursday.

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