Leading Democrats in the US House of Representatives made a pitch to Republicans on Sunday for why they should put partisanship aside and vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
Trump is expected to become the third US president to be impeached when the House votes on the charges, this week, probably, preparing a trial at the Republican-controlled Senate. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, speaking on ABC’s”This Week,” cautioned that Trump poses”a clear and present danger” to democracy.
House and schiff Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, speaking on the exact same show, said lawmakers have a constitutional duty to hold Trump to account for trying to recruit Ukraine to launch a corruption investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Their comments come as the US House is poised to vote along party lines on whether to approve two articles of impeachment. The Republican-controlled Senate has shown little appetite for eliminating Trump.
“The misconduct has not stopped,” Schiff said, noting that Trump has still urged Ukraine, in addition to China, to research the Biden household, which Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is still traveling to Ukraine to conduct a”sham” investigation.
“The threat to our election integrity… goes on. It’s a clear and present danger, I think, to our democracy and not something that we can turn away from just because the Republicans in the House refuse to do their duty.”
Both Democrats used their air time to urge the Senate to call witnesses and seek documentary evidence that they said the White House has withheld.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has increased the prospect of conducting a Senate impeachment trial . Nadler on Sunday said such a move would do a disservice to the Senate, whose members will all effectively serve as jurors who will have to weigh the evidence.
“I believe the record is overwhelming, but if they do not think there is sufficient evidence on the record, they ought to demand the testimony of people… such as Secretary of State Pompeo, and Mulvaney, and others – John Bolton- who on the president’s instructions have refused to testify,” Nadler said.
A number of Trump’s staunch defenders in the Senate have already said they believe Trump did nothing wrong, though others have taken a cautious approach.
“I think we ought to hear what the House impeachment managers have to say, provide the President’s attorneys an opportunity to make their defense, and then make a decision about whether and to what extent we go forward from there,” Republican Senator Pat Toomey said on NBC’s”Meet the Press” on Sunday.