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Democrats: Trump is a threat to democracy
DEMOCRATS on Friday closed their opening remarks at the trial of the US president before the Senate, warning that Donald Trump is a threat to democracy and will again abuse power if left in office.
On the third and final day of the prosecutor's opening remarks, Democrats sought to cement allegations of an indictment alleging that the Republican president abused his office by pressuring Kiev to investigate his likely opponent in the next US presidential election, Joe Biden, former U.S. vice president, and then obstructed a congressional investigation into the case testifying and hiding evidence.
Democrats are seeking the recall of the US president.
“If the criteria for deserving recall are met, as we have proven, it doesn't matter if you like him. It doesn't matter if you don't like him,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, who concluded his opening statement at the third such recall proceeding in the U.S. history.
“What matters is whether he poses a threat to the country – because he will do it again. And none of us can be sure, based on what he has known so far, that he will not do it again because he tells us every day that he will,” Schiff said .
Trump dismisses the allegations
Trump has denied the allegations and describes the entire recall process as fraud.
His legal team will start delivering introductions on Saturday and will have a total of 24 hours available over three days, as will prosecutors.
The House of Representatives, where Democrats have a majority, passed two indictments last month, which were then passed to a Senate trial in which Republicans have a majority.
Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, one of the Democrats playing the role of prosecutor at the trial, said Trump “pulled the strings” in the process of persuading Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and that others in the White House were helping him try to hide evidence about his behavior.
“President Trump tried to cheat, was caught and then made an effort to cover it up,” Jeffries said, adding that there was “toxic chaos” in the White House that must be cleared in the interest of the American people.
Scandal over Ukrainian President
Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was a board member of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisme. They claim that Trump has temporarily delayed the payment of $ 391 million in US military assistance to Ukraine as a way to get his wishes fulfilled.
Democrats also believe his refusal to provide documentation and testimony required by binding orders as part of the investigation is a school example of obstruction. They showed footage of his verbal assaults on witnesses and said it was “witness abuse”.
“It shows that President Trump wants to be all-powerful. He does not have to respect Congress. He does not have to respect the representatives of the people. Only his will matters. He is a dictator,” said Democratic MP Jerrold Nadler.
Trump's allies claim his behavior does not constitute an act that deserves to be recalled from office.
Schiff said Trump showed neither remorse nor awareness that he had committed anything wrong. “Do you think that if we do nothing, it will stop now?”
Schiff urged Republican senators to show political courage and agree to hear more witnesses. Republicans earlier this week voted to undermine Democratic demands for four additional witnesses, including Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton.
The Senate is expected to release Trump
Democrats explained in an opening statement this week that Trump only became interested in the issue of corruption in Ukraine when it became clear that Biden could pose a serious political threat.
ABC News reported on Friday that it had heard a April 2018 tone recording Trump saying that then-US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch should be dealt with.
If proven correct, it would reinforce Democrats' arguments that Trump's aides spent nearly a year trying to get rid of her because they viewed her as an obstacle in their efforts to pressure Ukraine.
Trump hit Yovanovitch in May 2019.
The Senate is expected to release the president.
It takes two-thirds of the vote to recall the president, and Republicans have a majority.
So far, no Republican senator has publicly endorsed his recall, and several have deemed the Democratic presentation of the evidence unconvincing at the start of the trial.
Democrats: Trump is a threat to democracy