GOP tires as Democrats press Trump impeachment trial case

Republican Senators expressed growing frustration on Thursday with the arguments of U.S. House prosecutors against President Donald Trump, as Democrats accused the President of trying to use the government of Ukraine to help his 2020 re-election campaign by launching investigations linked to former Vice President Joe Biden and a 2016 election conspiracy theory involving Ukraine.

"It's the same story, the same videos," said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), as GOP grumbling grew about the trial. "Apparently we're going to hear it all day again, same things over again."

"It seems like Groundhog Day in the Senate," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). "It is the same thing, day after day after day."

On the Senate floor, Democrats spent a second day diving into great detail about the President's actions regarding Ukraine, accusing him of trying to get a foreign country to meddle in U.S. elections.

The second day wrapped up with an impassioned speech by lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who implored GOP Senators to acknowledge that the President does not have the interests of the nation in mind.

“You know you can't count on him; none of us can,” Schiff said.

“You know you can't trust this President to do what's right for this country,” Schiff added. “You can trust he'll do what's right for Donald Trump.”

In their second day of arguments, Democrats focused entirely on the abuse of power charge against the President, as Schiff led the House impeachment managers in laying out the case.

"It's improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government to investigate a U.S. citizen, and a political opponent," Schiff said, referring to former Vice President Biden.

Schiff also mocked the President for embracing the 'Crowdstrike' conspiracy theory, noting that Mr. Trump asked the leader of Ukraine to see if the email server of the Democratic National Committee - which was hacked by Russian intelligence in 2016 - was now being hidden inside Ukraine.

"This completely bogus, Kremlin-pushed, conspiracy theory," Schiff said.

"So when President Trump asks for a favor," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), "the only priority was President Trump's corrupt demand for phony investigations."

"This is corruption and abuse of power in its purest form," Jeffries added on Thursday night.

In their arguments, Schiff and other managers repeatedly indicated to Senators how the Trump Administration had blocked requests for witnesses and documents, as Democrats still hope to find four Republicans who would vote for witness testimony by Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, and others.

But there was no real evidence that GOP opposition to witness testimony was going to crack, as Senate GOP leaders have warned any effort to subpoena witnesses could create a messy court battle with the White House which could take months to resolve.

"I want to end this thing sooner, rather than later," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said he was not interested in extra witnesses sought by Democrats.

Democrats will finish their arguments on Friday with a focus on the obstruction of Congress charge, as they continue to detail the numerous ways the White House defied supoenas from House impeachment investigators.

The President's legal team has been sitting silent on the Senate floor - they are expected to start their defense of Mr. Trump on Saturday.

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