Schiff boils down Ukraine allegations to "three days in July"
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said during opening arguments in the Senate trial Wednesday that "three days in July" — the 24th, 25th and 26th — tell "so much of the story" about President Trump's alleged attempts to solicit foreign election interference.
What he's saying:
- "On the 24th, special counsel Mueller testifies that Russia interfered in our 2016 election to assist the Trump campaign, which knew about the interference, welcomed it, and utilized it."
- "The 25th is the day of the call. President Trump, believing he'd escaped accountability for Russian meddling in the first election and his welcoming of it, asked the Ukrainian president to help him undermine the special counsel's conclusion and help him smear a political opponent: former Vice President Biden."
- "And then the third day in a row in July, President Trump sought to ensure that Ukraine had received his request and understood it, and would take the necessary steps to announce the investigations that he wanted. Three days in July."
Why it matters: Schiff, whose presentation has stretched for hours and has largely recounted evidence already made public in the House impeachment inquiry, argues that Trump's conduct in those three days alone is "grounds for removal" as president.
The big picture: Notably, Schiff has referenced the Mueller investigation on numerous occasions throughout his opening argument, despite the fact that the special counsel's findings are not included in the articles of impeachment.
- Democrats believe that Trump's apparent welcoming of Russian assistance in 2016 demonstrates a pattern of conduct that bolsters their case for impeaching him for abuse of power in his Ukraine dealings.