Jan 23, 2020

Schiff accuses Trump of trying to "cheat" in 2020 election

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) accused President Trump of trying to "cheat" in the 2020 election by withholding aid to Ukraine in an alleged attempt to pressure the country's president to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

"President Trump solicited foreign interference in our democratic elections, abusing the power of his office to seek help from abroad to improve his re-election prospects at home."
"President Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to a strategic partner at war with Russia to secure foreign help with his re-election. In other words, to cheat."
— Adam Schiff in the Senate on Wednesday, per the New York Times

Background: Trump confirmed that he withheld military aid to Ukraine in September, but claimed that he did so to force other European nations to contribute.

  • House Democrats have accused Trump of freezing nearly $400 million of congressionally approved military aid in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Biden family's ties to Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company in which Hunter Biden previously served on the board.

What else Schiff is saying: "The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won."

The other side: "Democrats have based their whole impeachment sham on the word and judgment of Rep. Adam Schiff," the White House said in an email Wednesday night.

Go deeper ... Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

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Trump impeachment trial recap, day 2: Democrats kick off their case

Democratic House impeachment managers walk to the Senate floor. Photo: Getty Images

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump on Wednesday saw a full dose of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What happened: Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) walked through an extensive timeline of the actions by both Trump and other administration officials toward Ukraine. Many of the key facts were pulled from the House's public impeachment hearings, which Schiff admitted may not have been watched in full by many Americans — including the senators themselves.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020

Ukrainian president says he's "ready for next call" with Trump

Trump and Zelensky on Sept. 25. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN on Saturday that he's "ready for [the] next call with Mr. Trump" if working with the U.S. and the president will help his country.

Why it matters: The July 25 call between Zelensky and Trump led House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry, after a whistleblower complaint from the intelligence community alleged that Trump "sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President's 2020 reelection bid."

Lamar Alexander says House proved Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he believes President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to "encourage" its government to investigate the Bidens, but that he will vote to acquit Trump on Wednesday because he believes the consequences of the president's actions should be decided in the next election.