Democrats accused President Donald Trump at the start of his impeachment trial on Wednesday of a corrupt scheme to pressure Ukraine to help him get re-elected and warned that America’s global prestige will suffer if the U.S. Senate acquits him.
In a two-hour opening argument for the prosecution, House impeachment manager Adam Schiff said Trump had pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son on unsubstantiated corruption charges last year.
The case against Trump is focused on a July 25 telephone call in which he asked Zelenskiy to open a corruption investigation into the Bidens as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.
Democrats have up to three days to make their case. Trump’s defense team will have three days after that for rebuttal in a trial that could potentially conclude next week.
It is the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.
The opening day have been dominated by arguments over Democratic requests for more witnesses and records.