Rep. Adam B. Schiff warned Senate Republicans about turning America into Russia where people get “trial by telephone,” implying Senate Republicans are being dictated by President Trump.
In the House Democrats’ closing argument at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, Mr. Schiff said that in Russia they have a constitution but it doesn’t mean anything. He suggested the Senate impeachment trial threatens to reduce the U.S. to Russia’s level.
“Give America a fair trial. She’s worth it,” said Mr. Schiff, a California Democrat serving as the lead impeachment manager prosecuting the case against Mr. Trump.
Russia has loomed large throughout the Democrats’ case, which was argued for 24 hours over three days before the Senate. The House impeachment managers repeatedly referred to discredited allegations that Mr. Trump colluded with Russia to get elected in 2016 and accused him of doing Russia’s bidding in his alleged scheme to force Ukraine to again help him “cheat” to get elected.
Mr. Schiff made a final plea to swing-state GOP senators to answer Democrats’ demands for more witness testimony during the trial, saying polls show the public wants to have more evidence.
“They will not forgive being deprived of the truth and certainly because it took a backseat to expediency,” he told the senators.
The president’s legal team will begin presenting their defense Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Mr. Trump is on trial for two articles of impeachment, abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate political rival former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and obstruction of Congress for not cooperating with the House impeachment inquiry.
The president denies wrongdoing and so far has been defended by Senate Republicans, who are poised to acquit him of the impeachment House Democrats passed in a party-line vote Dec. 18.