Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Wednesday that Americans must work to protect their democracy and freedom, and the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is part of that effort.
“There’s no guarantee that next year people will live in more freedom than today, and the prospect for our children is even more in doubt,” Schiff, the lead House manager in the trial, said during his opening arguments on the Senate floor.
He said freedom is not an “immutable law of nature” and instead “every generation has to fight for it.”
“We’re fighting for it right now,” Schiff added.
The seven House managers, Democrats who are acting as prosecutors in the trial, began their arguments on Wednesday and will continue to present their case over three days. Trump’s lawyers will then present their defense.
The House of Representatives impeached the president in December on two articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Democrats argue Trump abused his official powers when he withheld U.S. military aid for Ukraine, allegedly in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. They further claim Trump improperly blocked Congress from investigating his conduct.
During the trial phase, U.S. senators will determine whether Trump is convicted of those charges and removed from office, or acquitted.
Trump is the third president to be impeached. No president has been removed from office.
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- Read the White House’s arguments in Trump impeachment trial
- Read House managers’ arguments in Trump impeachment trial
- WATCH: House votes to impeach Trump after hours of debate
- Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president, annotated
- ‘Here’s the Deal’ with impeachment. Subscribe to our newsletter