• Democrats have been sticking closely to the facts of the case against the president
  • After Thursday's presentation, Democrats will have one more day to make their case
  • Republicans appear unmoved by the presentation so far, making it unlikely Trump will be convicted and removed from office

Update: 4:50 p.m. EST

Chief House prosecutor Adam Schiff ticked off 10 reasons why it’s apparent President Trump’s only interest in Ukraine was in how it affected him personally.

“It wasn’t U.S. policy he was conducting”; it was private business he was conducting, Schiff said, adding there was “no good policy reason ,no good substantive reason, no good national reason” for him to ask Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election promoted by Russia.

Schiff noted Attorney General William Barr tried to distance himself from the Ukraine scandal, saying he had no idea why Trump brought up his name in a July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during which Trump sought the investigations.

Schiff said the reason for Barr’s reaction was because he perceived the call as “against U.S. official policy and national security.”

Zelensky ran for president as a reform candidate and wanted to be taken seriously by the U.S., Schiff said, not used as a pawn for U.S. political reasons.

Trump supporters have tried to frame the president’s actions as concern about corruption in Ukraine. Schiff noted, however, Trump never raised corruption issues with Zelensky, just the two investigations he wanted.

Schiff noted White House lawyers tried to bury the July 25 call in a secure server and a readout of the call didn’t mention the investigations. Mentioning them, Schiff said, “would have exposed the president’s corruption.”

“There is no evidence he cared one whit about anticorruption efforts at all. That’s how you know it’s political,” Schiff said, adding that the only corruption in which Trump was interested is the investigations that could benefit him.

“President Trump did not care about corruption. He had a corrupt aim,” Schiff said in summing up his presentation.

“The evidence is unmistakably clear: White acting as chief diplomat, he solicited a foreign government to interfere with one objective to benefit his own election. … He demanded a personal political favor: that Ukraine announce investigations that were only of benefit to himself.”

Update: 3 p.m. EST

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, another of the seven House impeachment managers, criticized President Trump’s effort to equate former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in removing a Ukrainian prosecutor to Trump’s request for an investigation of Biden.

Garcia noted not only the U.S. but numerous allies wanted the prosecutor removed for failing to investigate corrupt companies.

“The allegations against former Vice President Biden are groundless,” Garcia said.

She said the only reason Trump wanted an investigation of Biden is because the former vice president was beating him in the polls.

Garcia also talked about Trump’s embrace of a debunked conspiracy theory that holds Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign despite the conclusions of the Mueller investigation and inquiries in both the House and Senate. By buying into that theory, Trump is promoting Moscow’s effort to undermine U.S. democracy, Garcia said.

She said he promoted that theory “because it would be beneficial and helpful to his own election campaign.”

Update: 2:40 p.m. EST

As House impeachment managers were laying out their case, Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani Thursday promised to start releasing evidence related to a debunked conspiracy theory implicating former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Everything I tried to tell the press last March is now coming out and more,” Giuliani tweeted. “I will now start t reveal the evidence directly to you.”

Giuliani was involved in the effort to get Ukraine to investigate Biden and is one of the witnesses who refused to testify during the House impeachment inquiry.

Giuliani was involved in the effort to get Ukraine to investigate Biden and is one of the witnesses who refused to testify during the House impeachment inquiry.

Update: 2 p.m. EST

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., outlined the constitutional basis for removing President Trump from office Thursday at the start of second day of arguments in Trump's impeachment trial.

Nadler said the Founding Fathers were no strangers to corruption and sought to prevent a chief executive from using the presidency to further his own interests or to guarantee his own reelection.

"Since President George Washington took office in 1789, no president has abused his power in this way," Nadler said.

"Elections matter. ... A president who uses his power ... to compel foreign nations to meddle in our elections" is an abuse of power that "demands removal from office," Nadler said.

The framers knew such a president must be removed from office before the next election, he said.

The position that a statutory crime has to be committed before a president can be impeached has no basis in law or history.

"It is clear 'high crimes and misdemeanors' can encompass noncriminal conduct," Nadler said, adding "high crimes" are crimes against the state, not ordinary criminal offenses.

"The Constitution is not a suicide pact" that would leave the country stuck with a president who has betrayed his oath of office and "done violence to the Constitution," Nadler said.

"He must not remain in power one moment longer."

Original story:

House Democrats entered day two of their opening argument for removing President Trump from office Thursday and were expected to focus on abuse of power, the first of the two articles of impeachment against the president.

The Senate was scheduled to reconvene at 1 p.m. EST. You can watch the proceedings below:

Trump is accused of attempting to leverage $391 million in military aid to Ukraine in exchange for help on digging up political dirt for his reelection campaign. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead prosecutor in the case, argued Wednesday allowing that behavior to go unpunished would amount to giving Trump the go-ahead to cheat his way into a second term in office.

Following Wednesday's public session, senators agreed behind closed doors to admit a one-page classified document from an aide to Vice President Mike Pence concerning a phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a week before the two met at the United Nations.

Strict rules are in force for the Senate trial, but by the end of Wednesday’s lengthy presentation, senators were seen flouting the rules, talking among themselves and leaving the chamber. No disciplinary action was expected.

Democrats have been sticking to the facts of their case while Republicans have been criticizing the process. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., complained on Thursday that all Democrats are doing is repeating themselves.

“I didn’t hear anything new,” he told reporters.

"The same Republicans saying they 'heard nothing new' just voted nine times on Tuesday to hear nothing new," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., countered. "The documents are sitting there all compiled, all ready to go."

After Democrats finish presenting their case Friday and the president’s legal team takes three days to present its rebuttal, lawmakers are to vote on whether to call witnesses and subpoena documents blocked by the administration during the House investigation. Trump also is accused of obstruction of Congress for refusing to allow key administration figures to testify to agencies to turn over documents.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News Thursday its unlikely any witnesses will be called.

“Once the defense team for the president actually presents their case, I think it becomes a house of cards and starts to fall down around our House impeachment managers. ... The dots that they’re connecting actually don’t connect,” Meadows said. He accused Democrats of deliberately misleading the American people.