The key takeaways from day three of the impeachment trial

The House manager Jerry Nadler played archival clips of Senator Lindsey Graham and Alan Dershowitz, a member of Trump's legal team, arguing during the impeachment of Bill Clinton that an impeachable "abuse of power" need not be based on an underlying criminal offense.

Pressing their case for a second day, Democrats said there was no evidence that former Vice-President Joe Biden did anything improper in dealings with Ukraine. They have eight hours left of their allotted 24 hours.

"You know you can't trust this president to do what's right for this country", said Schiff.

"When the president's counsel now gets up and makes those arguments, every Republican senator and the American people would've heard already why they're utter nonsense", Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told a news conference Friday before the trial resumed.

And that's probably because Democrats presented a plan in which Trump's lawyers wouldn't have begun their defense on a Saturday, but Republicans ignored the effort. The managers could take one more eight-hour day to put the finishing touches on their case, or they could move quickly to a concise conclusion.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) returns to the Senate Chamber after a break as the impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump continues in Washington, Jan. 23, 2020.

Bolton is among several witnesses Trump prevented from testifying during the House impeachment inquiry, including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and other White House officials.

Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, who is running for president, is key to the article of impeachment for abuse of power, and Democrats clearly sought to inoculate Biden - and undermine the president's defense - before Trump's lawyers get to make their case.

"Hear he!" But most appear to be expecting the inevitable conclusion that the Republican majority will acquit the president and the US politicians - and the political junkies gripped by this sometimes stupefying spectacle - can start worrying about Trump's re-election campaign.

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Democrats have countered by calling the trial "rigged", accusing Republicans of playing parliament in a bid to keep the public from seeing what Democrats said was evidence of Trump's wrongdoing.

"Trump put himself first", ahead of US policy and the national interest, said Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and lead Democratic prosecutor.

Trump eventually released the military aid to Ukraine and Zelenskiy never opened an investigation into the Bidens - proof, Republicans say, that Trump did not engage in a quid pro quo with Ukraine - the Biden probes in exchange for the defense assistance. Elaborating on this to a New York Times reporter, Plouffe said, "This could still be a relatively close race, but it's more likely to be a blowout than a Trump win". "You're going to hear more about that".

Even a few of Trump's fellow Republicans have said Schiff has made an effective case.

But Alexander's openness to bipartisan compromise and willingness to challenge Trump has made him distinctive in a deeply partisan era. Republicans voted nine times this week to block Democratic amendments for new witnesses and documents.

Following arguments from both sides, senators will be able to ask written questions.

Both Democrats and Republicans would have to agree to any adjustments to the schedule.

The impeachment managers walked the senators through testimony gathered during depositions and committee hearings a year ago, from government officials, that they say points to a scheme by Mr Trump and his advisers to lean on Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Then they will again tussle over whether to introduce new witnesses. About 7 in 10 respondents said so, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, according to the poll.

  • Darren Santiago