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Impeachment Trial Continues As Senators Get Another Day To Ask Questions

Senators will continue to have their questions answered by the Democrat House managers and President Donald Trump's legal team as the impeachment trial continues. On Wednesday (January 29), Senators submitted written questions to Chief Justice John Roberts, who read them aloud.

Senator Ted Cruz asked if quid pro quo arrangements are often used in foreign policy, and Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz answered by saying that Trump's alleged actions should not result in impeachment.

"If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment," Dershowitz said. "Every public official, I know, believes that his election is in the public interest."

Three Republican Senators asked how to handle mixed motives in regards to the first article of impeachment.

"If President Trump had more than one motive for his alleged conduct, such as the pursuit of personal political advantage, rooting out corruption and the promotion of national interests, how should the Senate consider more than one motive in its assessment of Article One?"

"Once you're into mixed-motive land, it's clear that their case fails. There can't possibly be an impeachable offense at all," Trump lawyer Patrick Philbin replied.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar asked about calling new witnesses to testify.

"I was on the trial committee for the last impeachment trial in the Senate, which involved Judge Thomas Porteous, who was ultimately removed. During that time, the Senate trial committee heard from 26 witnesses, 17 of whom had not previously testified in the House. What possible reason could there be for allowing 26 witnesses in a judicial impeachment trial and hearing none for a president's trial?"

Lead House manager Adam Schiff replied, saying there is no reason not to call additional witnesses.

"I would say that the need for witnesses in the impeachment trial of a president of the United States is a far more compelling circumstance than the impeachment of a judge."

Elizabeth Warren asked both sides whether it would be considered bribery if Ukrainian President Zelenski offered President Trump dirt on his rivals in exchange for military aid.

"Bribery is contained within the accusation that the House levels of abuse of power. We explained in the Judiciary Committee report the practice of impeachment in the United States has tended to envelop charges of bribery within the broader standard of other high crimes and misdemeanors. That's the historical standard." House manager Jerrold Nadler said.

"This is an effort to smuggle into articles of impeachment that do not mention any crime, the idea that there is some crime alleged here. There is not. And I went through that earlier. The articles of impeachment specify a theory of the charge here that is abuse of power. They do not allege the elements of bribery or extortion. They don't mention bribery or extortion. If the House managers had wanted to bring those charges, they had to put them in the articles of impeachment. Just the way a prosecutor, if he wants to put someone on trial for bribery, he's got to put it in the indictment." Philbin answered.

After the Senators are done asking questions, the Senate will convene and hold a vote on whether or not call additional witnesses or subpoena new documents. If they vote against new witnesses and evidence, the Senate could hold a vote to end the trial and acquit Trump.

Photo: Getty Images

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