Democrats push resistant GOP to join case for ousting Trump

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Democrats planned to plow ahead on Thursday at President Donald Trump's impeachment trial with their arguments for removing him from office, but Republicans showed no signs of softening their resistance to the Democratic case.

U.S. Representative Adam Schiff and other Democratic impeachment managers are pressing their argument that Trump should be convicted of two articles of impeachment passed by the House last month - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden last year, and impeding the inquiry into the matter.

Blocked so far in their drive to persuade the Republican-led Senate to let them call new witnesses, Democrats are using their time instead to outline an extensive narrative, complete with video clips, based on the testimony presented during hearings in the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

The case focuses on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender, and his son on unsubstantiated corruption charges as well as a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election. U.S. military aid to Ukraine was frozen for a period of time.

"We have the evidence to prove President Trump ordered the aid withheld, he did so to force Ukraine to help his re-election campaign," Schiff said during arguments on Wednesday that stretched for eight hours. "We can and will prove President Trump guilty of this conduct and of obstructing the investigation into his conduct."

Trump denies any wrongdoing and his fellow Republicans in the Senate say his behavior does not fit the description of "high crimes and misdemeanors" outlined in the U.S. Constitution as a reason to oust a president.

He is almost certain to be acquitted by the 100-member Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office. But the case could help determine whether Trump wins a second term in November's election.

Democrats have two more days to make their arguments. Trump's defense team, starting on Saturday, will have three days for rebuttal. Trump is relying on a core group of White House lawyers and outside counsel to undermine the Democratic case.

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said it was unclear whether the Trump defense would need all three days.

"We will make a determination on our presentation based on what we are responding to and based on our affirmative case," Sekulow said. "I don't know if it will take 10 hours, 14 hours, 24 hours or six hours."

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Senate Impeachment Trial: Day 2
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Senate Impeachment Trial: Day 2
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., criticizes the Republican tactics during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., criticizes the Republican tactics during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, left, gestures while standing with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, right, while arriving at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks to member of the media before heading back to the Capitol for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump's impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump's "trifecta" of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were "national security" concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate plunges into President Donald Trump's impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump's "trifecta" of offenses. Trump himself claims he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were "national security" concerns to allowing their testimony. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., accompanied by the impeachment managers House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo. speaks to reporters, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
House Democratic impeachment managers, from top left, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., approach the microphones to speak to the media, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate chamber at the Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
House Democratic impeachment managers including Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, walk, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. Senate was poised to hear opening arguments Wednesday in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, with Democratic House managers set to make their case that Trump abused power and should be removed from office. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., left, and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., right, speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The U.S. Senate has begun hearing opening arguments in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial with proceedings now on a fast track. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walks to the Senate chamber for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Sen. John Barrasso R-Wyo., right, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks to reporters during a recess in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., talks to reporters while leaving the Senate chamber during a break the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, , left, walks with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., second from left, as Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, second from right, and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., follow to the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a graphic is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., holds redacted documents as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, a video is displayed as House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., holds redacted documents as he speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
Personal attorney to President Donald Trump Jay Sekulow speaks to reporters during a recess in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana))
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, center, speaks to the media during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, left, and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.,walk to the Senate chamber for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. departs the Capitol, late Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, following arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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The House impeachment managers' presentation appeared to have little impact on the Senate’s deep partisan split.

"I didn’t hear anything new, at all," said Republican Senator John Barrasso, who added: “It still seems to me as if this was an effort by Democrats, in a very partisan way, to bring a case against President Trump because they weren’t happy with the results of the 2016 election and are concerned that they’re going to have real problems in the 2020 election.”

But Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said: “Anyone following this testimony will see that the truth is right there in plain sight. It’s very clear that President Trump used all the agencies of the federal government to pursue his scheme.”

Senator John Kennedy, a Republican close to Trump, was listening to what he called Schiff's "eloquent" presentation.

"Most if not all senators are hearing the prosecution and the case of the defense for the first time," Kennedy said, adding that most senators had not read a transcript of the House proceedings. "Senators, because they've been busy being senators, have not heard the case."

Avidly tracking the Senate trial even during a trip this week to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump told reporters on Wednesday he was the victim of a "takedown attempt." He arrived back in Washington on Wednesday night.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll released on Wednesday found a bipartisan majority of Americans wanting to see new witnesses testify in the impeachment trial.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, Patricia Zengerle, Susan Cornwell, David Morgan and Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)

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