Impeachment brief: Conspiracy theories and fidget spinners
breaking AP

Impeachment brief: Conspiracy theories and fidget spinners

{{featured_button_text}}

Democrats argued that President Donald Trump sought a phony investigation of a political rival and pursued a discredited conspiracy theory about Ukraine, while restless senators played with a new toy Thursday during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Highlights of Thursday's session and what's ahead as senators conduct just the third impeachment trial of a president:

'POLITICAL' INVESTIGATION: 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. Rebutting a central Trump claim, Democrats said the president sought a political investigation of Biden by Ukraine to sway the 2020 election in his favor.

Similarly, Democrats said Trump and his allies, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, pushed a bogus, Kremlin-pushed conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

PUTIN GETS RELIGION? Democratic senators laughed as Rep. Adam Schiff joked that Trump had "made a religious man out of Vladimir Putin,'' a reference to a comment by Putin last November: "Thank God,'' he told an economic forum in Moscow, "no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore; now they're accusing Ukraine."

The discredited theory that blames Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 elections is no laughing matter, Schiff said, calling it central to the impeachment charges. Trump is accused of seeking the Ukraine investigation — and a probe of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter — for his own political benefit while holding back congressionally approved military aid as leverage.

FIDGET SPINNERS TO THE RESCUE: As senators sat through endless hours of arguments on impeachment, they found a new outlet to focus their attention: fidget spinners. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., handed out the toys to his colleagues before Thursday's trial proceedings began. A fidget spinner is a small toy designed to be spun between the fingers, relieving stress or boredom.

SPEAKING UP OUTSIDE THE SENATE: While senators are pledged to silence during the trial proceedings — and deprived of their phones and other electronics — they are speaking out during breaks in the action.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a top Trump defender, challenged the Democratic argument about the Bidens' dealings in Ukraine. The White House and some congressional Republicans have raised questions about Hunter Biden's lucrative job on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, and Joe Biden's successful efforts to force the firing of a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor. There's been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.

WHAT'S AHEAD: Democrats are expected to wrap up their arguments Friday, with Trump's legal team set to make its case for up to three days beginning Saturday. Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, deflected rumors that the defense may wrap up in a single day.

"We're going to use a sufficient amount of time to defend our case and point out the inconsistencies of their case. We're not going to run out the clock,'' he said. "I am confident that whether it is (completed) Saturday or Monday or Tuesday that the case will be made defending the president. I have no doubt.''

Read on for deeper coverage of all angles in the ongoing impeachment trial.

0
0
0
0
0

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two GOP governors are offering up their states to host the Republican National Convention — a day after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention out of North Carolina if that state’s Democratic governor doesn't assure him that the August gathering can go forward despite coronavirus fears.

  • Updated

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s plan to celebrate the first space launch of American astronauts from U.S. soil in nearly a decade on Wednesday hit a snag when the mission was postponed at the last minute because of bad weather. But the president said he plans on returning to Florida for Saturday's rescheduled launch.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, the historically prolific tweeter of political barbs and blasts, threatened social media companies with new regulation or even shuttering on Wednesday after Twitter added fact checks to two of his tweets. He turned to his Twitter account — where else? — to tweet his threats.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police fired pepper spray at demonstrators near the White House and the D.C. National Guard was called in as pockets of violence and vandalism erupted during a second straight night of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and President Donald Trump's response to it.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump spent much of Sunday using Twitter as a bullhorn to urge “law and order” and tougher action by police against protesters around the country. Joe Biden quietly visited the site of protests in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, and talked to some of the demonstrators. Earlier, he wrote a post on Medium expressing empathy for those despairing about the killing of George Floyd.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police fired pepper spray at demonstrators near the White House and the D.C. National Guard was called in as pockets of violence and vandalism erupted during a second straight night of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and President Donald Trump's response to it.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News