Saturday, 25 January 2020 23:35

The lawyers for US President Donald Trump have told the senators that the Democrats' efforts to remove the president from office would set a "very, very dangerous" precedent in an election year.

It was the first day of their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of Trump.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the head of the defence team, told senators they would be denying voters their right to give their opinion on Trump at the November 3 presidential election if they found him guilty and remove him now.

Democrats argued earlier this week that Trump should be removed for encouraging Ukraine to interfere in the election by pressuring its leader to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

The defence tried to turn that argument of election interference against the Democrats by warning against removing a president less than 10 months before the American people will vote on whether to give him a second term.

"For all their talk about election interference ... they're here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history, and we can't allow that to happen. It would violate our Constitution. It would violate our history. It would violate our obligations to the future," Cipollone said.

Trump is expected to be acquitted in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote is required to convict and remove a president from office. No Republican senator has voiced any support for his removal.

Trump denies any wrongdoing.

 

Source: News Agencies and Aljazeera.