Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 1400 GMT (2200 HKT) January 23, 2020
Washington (CNN) Can’t get a new witness? Call Donald J. Trump.
Republicans might be blocking new testimony in the Senate trial but Democratic impeachment managers keep returning to the person who makes their case better than anyone: the President himself.
Trump, of course, is not literally in the Senate chamber — though he said Wednesday he’d “love” to be in the front row to stare at his “corrupt” accusers.
But for Democrats, there’s no better evidence with which to paint a picture of what they say is a self-dealing, obstructive leader with a kingly view of his own powers than the highlight reel already compiled by the most television-obsessed president in history.
“I have, in Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President,” Trump says in one clip aired on Tuesday by lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California.
The Trump tapes not only break up hours of dense legal arguments. They also put the President at the center of the action, portraying him as the ringleader of the scheme to pressure Ukraine for political favors, and not an outsider player.
They also confront the Republican senators, serving as jurors, with the direct evidence of what Democrats say is outlandish, impeachable behavior in a way that may not change their minds but is deeply uncomfortable.