Trump impeachment prosecutor: Philippine EJK victims, kin look to U.S. for rule of law
MANILA, Philippines – US Democratic congressman Adam Schiff, the lead House manager for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, said countries like the Philippines look to the United States for the rule of law, as he implored Republican senators to give the US a “fair trial.”
“From the Philippines, those who were the victims and their families of mass extrajudicial killings, they look to us. From all over the world, they look to us,” the lawmaker from California said at Trump's impeachment trial, referencing the bloody war on drugs in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.
The government claims the drug war has killed about 5,500 people, but rights group peg the number at about 27,000. (READ: The Impunity Series)
Schiff said this as Democratic prosecutors Friday, January 24, wrapped up 3 days of oral arguments seeking Trump’s removal from office.
Trump had been impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives for abuse of power. Democrats like Schiff claimed that Trump’s 3 years in office, as well as his possible exoneration by a Republican-controlled Senate, betray an erosion of rule of law in the US, which many countries like the Philippines have looked to for justice.
“The founders gave us more than words. They gave us inspiration. They may have receded into mythology and they inspire us still. And more than us they inspire the rest of the world,” Schiff said.
"From their prison cells in Turkey, journalists look to us. From their internment camps in China, they look to us. From their cells in Egypt, those who gathered in Tahrir square for a better life look to us," the Democratic congressman added.
He said that people around the world suffering injustice have no one else to turn to other than the US because it has "rule of law."
“From all over the world, they look to us. And increasingly they don’t recognize what they see. It is a terrible tragedy for them, it is a worse tragedy for us. Because there’s nowhere else for them to turn," he said.
“They’re not going turn to Russia. They’re not going turn to China. They’re not going turn to Europe with all of its problems. They look to us because we are still the indispensable nation. They look to us because we have a rule of law. They look to us because no one is above that law,” Schiff added.
Closing his speech, Schiff said: “I ask you, I implore you, give America a fair trial. She’s worth it.”
Trump's clearance is virtually assured in a Republican-controlled Senate. The party holds 53 seats. It would take 67 votes, a two-third supermajority, to convict and remove Trump. Still, Democrats are hoping to woo some Republican senators to their side, even as analysts see a vote of exoneration by late next week. – Rappler.com