Breaking down day 2 of impeachment arguments

ABC News contributor and Cardozo Law School professor Kate Shaw unpacks the case made by Democrats on the second day of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
6:39 | 02/11/21

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Transcript for Breaking down day 2 of impeachment arguments
ABC news contributor and Cardozo law professor Kate sharp thanks for joining us again Kate how impeachment managers do today and would you say that they presented a strong case for impeachment. It was a strong case I thought Lindsay I mean so I congressman raskin when he opened yesterday. Said you're not gonna hear a lot of citations to the Federalist papers. Not so it hasn't been this dry constitutional law lecturer. I think they had stayed very focused on narrative but I couldn't help. As a constitutional law professor myself thinking about that leniency Federalist 65 because Alexander Hamilton state famous Federalist paper about. Impeachment and he describes impeachment as it's involving some betrayal of the public trust misconduct of public men. And it did seem as though what we were hearing about today was sort of he textbook case of violation of public trust essentially to have used the powers of the presidency. To seek to deny the legitimacy of an election. That you have lost and to seek to use the power of the presidency in the bully pulpit the president's speech platform. Essentially to cling to power again does feel like sort of at the heart of what the impeachment process. Is designed for without a lot of lectures about the founding of the constitution or the Federalist papers it was really focused on. This incredibly dramatic and narrative of both. The lead up to January 6 January 6 inside the capitol. I'm and then sort of what the president did or didn't do I during the many hours. The siege at the capitol. And we solve course of newly released security footage today T these images move the needle and all and if this were to be a criminal trial instead of a political process. Do you think that that would make a big difference. You know how they note that this is that in terms of the president's conduct here in in many ways. It's what the president did up to January 6 on January thinks it's much more about with the president didn't you. And the law when we're talking about you know up a judicial process right C a criminal process the law punishes acts right conduct. Much more than in action or omissions so I do think it might be difficult to make out scene a criminal case. I'm that the president was derelict in his duty to intervene to seek to stop. I the attack on the capital. But I really has you know I hasten to say this is not a criminal process the senate isn't bound by any of the limitations that the criminal law imposes. I'm and the president has all kinds of duties at an ordinary citizen just doesn't count including first and foremost to preserve protect and defend the constitution. So imagine you know a foreign adversary invaded the United States. And the president refused to authorize a military response to protect the nation. That wouldn't violate any criminal law but I don't think anybody would argue that it was you know somehow outside of the reach of the impeachment power so you know inaction of this sort. I think is clearly subject to impeachment it is a question of whether you know enough senators are convinced that they have the power to actually take this voted all. And that take action and inaction. Satisfied a constitutional standard. It feels like they're kind of two issues a plate as you're talking about what president trump did leading up to that moment. But also congressman David Sicily and in others are you that trump didn't do than enough to stop or condemn the rides while they were happening what legal responsibility if any did trump had to call it off. Yes so again you know I think that that he clearly had a duty to act to protect. The lives they know the very lives of the members of this co equal branch of government right that congress and also. That capitol police and the other stuff members who were you know literally in mortal danger during this period so. But again you know so it's a duty or obligation that I think he clearly kind of and it seems as though he felt meeting could pretty clearly from the presentation today. Fell short of satisfying. So in the conduct of impeachment I think that that's an extremely relevant argument even if it would be a typical case to make. Potentially in court it was also in terms of the in action I thought that funds in terms of an congressman congressman Castro's presentation. You know he talked about. What you know that lack of evidence that president former president trumpet anything to authorize the National Guard right to actually provide additional assistance to the capital. He was one of these places where I sort of wondered about what seems to be the decision not to call witnesses at least so far. Because there was a lot of reliance on newspaper reporting. Suggesting that the president president trump was delighted by what was happening in the capital. And of course the statement by acting secretary of defense that the that he had authorized the National Guard. In consultation with vice president pens speaker Pelosi other congressional leadership conspicuously no mention of president trump. But it just felt like we didn't have maybe the full story of what happened with either the withholding in the eventual provision of the National Guard and additional assistance so. They're just it castor I think even said there are things we don't know about January 6. So I think you know this process was a quick one. And you have to wonder whether he would be better if they were able to gather more evidence. Potentially speak to witnesses to really give a full picture of what happened on January 6. And we have heard more from the impeachment managers just in case showing Caster a listening with. President trumps attorneys what do you think they're they're best defense would be. You know I mean I guess if I were them I would seek to make the argument is that the president simply did not realize how grave the danger that capital lies that until today members of congress didn't even really understand what was happening. We all got snippets of this on the date you know members of congress and trying to capital those of us watching this. Unfold on television. You know only saw apart and I guess that that was true the president to an hat he realized the magnitude of the danger he might have taken different staffs. I would probably emphasize those places where the president did seem to call for peace or for home. Although forced the managers I think appropriately respond that those were dwarfed by the president's continued insistence. On you know making these fraud claims on criticizing vice president pence amid a one other thing I think I might do if I were represented former president trump. Is right now to try to get some sort of clear statement. Of an unequivocal condemnation of what it happened at a disavow all of the claims of fraud he hasn't really done all that it even now. Would it really make a difference I'm not sure but I think it might serve some you know it might be valuable. Broke from the perspective of our politics and the public and so you know if I were his lawyer I think in my column and say. Even put out a statement I think it would help. I don't really see that happening but. I think it's probably be advice I would care. Kate show us thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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