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Trump tweets 'read the transcripts' from Davos as impeachment trial begins

Trump tweets 'read the transcripts' from Davos as impeachment trial begins

President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE on Tuesday offered an all caps rallying cry as his impeachment trial in the Senate commenced with a debate over rules, urging his Twitter followers to read the transcripts.

The president sent the tweet as he made his way back to his residence for the night in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum. The three-word message marked Trump's first commentary since the trial began Tuesday.

The tweet came as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGroups see new openings for digging up dirt on Trump Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference MORE (D-Calif.) offered a 45-minute statement imploring the Senate to admit additional witnesses and evidence. 

Trump is in Switzerland attending the World Economic Forum and meeting with political and business leaders. He is set to return to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

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The president and his defenders have repeatedly pointed to two rough transcripts of his calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which they assert shows Trump did not engage in impeachable conduct.

One transcript shows the two leaders exchanging pleasantries after Zelensky's election last year. The other, which is part of what triggered the formal impeachment inquiry, shows Trump urging Zelensky to investigate Democrats and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge Harris to travel to Northern Triangle region in June Biden expected to formally recognize Armenian Genocide: report MORE.

The House last month impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, alleging Trump made security aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine contingent on the country announcing the investigations.

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The Senate trial got underway in earnest on Tuesday, with senators expected to spend hours debating the rules that will govern the proceedings.

Schiff, who has been a leading voice on impeachment and emerged as one of Trump's chief foils, delivered a lengthy statement in which he sought to use the president's own words against him.

He played video on the Senate floor of Trump saying he would have no problem with some of his top officials testifying, followed by another clip in which the president said he planned to "fight all the subpoenas."

"If the president wishes to contest the facts … he must not continue to deny the Senate access to the relevant witnesses and documents that shed light on the very factual matters he wishes to challenge," Schiff said.

Trump's legal team has argued the allegations against the president do not reach the threshold for impeachable conduct.