Stitched together, their hours of televised testimony paint a portrait of an American president willing to leverage his powerful office to push a foreign government for personal political help. That alone has many Democrats on the brink of voting to impeach Trump before the end of the year, potentially pushing toward a trial in the Senate.
Yet the witness accounts left one prominent hole that offered a lifeline for Trump and his GOP allies. None of the witnesses could personally attest that Trump directly conditioned the release of the $400 million in military aid on a Ukrainian announcement of investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.
Some Republicans suggested that even if that link could be made, it wouldn’t be enough for them to support impeaching Trump and removing him from office. And without that link, Trump’s wall of support among GOP lawmakers seems formidable.