By contrast, the Republican case against impeachment was …. well, they threw a bunch of stuff against the wall. Their strongest arguments were that Democrats were rushing the process and were willing to impeach a president in a party-line vote after previously speaking against doing so.(1)
Democrats certainly were rushing things. They said they had to act urgently because Trump and his people were still conspiring to encourage foreign involvement in the 2020 election. That argument, always reasonable, became stronger when Rudy Giuliani, representing the president, traveled to Ukraine in the last several days and came back with new smears against former Vice President Joe Biden. The Democrats also pointed out that Trump has continued to claim that his phone conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect,” implying that he would do exactly the same again.
As for the Republicans’ point that the House majority was conducting a partisan impeachment, with no Republicans except for the Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash of Michigan voting “yes” on either of the two articles, they are correct that it is hardly ideal. Yet their position that Trump’s actions were blameless left Democrats with little choice.