“I ask you — I implore you,” Mr. Schiff said. “Give America a fair trial. She’s worth it.”
But at one point, Mr. Schiff’s fiery final oration appeared to alienate the very Republicans he was trying to win over. When he referred to an anonymously sourced news report that Republican senators had been warned that their heads would be “on a pike” if they voted against Mr. Trump, several of them vigorously shook their heads and broke the trial’s sworn silence to say “not true.”
“I hope it’s not true,” Mr. Schiff responded, pressing his point.
Mr. Schiff and the six other managers prosecuting the president spent much of Friday tying up the facts of the second charge, obstruction of Congress, and arguing that Mr. Trump’s attempts to shut down a congressional inquiry into his actions toward Ukraine was unprecedented and undermined the very ability of the government to correct itself.
“He is a dictator,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. “This must not stand.”
But even as the managers pulled together their complex case, the Republican-controlled Senate appeared unmoved — not just on the question of whether to acquit Mr. Trump, which it is expected to do, but also on the crucial question of compelling witnesses and documents that the president has suppressed.
“We have heard plenty,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 3 Senate Republican.
He said that many in his party had quickly soured on the soaring appeals by House Democrats to repudiate Mr. Trump’s behavior. As day turned to evening on the fourth full day of the trial, many senators unaccustomed to long hours in the Capitol appeared to have simply been numbed by the House managers, and were anticipating the president’s defense, set to begin Saturday.
They were presented with three days of often vivid narrative and painstaking legal arguments that Mr. Trump sought foreign interference in the 2020 election on his own behalf, by using vital military aid and a White House meeting as leverage to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Yet the pool of moderate Republican senators that had expressed openness to joining Democrats in insisting on witnesses or new documents appeared to be dwindling, not growing.