2020 Presidential Campaign & Trump Impeachment – CNN Opinion is curating commentators’ smartest takes on the second day of President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. The views expressed below are their own.

On a strategic level, Adam Schiff’s presentation was masterful: it was eloquent, thoughtful and — most importantly — restrained. While he invoked everyone from Alexander Hamilton to John F. Kennedy, he never slipped into histrionics or hyperbole, which any trial lawyer knows can backfire. Instead, he methodically went through a timeline of the President’s alleged improper conduct.

Given the sheer amount of ground that Schiff covered in two-plus hours, no senator can honestly claim to not know or not have heard about most aspects of the impeachment inquiry. Schiff laid it all out for the Senate and for the public (of which 51% favors impeachment, per a recent CNN poll).
Very smartly, Schiff appealed to senators’ and viewers’ best instincts, saying: “The American people want a fair trial. They want to believe the system of government is still capable of rising to the occasion. They want to believe we can rise above party and do what’s best for the country.” This statement, by the way, is supported by national polling that finds most Americans want witnesses and new testimony allowed into the impeachment inquiry.