Impeachment Trial Day 5: “Beginning of The End”

On Saturday, I was astounded to hear the evidence presented by President Trump’s legal team in just the first fifteen minutes of their defense of Mr. Trump. Maybe that is because, for 21 hours, we Americans were inundated by House managers with what they claimed were “facts” and “evidence” of the President’s impeachable offenses. But their facts weren’t factual; their “evidence” was void of any evidence. For the first time in Congressional history, House managers and the Democratic House of Representatives intention is to impeach a sitting U.S. President with no evidence or proof even close to worthy of use in impeachment.

Saturday’s testimony from beginning to end from President Trump’s legal team is the “Beginning of the End” of what will surely be Volume One of “America’s Greatest Government Subversion,” a biography of an attempted coup that was attempted by leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The introduction of the President’s legal team’s case was epic. Attorney Pat Cipollone in opening played the video of Rep. Adam Schiff’s opening comments from the day of the first public House impeachment hearing:

It was a fake version of the President’s phone call with President Zelensky! Schiff did not preface or qualify his “version” of the letter by telling all those looking and listening in that his version was facetious or some droll attempt to engage people — Americans — watching and listening to the hearing. What he did (and most think he did so purposely) was horrify millions of Americans with a version of a phone call by this president with the president of Ukraine that, if true, would certainly move many innocents watching and listening to support the removal of such a scoundral from office.

That was the first act in the trial on Saturday. For House Democrats and other Democrats around the country who hunger for the removal of President Trump from office, it was the “Beginning of the End.”

Bullet Points

  • At the inception of Saturday’s trial segment, President Trump’s legal team (“Defense Team”) made it clear that House managers cherry-picked numerous pieces of evidence they offered during three days to the Senate. Many of those pieces of “evidence” were video clips were edited snipets of testimony. They purposely left out segments of video testimony that confirmed POTUS’s actions regarding Ukraine were appropriate: NO demand for anything from Ukraine, NO quid pro quo, NO pressure of any kind for anything.
  • The Defense Team gave their counter arguments to the “fake” evidence presented by House managers. Regarding the phone call with Zelensky, the Defense Team dwelled for a bit on the fact that not a single one of the 17 “fact witnesses” the House heard from in the Judiciary Committee hearings could provide a single piece of evidence of any wrongdoing by the President, certainly none of the impeachment actions. A couple gave their “opinions” about the matter but testified theirs was opinion and nothing more.
  • House managers claimed the refusal of the President to provide four White House staff members that were subpoenaed, and also subpoenas for documents that were ignored was the “Obstruction of Congress.” House Managers claimed that Mr. Trump was so brazen that he “did not even claim executive privilege as his purpose for ignoring those subpoenas.” They lied! The Defense Team showed response letters from the White House to the House rejecting the subpoenas on the basis that  the subpoenas were issued illegally! The law states that ANY House subpoena MUST be issued by the FULL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and not just a committee. No such subpoenas were authorized by the full House of Representatives. Why did the President not declare his doing so was due to executive privilege? There was no reason for him to do so. The White House never received valid and legal subpoenas.
  • House managers during their 21 hours excoriated the President for Abuse of Power for not taking the advice of several of his foreign intelligence advisers in dealing with Ukraine. Managers failed to explain why he did not hold his actions specifically to those recommended by these intelligence “experts.”Mr. Trump (and the nation) had just come through the Mueller Investigation, on it spent $40 million tax dollars, the White House supplied thousands of documents through Mueller subpoenas, the testimony of every Trump associate Mueller subpoeaned, only for the Mueller Report to find “no collusion with Russia by anyone in the Trump organization.” Then the FISA Court’s just weeks ago surprised the nation by sending a demand to the FBI and DOJ putting them on notice for their significant lies, misrepresentations, insufficient evidence or proof to justify FISA warrants they did apply for and did receive. FISA courts for each such warrant are presented with mountains of evidence that supposedly support those FISA applications. The FBI was in a real “hurry” and talked the judges into issuing the warrants saying, “You know who we are. We’d never try to fool the FISA court! The Legal Team presented this information in explanation of why the President was hesitant to simply adopt intelligence agency suggestions because he had come to distrust some information he was receiving from them. In hindsight, the President was correct.
  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) after the Saturday trial gave his thoughts about the day’s trial details. When asked if he had heard enough of the Legal Team’s defense response to House managers to feel comfortable to conclude the trial. Sen. Cardin stated he wants to first hear the direct testimony of those 17 witnesses and four White House staff members so that they can be cross-examined to get to the truth. What the Senator failed to address was the fact that in the Schiff Judiciary/Intelligence hearings in which each of those 17 testified, House Democrats had every opportunity for testimony, cross-examination of all witnesses, and collected all the evidence they requested. No member of the President’s legal team was allowed to attend the hearings, so in defense of the President, they could not ask questions of or cross-examine any of those witnesses. The only witnesses the House did not see were those four from the White House. Why did they not take the time for the court process structured purely to address the process of forcing Congressional subpoena rejections? They never tried and easily could have. They decided to throw the Senate under the bus; to try and get the Senate to do their work.
  • Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) both in post-trial interviews on Saturday parroted the calls for witnesses to testify before the Senate. In addition, they both want documents from the White House. In doing so, it is apparent that Democrats want to move forward with witnesses testimony that, if allowed, will undoubtedly draw this trial out for weeks and maybe even months. This solidifies thoughts that House Speaker Pelosi’s goal is to prolong this trial as long as possible so that Democrat presidential candidates can use the Impeachment “Trump” card (pun intended) with which to campaign against President Trump for his November re-election bid. Many feel that would give Democrats their only real chance to beat Mr. Trump in the Fall. After all, Trump Impeachment is the sum total of the Democrat Party’s platform to attract voters later this year.
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), when asked if he thought further witnesses should be called, he replied that he believes they WILL be called but should NOT be. “Witnesses should be called if there is some certainty they have testimony that will impact the trial. But nothing they could say can make a difference at this point,” he stated. Regarding the White House’s refusal to provide witnesses and evidence, Sen. Lee responded that “If the House wanted those witnesses and evidence, they should have followed through legally and that President Trump would certainly have complied with the determinations made by the Court.”
  • Rep. Adam Schiff was not too impressed by the Defense Team’s Saturday presentation. Moments after the Saturday trial session concluded, Schiff tweeted this: “After listening to the President’s lawyers opening arguments, I have three observations: They don’t contest the facts of Trump’s scheme. They’re trying to deflect, distract from, and distort the truth. And they are continuing to cover it up by blocking documents and witnesses.”
  • Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in an interview made the argument that even after Saturday’s Defense Team presentation, he has not seen or heard that “the President has done nothing wrong.” The Senator gave no examples of what wrongdoing to which he is referring. But he as other Senators are holding on to this one thing: “we need to hear witnesses and see evidence so we can know the truth.” None of those have even answered when asked why House Democrats did NOT follow through to get those other witnesses they wanted but instead hurried to the Senate for the trial expecting Senators to do the work of the House.

Summary

Where do we go from here? They’ll be back in the trial on Monday, and the Defense Team will launch Phase 2 of their defense of President Trump.

Saturday’s events did much to assuage the concern of many Americans that this might result in President Trump’s removal from office. But Saturday’s trial session did not and could not put a period at the end of this story.

I see two real possible paths for this trial to take. But, sigh with relief, because with either, I am comfortable that the President will prevail. Those two possible paths we will walk down:

  1. After Monday’s trial presentation, a good case should be made by Senator McConnell that the evidence and witness testimony given by the House managers falls far short of justification of Impeachment. Further, neither article is based on any of the four Constitutional provisions that must be present for impeachment: Treason, Bribery, High Crimes, and Misdemeanors. For those reasons, a motion could be made for Summary Judgment, which would exonerate the President and dismiss the case.
  2. After the Defense Team finalizes their case, it might result in the call of witnesses and evidence that would undoubtedly prolong the trial. Even if that happens, I feel the Summary Judgment is inevitable when testimony and presentation and debate of any documents are completed.

One final note: in a press conference following the Saturday trial segment, several of the House managers together made comments. Their summary of the day was that the Defense team failed to provide any evidence to exonerate the President while also failing to tell the truth.

The leader of the House managers you know by now is not thought highly of at TruthNewsNetwork. I have attempted to find a neutral spot in this impeachment mess, but I struggle. To that end, as long as Mr. Schiff holds a position of leadership in the House and continues to appear in press conferences or hearings in any speaking situation, we will relate to all comments and statements he issues as “Schiffisms.” (That’s a new word, and we should copyright it!) I’m sure you know to what “Schiffism” refers.

That’s all, folks! Have a great Sunday, and we’ll get together Monday morning.

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