White House Counsel Pat Cipollone concluded opening arguments in the president’s defense in the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday afternoon by playing video clips of Democrats arguing against President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.
Some of those Democrats — such as Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) — are among the House managers urging the Senate to remove Trump from office. Others — such as then-Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) — are now in the Senate themselves.
Cipollone focused on excerpts from congressional speeches in which Democrats denounced the idea of a partisan impeachment, likening it to a “coup d’état,” and warning that it would lead them to impeach a Republican president when they were in office.
The White House counsel concluded: “You were right.” The Senators laughed. He then continued: “[B]ut I’m sorry to say you were also prophetic.”
“I have every confidence in your wisdom, you will do the only thing you can do, what you must do, what the Constitution compels you to do: Reject these articles of impeachment.”
The White House then ended its opening arguments — having only used half of its allotted time, with 12 hours to spare.
The next two days will involve eight hours of written questions submitted by Senators to the Chief Justice, with oral answers by lawyers for both sides, restricted to five minutes each.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Author: Joel B. Pollak