President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial continues on Wednesday as Senators will get to ask written questions.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates. All times eastern.
2:10 PM: Cruz asks if, as a matter of law, it matters if there was a quid pro quo and whether it is common in foreign policy.
Dershowitz says the only thing that would make a quid pro quo unlawful is if the “quo” was something that was illegal.
2:07 PM: Leahy asks House managers to respond to Trump’s claim that he has treated Ukraine more favorably than his predecessors.
Demings, stumbling a bit, is having trouble responding to a question from a Democrat that there was no harm, no foul. She ultimately says Trump undercut Ukraine’s ability to negotiate with Russia and “there was harm and there was foul.”
2:02 PM: Next question (from Kennedy) to both parties is why did the House managers not challenge Trump’s executive privilege/immunity arguments.
Jeffries claims Trump didn’t raise the executive privilege argument and instead made a “blanket defiance” argument. Philbin says it is “incorrect” that there was no case law from the White House. He cites his presentation in which he put up slides of all of the letters from the White House counsel/OMB/State Department re: invalid subpoenas. Philbin says Schiff never corrected/challenged in court.
1:55 PM: Shaheen asks if a president doesn’t commit a crime, can a president be impeached for abuses of power like ordering an opponent’s taxes to be audit.
Garcia says the short answer is a president can be impeached without statutory crimes. She cites Nixon/Clinton impeachment proceedings. She say a majority of impeachments in the House have included charges that were not statutory crimes. Seems like she had a pre-written response to the question.
1:50 PM: Next question is from Lee, who asks the president’s counsel if it is the president’s place to conduct foreign policy.
Philbin says it is definitely the president’s place to set foreign policy and the Constitution vests the entire authority in the president. He says the president is elected by the people every four years and that’s what gives the president “democratic legitimacy” to have broad executive powers. He says if staffers disagree with him, that does not mean the president is doing something wrong. Philbin says this is important because the House managers are trying to impeach Trump on “some subjective motive” and are trying to prove their case by comparing what Trump wanted to do with what the career bureaucrats wanted. Philbin hammering that House managers are trying to get Trump removed based on “policy differences.”
1:45 PM: Feinstein asks the House managers if it is true, as Trump’s lawyers have stated, that there is no evidence that Trump linked security assistance to any investigation.
Crow says there is overwhelming evidence Trump withheld military aid for personal benefit. Crow says Messrs. Sondland, Pence, Pompeo also were aware of the “conditionality of the aid.”
1:40 PM: Blackburn, Cramer, Lee, Loeffler, McSally ask the president’s counsel if the standard for impeachment in the House is a lower threshold to meet than the standard for conviction in the Senate and whether the House managers have met the evidentiary standard for removal.
Philbin says an impeachment is simply an accusation so the House does not have to adhere to the same standard the Senate must have. He says it is definitely a lower standard than the standard that must be met at a trial. He says there doesn’t need to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt for the House to vote on impeachment. Philbin says in the Senate, the House managers must show proof beyond a reasonable doubt and “they have failed.”
1:35 PM: In response to a question about whether House Managers asked Bolton to testify, Schiff says: “Of course the answer is yes.” Schiff says Bolton refused. Schiff says
1:29 PM: Next up is Thune with a question for the president’s counsel. He wants them to respond to the arguments and assertions the House managers just made in response to the previous question.
Philbin says Schiff suggested that there is no evidence that Trump was interested in burden-sharing because he didn’t raise it in the phone call with Sondland that was overheard. Philbin says the transcript and emails show Trump was concerned about burden-sharing. He notes Trump told Zelensky that Merkel’s Germany was not doing as much as the United States and Zelensky agreed with him on the call.
1:22 PM: Schumer asks the House managers about Bolton’s forthcoming book. He asks if there is any way for the Senate to render a verdict without seeing the relevant documentary evidence and without hearing from Bolton/Mulvaney.
Schiff says “the short answer is no” and there is no way to have a fair trial without witnesses. Schiff says if there is any question about Trump’s motivations, it is necessary to call Bolton.
Schiff just exposed how much his case has unraveled:
His team claimed just before the trial started that their case was overwhelming, uncontested, indisputable & proof beyond a doubt.
Now Schiff just said he can’t prove his case w/o obtaining new evidence he doesn’t yet have.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) January 29, 2020
1:13 PM: Roberts gavels in the Senate. Collins is first up and sends a question to the desk on behalf of herself and Sens. Murkowski and Romney. She asks if Trump had more than one motive for his conduct, how should the Senate consider more than one motive in its assessment of article I. He says the “Biden situation” is at least worth raising a question about and that means “their case fails.”
Philbin says the standard must be “no possible public interest at all.” He says if there is something that shows a possible public interest motive, “that destroys their case.” He says once you are into “mixed-motive land, their case fails.”
1:10 PM: For some reason, Trump thought it was a good idea to hire someone whose foreign policy views were antithetical to everything Trump campaigned on in his 2016 America-first campaign.
This is intriguing because Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry the day after this call https://t.co/sNveQ8QPpT
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 29, 2020
12:50 PM: Senators will have 16 hours over the next two days to ask questions. There will then be four hours of debate on potential witnesses and documents.
There is much talk that certain Democrats are going to be voting with Republicans on the Impeachment Hoax, so that the Senate can get back to the business of taking care of the American people. Sorry, but Cryin’ Chuck Schumer will never let that happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020