Ted Cruz: Elizabeth Warren Delivered Last 2 Republican Votes Against Witnesses

Ted Cruz: Elizabeth Warren Delivered Last 2 Republican Votes Against Witnesses

Ted Cruz: Elizabeth Warren Delivered Last 2 Republican Votes Against Witnesses

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Friday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had helped tipped the balance against calling new witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump last week.

“Elizabeth Warren helped defeat the impeachment of the President of the United States,” Cruz declared Friday evening on his podcastVerdict with Ted Cruz.

Warren had asked a question on Thursday that sought to put Chief Justice John Roberts on the spot, asking whether his legitimacy would be undermined  if Republicans refused to call witnesses in the trial.

Breitbart News noted the harsh tone of the question at the time, which many observers interpreted as humiliating both the Chief Justice and the Republicans:

135th question, from @ewarren to House: is Chief Justice undermined by this process when GOP rejects witnesses?

[That’ll swing those moderate Republicans!]@RepAdamSchiff: No. Trial without witnesses reflects badly on “us” (Senate) [No witnesses in House LOL]#ImpeachmentTrial

— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) January 31, 2020

The effect, Cruz recalled, was real.

Democrats wanted to force Roberts to make a decision to break a 50-50 tie. Warren’s question seemed designed to prod him in that direction.

“That little stunt she pulled was a campaign stunt,” Cruz said. “That was a fundraising stunt. That was designed to thrill the left-wing activists in the Iowa caucuses. There ain’t nothing else going on but that.

“But I’ll tell you what: That stunt helped deliver the votes of Lisa [Murkowksi] and Lamar [Alexander] because it made clear this is a political game, and if John Roberts doesn’t vote the way Elizabeth Warren wants, she’s gonna call him a political hack, and throw him into politics.

“And it suddenly raised the price of their voting and making it 50-50, because you don’t want to see the Court thrown into that political swamp.”

The final vote was 51-49 against witnesses.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who was Cruz’s guest, noted that it had been close. “Can you say shit-show on a podcast?” he joked.

Another “pivotal” moment, Cruz recalled, happened when Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) suggested that the White House “stipulate” a “quid pro quo,” Cruz and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) decided to work together on a written question to be submitted to the Chief Justice.

They posed a hypothetical that pushed the White House lawyers to argue that even if former National Security Advisor John Bolton would testify that there had been a “quid pro quo,” it would not have been an impeachable offense.

Breitbart News noted the question (it was the 169th, not the 179th question, as indicated below):

179th question, from @LindseyGrahamSC

et al., to WH: Assume Bolton testifies in light favorable to Dems. Isn’t it true there’s no impeachable offense, so his testimony adds nothing?

Philbin: First (corrects Schiff) no quid pro quo. Second, yes, not impeachable#ImpeachmentTrial

— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) January 31, 2020

Graham gave credit to Cruz for making an “eloquent” argument within the Republican caucus that the Senate would be legitimizing an illegitimate House process if it agreed to hear witnesses. Moreover, he said, the Senate would be deciding the future of executive privilege for future presidents if it insisted on hearing Bolton. That, he said, made Senators uncomfortable. “Do we, as Senators, decide executive priviliege?”

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.

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