Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and John Barasso (R-WY) told reporters outside the Senate chamber Wednesday evening that the House Democrats had failed to present evidence that would prove their impeachment case against President Donald Trump.
Scott noted that Democrats were free to pursue new evidence in the House, but that the Senate expected them to present what Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and others had said would be an “overwhelming” case.
They had, he said, failed to do so — and were instead simply pursuing the political goal of making vulnerable Republicans in the Senate take votes that could be used against them in the 2020 elections.
From C-SPAN 2:
Barasso: I didn’t hear anything new, at all. We were here all day yesterday for about 13 hours. No new material presented. It still seems to me as this was an effort by the Democrats, in a very partisan way, to bring a case against President Trump because they weren’t happy with the results of the 2016 election, and are concerned that they are going to have real problems in the 2020 election when they look at the candidates running for president against President Rrump. Nancy Pelosi said they’ve been at it for two-and-a-half years, and the reality is that these phone calls didn’t happen until this past July. I’m here with Senator Scott, and we’ve been talking about the fact that this is not just about the impeachment of the president. This is a focus on an attempt by the Democrats to take the Senate, which is what Senator Schumer essentially admitted in an interview with the New York Times.
Scott: Yeah, there’s no question that when you think about this entire process, just yesterday they were going to present, today, overwhelming evidence. What we have seen is just a rehashing of yesterday’s charade. Therefore, the conclusion is a very simple one: that the goal of this entire process is not to remove the president from office. It is simply to remove certain Republican Senators — Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa, Maine, and Arizona — from office. And this is absolutely an opportunity for them to try to overtake the Senate.
Manu Raju (CNN): Senator, if you’re concerned about not hearing anything new, why agree to a subpoena for John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney, who could provide new information.
Scott: Well, I believe the House still reserves the right to compel testimony. And they did not do it, then. If there are entire conversations around the fact that it would take too long, they could’ve saved us couple of months had they already done so. So I welcome Speaker Pelosi to compel Bolton or anyone else to come into the House and testify, and they suggested that, then they decided to continue the [impeachment] process anyways.
Barasso: If you read the brief that the House managers brought forward, eleven times it says, the information is overwhelming. The facts are overwhelming. Nadler has said we could do this in three minutes. That it’s a rock solid case. Present the case, then let us vote. It doesn’t say — if the vote is on the impeachment of the President of the United States and the evidence is overwhelming, present it, and ask us to vote. We ought to be able to make that decision. Right now we are going to hear from the managers, they’re about five-and-a-half, six hours into a 24-hour presentation. We’ll then hear from the White House in their defense, and then have 16 hours for questions. It does seem to me that at the end of that, most Senators will be pretty well informed on whether they know which way they are going to vote, and aren’t going to need any additional information. Anything else seems to be that some Senators, already knowing how they’re planning to vote, are just looking for additional information — not to inform themselves, but for political purposes.
Raju: Any other documents, for instance — a subpoena to get documents that inform your judgment as you cast this vote?
Scott: I look forward to having the entire case laid out by both sides. This is the first time we’ll have an opportunity to hear the president’s rebuttal of what they say are the facts from the House managers’ persepective. So as we go through the process, it will provide us 16 hours, after both sides have laid out their case. We will then have to chance to ask the questions that we find pertinent to the investigation, and then at that point we will have an opportunity to engage our colleagues on what they want to do next.
Reporter: What questions, if any, do you have?
Scott: Well, I think it’s real important for us, at first, to focus on the fact that what we have seen so far is a reflection on the past, not a foreshadowing of the future. So when we listen to our House managers lay out their case, they continue to talk about what we think is in fact, true — that the corruption in Ukraine is clear. So the focus on 2016’s election is exactly what we’ve heard. We’ve not heard any actual evidence about 2020.
The Senators then returned to the Senate chamber to hear Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) present further opening arguments
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.