Washington Post

Washington Post 30 Jan 2020

Senate trial: Senators grill the House impeachment managers and Trump defense team


Senators on Jan. 29 questioned the House impeachment managers and President Trump's defense team about the president's conduct toward Ukraine.

Rachel Johnson says the House of Lords needs to be reformed, and has suggested bringing in 5-year-terms for members, contributions should be assessed, and introducing a mandatory retirement age.

Michelle Dewberry argues there should be a cap on expenses, and there should be checks that members are adding value.
Republican Rep. Doug Collins says the administration remains on top of the coronavirus outbreak and weighs in on the House's fight to prevent future FISA abuses.

FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC),
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a press conference that the House will pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign has had impressive fundraising, but that does not mean Republicans will win enough down-ballot races to take back the House in November. Chris Cillizza explains why lack of opportunities and money will make it very hard for Republicans to take the House back from Democrats.

… show captions ↓
-Mr Chief Justice. Thank you.
I send a question to the desk
on behalf of Senator Patty Murray and myself.
-Mr Chief Justice, I have a question.
-Mr Chief Justice, I send a question to the desk.
-Mr Chief Justice, on my own behalf
and on behalf of senators Blumenthal,
Booker, Coons, Klobuchar, Leahy, Markey, Peters,
and Udall, I send a question to the desk.
-On behalf of myself, Senator Murkowski, and Senator Romney.
-How should the Senate consider more than one motive
in its assessment of Article I?
-So, once you're into mixed-motive land,
it's clear that their case fails.
There can't possibly be an impeachable offense at all.
And think about it.
All elected officials, to some extent,
have in mind how their conduct,
how their decisions, their policy decisions,
will affect the next election.
There's always some personal interest
in the electoral outcome of policy decisions.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
-Is there any way for the Senate to render
a fully informed verdict in this case
without hearing the testimony of Bolton, Mulvaney,
and the other key eyewitnesses
or without seeing the relevant documentary evidence?
-The short answer to that question is "no."
There's no way to have a fair trial without witnesses.
And when you have a witness who is as plainly relevant
as John Bolton,
who goes to the heart of the most serious and egregious
of the president's misconduct,
who has volunteered to come and testify,
to turn him away, to look the other way, I think,
is deeply at odds with being an impartial juror.
Don't wait for the book.
Don't wait till March 17th, when it is in black and white,
to find out the answer to your question.
-For this institution, the real question is,
"What is the precedent that is going to be set
for what is an acceptable way for the House of Representatives
to bring an impeachment of a President
of the United States to this chamber?
And can it be done in a hurried, half-baked,
partisan fashion, without --"
They didn't even subpoena John Bolton below.
They didn't even try to get his testimony.
-Of course we asked John Bolton to testify in the House,
and he refused.
When we raised a subpoena with John Bolton's counsel,
the answer was, "Senator, you serve us
with a subpoena, and we will sue you, too."
-Why did the House of Representatives not challenge
President Trump's claims of executive privilege
and/or immunity during the House impeachment proceedings?
-Because, as the president's own counsel
admitted during this trial,
the president never raised the question of executive privilege.
What the president did raise was this notion of blanket defiance.
-The idea that there was blanket defiance and no explanation
and no case law from The White House is simply incorrect.
-Senator Cruz? -Mr Chief Justice,
I send a question to the desk.
-Thank you.
-And if a president does something
which he believes will help him get elected,
in the public interest,
that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo
that results in impeachment.
-So, all quid pros are not the same.
Some are legitimate, and some are corrupt.
And you don't need to be a mind reader
to figure out which is which.
For one thing, you can ask John Bolton.
-Before Vice President Biden formally entered
the 2020 presidential race in April 2019,
did President Trump ever mention Joe or Hunter Biden
in connection with corruption in Ukraine?
-So, I can't point to something in the record
that shows President Trump, at an earlier time,
mentioning specifically
something related to Joe or Hunter Biden.
-Did the so-called whistleblower work,
at any point, for or with Joe Biden?
-You wonder why we don't want to call the whistleblower?
Well, first of all, we know firsthand
what the whistleblower wrote secondhand in that complaint.
There's no need for that whistleblower anymore.
-The importance of how they control the process
as it relates to a whistleblower report,
it's because of the sensitive nature of those.
Do we not think that the sensitive nature of information
shared by the president's most senior advisers
should not be subject to the same type of protections?
-Abuse of power is not impeachable.
The issue is not whether a crime is required.
The issue is whether abuse of power
is a permissible constitutional criteria.
And the answer, from the history,
is clearly, unequivocally "no."
-That's what he said -- "Whatever I want?
Here's what I want.
I want Adam Schiff. I want Hunter Biden.
I want Joe Biden. I want the whistleblower."
-I think we can all see what's going on here.
And that is, "If the House wants to call witnesses,
if you want to hear from a single witness,
if you want to hear what John Bolton has to say,
we are gonna make this endless."
-I ask unanimous consent that the trial adjourn
until 1:00 pm Thursday, tomorrow, January 30th,
and this order also constitute the adjournment of the Senate.
-Without objection, so ordered.

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