The President's impeachment legal defense team took a very different tactic that seemed more effective than the repetitive histrionics of the House managers led by Rep. Adam Schiff.
The White House team also displayed quick-cut video presentations on the Senate’s overhead screens, turning soundbites from key players in the impeachment case into fast-snapping clips. It all seemed to command the attention of senators, likely a welcome change of pace for those who had grown tired of the prosecution’s long and often repetitive presentations.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow gave his word to the senators, “We’re not going to play the same clips seven times.” That prompted smiles from some senators.Read more
We have selected some House Republicans' tweets to respond to lead Democrat impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff’s presentation today.Read more
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy had strong and swift reactions to Speaker Pelosi finally sending over the articles of impeachment.
On the delay, Leader McCarthy said:
Instead of sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, Speaker Pelosi held them hostage in a failed play to gain leverage that she did not — and would never — have…
…these delay tactics were self-serving, hypocritical, and discrediting. But they made an important admission. Some might even call it a concession: Democrats did not believe their case was robust enough to win in trial…
… the idea of withholding a sloppy impeachment case to force the Senate to change its rules is constitutionally and politically unheard of. Frankly, it’s ridiculous…Read more
Some Senate Democrats want to get on with the impeachment trial and are fed up with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s delays and gamesmanship. Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said it most strongly:
“The longer it goes on, the less urgent it becomes,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Politico.
“So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”Read more
In Congress, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to be a leader following the longstanding bipartisan tradition of the Senate. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continue to play partisan games. The most recent example unfolded yesterday regarding the situation in the Middle East.
Leader McConnell said yesterday on the Iranian situation:
‘I spoke yesterday about President Trump’s decision to remove the chief architect of Tehran’s terrorism from the battlefield. And I discussed the Senate’s obligation to approach this in a manner that is serious, sober, and factual.
It is right for senators to want to learn more about the president’s major decision. Once again, I encourage all our colleagues to attend the classified briefing which the administration will provide tomorrow.
‘The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the CIA Director will give classified context behind the president’s decision. And they will discuss the administration’s strategy to protect our personnel and defend our nation’s interests in the new landscape.Read more
Today, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated that he will not let the House Democrats dictate the Senate's impeachment trial procedures:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking from the chamber’s floor Friday, rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to shape a pending impeachment trial as “fantasy”—leaving the process at a standstill as lawmakers return from the holiday recess.
“Their turn is over. They’ve done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now to render sober judgment,” McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor. . . .Read more
Speaker Pelosi’s latest partisan stunt of not sending over the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate is creating a variety of opinions on the legal ramifications but almost universal agreement that it is another bad idea for her. Let’s sample three current and former Harvard Law professors.
Professor Noah Feldman makes the point that President Trump has not yet been impeached as a result of Speaker Pelosi’s actions. In an op-ed entitled Trump Isn’t Impeached Until the House Tells the Senate, he states:
If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all.Read more
It is becoming apparent that the impeachment was done with no respect for the rule of law or even the political process. On the first point, RNLA Vice President for Communications Audrey Perry Martin writes:
While an impeachment proceeding is not a court of law, these fundamental concepts of due process and fairness need to be respected for Americans to have any confidence in the integrity of the proceeding.
In their rush to impeach President Trump, House Democrats turned back the clock and embraced the non-existent due process protections of medieval courts.Read more
Today, the House passed two articles of impeachment against President Trump with no Republican support. There were a few Democrats voting with the Republicans and one voting present. Here are some of the best reactions from Republican House leaders to today's debate.Read more