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Sen. Ernst Says Trumps Lawyers Shredded Impeachment Case as Democrats Double Down on Call for Witnesses

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said President Donald Trumps defense team “shredded” House impeachment mana..

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said President Donald Trumps defense team “shredded” House impeachment managers case against Trump in their opening arguments on Saturday. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats said that the defenses arguments underscored the need for witnesses.

“I thought today was an incredible two hours, and within two hours, I thought that the White House counsel and their team entirely shredded the case that has been presented by the House managers,” Ernst said. “What we heard today was very concise; it was full of truths and facts, as presented from the House managers own witnesses.”

.@SenJoniErnst: “Within two hours I thought that the White House Counsel and their team entirely shredded the case that has been presented by the house managers.”

— CSPAN (@cspan) January 25, 2020

Over the course of more than twenty hours starting on Jan. 22, the House managers presented arguments and evidence for removing the president. They accused Trump of abusing his power to interfere in an election and of obstructing justice when his alleged scheme was discovered. They allege the president withheld aid to Ukraine and the potential of a White House meeting in order to force the Ukrainian president to open investigations into Trumps political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

In arguments which lasted roughly two hours, Trumps lawyers used footage, documents, and testimony from the Democrat-led House impeachment inquiry to say that the Democrats failed to make a case for removing the president from office. The defense team stated that, according to evidence presented by the House impeachment mangers, the Ukrainians were unaware of the hold on aid until a month after the July 25 Trump-Zelensky call, the aid ultimately flowed to Ukraine and Trump went on to meet with Zelensky, and the Ukrainians, including Zelensky, have said there was no pressure from Trump and no suggestion of a quid pro quo.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said that its the first day that “the facts have actually been allowed to be cross-examined” and criticized House impeachment managers for providing statements without context and using parts of sentences to make their case.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said a scheduled meeting between Trump and Zelensky in Warsaw proved that there was no condition placed on Zelenksy for a meeting with Trump.

Trump and Zelensky were scheduled to meet in Warsaw, Poland, on Sept. 1, 2019, Cipollone said. But Trump cancelled the trip because of Hurricane Dorian and sent Vice President Mike Pence instead. The meeting and its cancellation was reported on by various media.

Cipollone said House Democrats did not include the scheduled meeting in their case, suggesting that the omissions are intentional because the relevant facts would be fatal to the impeachment managers case.

Impeachment trial Pat Cipollone
Impeachment trial Pat Cipollone
White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 25, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Democrats Double Down on Call for Witnesses

During the arguments, Mike Purpura, the deputy counsel to the president, said that the U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland used words like “assume,” “presume,” “guess,” “speculate,” and “believe” over 30 times during his public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee. Purpura then played a clip showing Sondland repeatedly saying that its his “presumption” that the aid was tied to an announcement by Ukraine into an investigation against the former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

The presentation by the defense team seems to have convinced some senators that the case against Trump was built on a thin foundation, but added fuel to the call for witnesses froRead More – Source

The Epoch Times