House Impeachment Managers Target Top Trump Lawyer, Claim Hes Material Witness

House impeachment managers on Jan. 21 targeted Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel whos playing a major role in the defense of President Donald Trump in the Senate trial.

The House Democrats wrote in a letter (pdf) to Cipollone on Jan. 21 that hes a “material witness” in the trial, and demanded that he disclose all “first-hand facts and information” before the trial starts.

“In preparation for the trial of Donald J. Trump before the Senate, we write to notify you that evidence received by the House of Representatives during its impeachment inquiry indicates that you are a material witness to charges in both Articles of Impeachment for which President Trump now faces trial,” the House managers wrote.

“You must disclose all facts and information as to which you have first-hand knowledge that will be at issue in connection with evidence you present or arguments you make in your role as the Presidents legal advocate so that the Senate and Chief Justice can be apprised of any potential ethical issues, conflicts, or biases.”

Trump was impeached for alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Cipollone has “detailed knowledge” about the facts on the first charge and “played an instrumental role in the conduct charged” in the second article of impeachment, the letter states.

“These issues are directly implicated by your involvement in the events underlying the Articles of Impeachment,” they wrote, adding that ethics rules would “generally preclude” a lawyer from participating in a trial under such conditions.

pat cipollone
pat cipollone
White House counsel Pat Cipollone arrives for the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 21, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House criticized the letter, calling it a “political stunt.”

“The Democrats are an utter joke—they have no case, and this latest political stunt proves it,” White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

“The idea that the Counsel to the President has to turn over protected documents and confidential information is ludicrous, and to imply he cant represent the President of the United States in an impeachment proceeding is completely absurd.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also called the request for Cipollone to leave the defense team “absurd.”

“Unlike the House, the Senate will have a FAIR trial. That means we wont deny the President his lawyer ON THE DAY the trial starts,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Under the standard put forth by the House Democrats today—that any potential fact witness cannot serve as counsel in the impeachment hearing—there is an obvious person who should be disqualified: Adam Schiff,” Cruz added. The White House also called for Schiff to be disqualified.

Under the standard put forth by the House Democrats today – that any potential fact witness cannot serve as counsel in the impeachment hearing – there is an obvious person who should be disqualified: Adam Schiff.

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 21, 2020

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), one of the House managers, was saRead More – Source