White House counsel Pat Cipollone, the lead lawyer for President Donald Trumps defense team during the Senate impeachment trial, took the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon along with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead manager for House Democrats who impeached Trump last month.
Cipollone said that Trumps defense team supported a resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that outlines the initial steps for the trial.
Noting that House Democrats delayed sending the impeachment articles to the Senate for about three weeks, Cipollone said the resolution gives the House impeachment managers a chance “to stand up and make their opening statement and make their case.”
Trumps team will then have time to respond and senators will have time to submit written questions. Then, senators will vote on whether to call any witnesses.
“We believe once you hear those initial presentations, the only conclusion will be that the president has done absolutely nothing wrong, and that these articles of impeachment do not begin to approach the standard required by the Constitution and in fact, they themselves will establish nothing beyond those articles,” he said. “You look at those articles alone and you will determine that there is absolutely no case.”
Schiff said that House Democrats opposed the resolution. He told senators that “the most important decision in this case is the one you make today.”
“The question you must answer today: Will the president and the American people get a fair trial?” he asked. “If you only get to see part of the evidence, if you only allow one side or the other chance to present their case, your verdict will be predetermined by the bias in the proceeding. If the defendant is not allowed to introduce evidence of his innocence it is not fair trial, so too for the prosecution. If the House cannot call witnesses or introduce documented evidence it is not a fair trial.”
House and Senate Democrats have pushed for the Senate to immediately vote on whether to call witnesses while Republicans have pushed back, citing precedent established in the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton. In that trial, the Senate voted on initial guidelines and hRead More – Source