- “We intend to show you some of the evidence that they did in the House that they . . . made a decision not to show you,” Cipollone told the Senate.
- According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 49% of Americans believe that Donald Trump should be removed from the White House, and 46% believe otherwise.
- After the arguments by the prosecution and defense, the two parties will have a total of 16 hours to answer questions asked in writing by the senators.
After three days of Democrats presenting their case against President Trump in the impeachment trial, Donald Trump’s lawyers began their defense on Saturday, warning against the temptation to overturn the result of the 2016 election “without the slightest evidence.” Pat Cipollone, a lawyer for the White House, argued, “we believe when you hear the facts, and that’s what we intend to cover today, the facts, you will find the president did absolutely nothing wrong.”
“We intend to show you some of the evidence that they did in the House that they . . . made a decision not to show you,” Cipollone told the Senate during the extraordinary session held on Saturday. In the Republican-controlled Senate (53 seats out of a total of 100), the acquittal of the 45th president of the United States is almost certain. With fewer than 300 days from the presidential election, the debates are also a clear battle for shaping public opinion.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved Trump’s impeachment last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, setting the stage for the Senate-led trial by the Republicans. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to remove him from office.
Pat Cipollone, who leads the defense team, told senators that they would be denying voters the right to give their opinion on Trump in the November 3 elections if they remove him from office via an impeachment. In the third presidential impeachment process in U.S. history, Democrats argued during the week that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate irregularities allegedly committed by former Vice President Joe Biden— one of the top Democratic party pre-candidates for the U.S. Presidency— and afterwards tried to cover up the act by preventing Congress’ investigation. Like the prosecution, the president’s lawyers will have a total of 24 hours, spread over three days.
“Tear the Ballots Up”
In the face of silent senators, Cipollone accused the president’s political opponents of trying to organize “the greatest electoral interference in American history.” Cipollone said, “they are asking you not only to overturn the results of the last election but to remove the president from the ballot in an election in nine months’ time. They’re asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country, and take that decision away from the American people.”
“We cannot accept that,” he added, promising to carry out the second part of this historic trial in an “efficient and quick” way, so that all Americans can turn to the November 3 election race. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 49% of Americans believe that Donald Trump should be removed from the White House, and 46% believe otherwise. More than 7 in 10 respondents, however, wish to hear other witnesses.
After the arguments by the prosecution and defense, the two parties will have a total of 16 hours to answer questions asked in writing by the senators. After that stage, they are supposed to decide by simple majority whether they want to continue the process by calling new witnesses, as required by the prosecution. Otherwise, they will vote on whether the president is guilty or not. At the moment, this seems very unlikely, owing to the Republicans’ majority in the Senate and their vivid loyalty to their party and President Trump.