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'Time for this to end': Trump team asks for acquittal at impeachment trial

38 Comments
By Susan Cornwell and Patricia Zengerle

President Donald Trump's lawyers wrapped up their arguments in his impeachment trial on Tuesday with a plea for the Senate to acquit him, and also sought to marginalize former national security adviser John Bolton's explosive allegations about Trump's conduct as"inadmissible" in the proceedings.

"The election is only months away. The American people are entitled to choose their president. Overturning past elections and massively interfering with the upcoming one would cause serious and lasting damage to the people of the United States and to our great country. The Senate cannot allow this to happen," White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told the Senate.

"It is time for this to end, here and now. So we urge the Senate to reject these articles of impeachment."

He spoke on the third and final day of Trump's legal team's presentation to the Senate.

Trump's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow told the Senate: You cannot impeach a president on an unsourced allegation," referring to Bolton's unpublished book manuscript that describes Trump's central role in a pressure campaign aimed at getting Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Sekulow underscored what fellow Trump legal team member Alan Dershowitz told senators late on Monday - that even if what Bolton says is true, it would not represent impeachable conduct.

Directly contradicting Trump's account of events, Bolton wrote in the manuscript that the president told him he wanted to freeze $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until Kiev pursued investigations into Democrats, including Biden and his son Hunter Biden, the New York Times reported.

Trump is seeking re-election on Nov. 3. Biden is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination to oppose Trump.

Bolton's allegations go to the heart of impeachment charges against Trump. Democrats have said Trump abused his power by using the security aid - approved by Congress to help Ukraine battle Russia-backed separatists - as leverage to get a foreign power to smear a political rival.

Trump has denied telling Bolton he sought to use the Ukraine aid as leverage to get Kiev to investigate the Bidens. He has denied any quid pro quo - a Latin term meaning a favor for a favor - in his dealings with Ukraine.

Sekulow told the senators they were taking part in "the most solemn of duties under our constitutional framework: the trial of the leader of the free world, the duly elected president of the United States. It is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts. That's politics, unfortunately."

"Responding to an unpublished manuscript that may be - some reporters have an idea of maybe what it says - that's what the evidence (is) - if you want to call that evidence. I don't know what you'd call that. I'd call it inadmissible," Sekulow added.

Some Republican senators proposed that Bolton's manuscript be made available for senators to review on a classified basis, an idea rejected by top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer.

Schumer stepped up his party's calls for Bolton to be summoned as a trial witness. Senate Republicans, who have so far refused to allow any witnesses or new evidence in the trial, faced mounting pressure from Democrats and some moderates in their own party to summon Bolton.

The trial will determine whether Trump is removed from office after being impeached by the Democratic-led House of Representatives last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress arising from his conduct toward Ukraine.

Trump is expected to be acquitted in the 100-seat Senate, where his fellow Republicans hold 53 seats. A two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office under the U.S. Constitution.

"Looking at the manuscript makes sense to me. But we're not going to just call John Bolton. If you call John Bolton, we're calling everybody. We're not just going to call one witness," said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally who was at the White House on Tuesday morning.

"What an absurd proposal. It's a book," Schumer told reporters about the proposal floated by Graham and fellow Republican Senator James Lankford, saying there was no need to read the manuscript in a classified setting "unless you want to hide something."

Schumer criticized Trump's legal team for stating during its arguments to the Senate that there was no eyewitness testimony detailing abuse of power by Trump, "when we know that John Bolton has eyewitness testimony and is willing to testify."

Schumer made a fresh appeal for four Republican senators - the number needed for a majority - to join Democrats in voting to call witnesses. Schumer also indicated Democrats would reject any effort at a so-called witness swap with Republicans.

"The Republicans can call who they want. They have the ability. They have the majority," Schumer said.

Lankford urged Bolton late on Monday to speak publicly outside of the impeachment trial.

"John Bolton is no shrinking violet," Lankford said in a video posted to his Facebook page. "My encouragement would be: If John Bolton's got something to say, there's plenty of microphones all over the country - that he should step forward and start talking about it right now."

Bolton left his White House post last September. Trump has said he fired Bolton. Bolton said he quit after policy disagreements.

The impeachment drive against Trump, Sekulow argued, was a partisan exercise motivated by policy differences that Democrats have with Trump, not genuine impeachable offenses.

"But to have a removal of a duly elected president based on a policy disagreement? That is not what the framers (of the Constitution) intended. And if you lower the bar that way - danger, danger, danger. Because the next president or the one after that, he or she would be held to that same standard? I hope not. I pray not."

The Senate may resolve the issue of whether to call witnesses in a vote on Friday or Saturday. Some moderate Republican senators, including Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, said the disclosures were likely to sway at least four Republicans to call Bolton to testify.

The focus was on whether two other moderate Republicans, Lamar Alexander and Lisa Murkowski, would vote to hear from Bolton.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments

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Overturning past elections and massively interfering with the upcoming one 

The first part of that is just irrelevant. You could make that claim about any impeachment trial.

As for the second part, the defense should note that it is their client, President Trump, who is on trial for soliciting a foreign government to help in his upcoming election.

Trump's defense rests, legless.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"But to have a removal of a duly elected president based on a policy disagreement? That is not what the framers (of the Constitution) intended. And if you lower the bar that way - danger, danger, danger. Because the next president or the one after that, he or she would be held to that same standard? I hope not. I pray not."

Trying to impeachment a sitting president has been a pastime for a while now.

Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton (succeeded), Bush Sr, Reagan, etc...

As the proverb goes: don’t do impeachable offenses if you can’t do the impeachment proceedings.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you call John Bolton, we're calling everybody.

Lindsey is gonna call his mommy. How dare anybody introduce evidence during a trial? Waaaaaah!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Overturning past elections

Another term along with hoax witch hunt totally exonerated hillary obama and so many others pushed daily by #chan/Breitbart/RT and other far right outlets, then parroted by the Trump faithful.

Trump and the far right have learnt to use 'the best words' (i.e. those that most easily influence their followers) from previous far right regimes.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sekulow underscored what fellow Trump legal team member Alan Dershowitz told senators late on Monday - that even if what Bolton says is true, it would not represent impeachable conduct.

Which is what you say when it's true.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As for the second part, the defense should note that it is their client, President Trump, who is on trial for soliciting a foreign government to help in his upcoming election.

Trump's defense rests, legless.

Which he had every right to ask every other president in the past and the future, we have to fear about any removal, but this is stupid. The Democrats have no keys, so another words as a candidate my rivals are allowed to dig dirt on me and solicit a foreign entity to obtain the dirt, but I’m not allowed to do it to research my rival that wants to take me down.

Democrats...ROFL

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Lindsey is gonna call his mommy. How dare anybody introduce evidence during a trial? Waaaaaah!

Seems like the Democrat babies are having a temper tantrum stomping their feet and saying the GOP are not allowed to interview either Biden’s or the whistleblower or shifty Schiff...lol...yeah, they need a timeout..a nap and then a sit down and an explanation that it won’t be possible to grant them that request, get the tissues and blankets.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

About U.S. elections, White House counsel Pat Cippolone stated that ". . . massively interfering with the upcoming one would cause serious and lasting damage to the people of the United States and to our great country."

A classic example of deflect and project, or the pot calling the kettle black. What can you say? These people have no shame.

Sen. Chuck Schumer stated: "The Republicans can call who they want. They have the ability. They have the majority."

This is fine as long as it doesn't involve the whistle-blower, who has already done his/her part by exposing political wrongdoings. As for Hunter Biden, he has nothing to do with this other than being Trump's target and opportunity to defame his father, former VP and Dem. candidate Joe Biden. That issue is about nepotism, for which Trump has much to answer for regarding his own children Ivanka, Donald Jr. & Eric, but at the same time this has nothing to do with Trump holding $400 million in assistance to Ukraine in exchange for personal help from a foreign government in an upcoming U.S. election.

Getting to the truth is like pulling teeth out of the mouth of this Republican senate. It just pains them to much to go there.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Yep it’s all done. Don’t like it, actually subpoena witnesses in the next Schiff show.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

we demand witnesses! But not him or him or her or them! It's ridiculous. Try the case s it was brought forward. With all the overwhelming evidence

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

John Bolton's explosive allegations

Yeah, according to the media. More like yet another nothing burger.

Or maybe, just maybe, this time, Drumpf is really, really going down! Tee hee!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

This is fine as long as it doesn't involve the whistle-blower, who has already done his/her part by exposing political wrongdoings.

That is not entirely true we don’t know who the identity is of the whistleblower and the Senate Republicans have every right to know that entity of the person that is Accusing the President of the United States of a crime since they are the jury.

As for Hunter Biden, he has nothing to do with this other than being Trump's target and opportunity to defame his father, former VP and Dem. candidate Joe Biden.

Not according to Durham

https://ctmirror.org/2019/10/04/durhams-probe-now-enmeshed-in-politics-of-impeachment/

“A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election,” Kupec said. “While the Attorney General has yet to contact Ukraine in connection with this investigation, certain Ukrainians who are not members of the government have volunteered information to Mr. Durham, which he is evaluating.”

That issue is about nepotism, for which Trump has much to answer for regarding his own children Ivanka, Donald Jr. & Eric, but at the same time this has nothing to do with Trump holding $400 million in assistance to Ukraine in exchange for personal help from a foreign government in an upcoming U.S. election.

Hmmm, based on what? All of his kids have worked in Real Estate, made their money in that business have their expertise in it, there is nowhere else where they’re working overseas making 50k a month and the trial will never shift to them, if the Dems wanted to interview them, they could have done so, Mueller did. with DTJ and found nothing. Personally, I would prefer the GOP interview Joe over Hunter then it’ll be easier to pick his brain.

Getting to the truth is like pulling teeth out of the mouth of this Republican senate.

The House Democrats didn’t even tell the truth or they cherry picked the truth and left out huge nuggets of it.

It just pains them to much to go there.

As it does the Democrats.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Blacklabel:. Yep it’s all done. Don’t like it, actually subpoena witnesses in the next Schiff show.

Trump blocked his people from appearing.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Bass:. the Senate Republicans have every right to know that entity of the person that is Accusing the President of the United States of a crime since they are the jury.

Nope. The whistleblower filed his claim and it was deemed credible and urgent by a Trump appointee. There ended his or her involvement.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

We need witnesses.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nope.

Sorry, the Democrats don’t make that call in this case when it comes to Bolton. The GOP will not allow the Dems to Bolton and not have anything in return, that’s just insane. Somebody’s gonna have to come forward. Now I agree that calling the whistleblower is less likely, but it’s not impossible, it depends on how badly the GOP want to interview this person and if the Democrats really want Bolton, then they will make that exchange if they don’t then neither side gets what they want.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Now I agree that calling the whistleblower is less likely, but it’s not impossible,

It's impossible. Give up on your dream of getting revenge on this person and move on with your life.

Democrats really want Bolton, then they will make that exchange

No, they won't. You're spouting nonsense. The whistleblower is not going to get called to testify. Give it up.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's impossible. Give up on your dream of getting revenge on this person and move on with your life.

Coming from the people that support the fanatical Democrats in trying to kick out this President (unsuccessfully) out of office! ROFL! You funny!

No, they won't. You're spouting nonsense. The whistleblower is not going to get called to testify. Give it up.

Yes, either the whistleblower or the Biden’s, or even Schiff, but there’s no way the Dems will get a witness and the GOP gets nothing. Dude, stop making me laugh!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

my rivals are allowed to dig dirt on me and solicit a foreign entity to obtain the dirt, but I’m not allowed to do it to research my rival that wants to take me down.

I thought Trump's defense was that he was interested in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, not to dig up dirt on a political rival. Sensible people never believed that line, and now you're making it explicit that yes, Trump wanted dirt on Biden. While you're at it, why not start howling some more about how Hunter Biden needs to testify, to prove that Trump had no interest in the Bidens.

You people are all over the place. What's your defense, anyway?

Besides, there is a difference between a candidate doing opposition research overseas, and a president using foreign policy as leverage to do opposition research.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They weren’t subpoenaed. The court can override that if the subpoena is found to be legal. But you knew it wasn’t legal and Schiff withdrew it right before the judge said he would rule. Then never bothered to subpoena Bolton at all.

the lady who wrote the bombshell Bolton article is backtracking very quickly.

Trump blocked his people from appearing.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Massive crowd at the rally! They didn’t seem to get the memo that trump was impeached “forever!”

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I thought Trump's defense was that he was interested in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, not to dig up dirt on a political rival.

You can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?

Sensible people never believed that line,

Or even Schiff especially.

and now you're making it explicit that yes, Trump wanted dirt on Biden.

Dems wanted dirt on Trump, even McCain wanted dirt and they all collaborated with Christopher Steele who’s not an American.

While you're at it, why not start howling some more about how Hunter Biden needs to testify, to prove that Trump had no interest in the Bidens.

Hey, I’m not saying anything other than, if the Dems want Bolton (the person they always, always have despised) now the man they love, it’s not going to be without the Dems giving up one of theirs. Remember, the Dems don’t call the shots on this.

You people are all over the place. What's your defense, anyway?

Thats exactly what I want to know from the Democrats.

Besides, there is a difference between a candidate doing opposition research overseas, and a president using foreign policy as leverage to do opposition research.

And as the smartest law professor in the country that schooled half of the Congress in his class at Harvard, what Trump did doesn’t rise to impeachment.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What a clown show - they ought to call Trump's lawyers the PT Barnum and Trump circus...

Ken "I Wanna Be a" Starr lectures everyone on the evils of impeachment, when he went on a 4 YEAR witch hunt that went from White Water to a blue dress. Like Donnie, it must be dementia...

Then they bring out Dershowitz who says it doesn't need to be a crime, but now it needs to be a crime, but maybe not... More dementia?

It's as if they went to Steven Colbert or SNL and asked them to help with the defense - create a comic show...

Bolton just blew up their entire defense...and did you watch any Fox News last night? The Great Repub NEOCON, beloved Mr Republican, icon of conservatives, a Fox contributor for 11 YEARS, was labeled a "Betrayer" by Carlson...

Oh my, my, my...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

We need witnesses.

Actually, all we need is to look at the transcript of the phone call, which is what this is all about.

No quid pro quo. No linkage to U.S. taxpayer paid aid.

Plus Zelensky himself ( you know, the other guy on the call ) said there was no pressure. Who cares what that warmonger Bolton says? It's no proof of anything. He doesn't have a recording of that statement he claims Trump made.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Who cares what that warmonger Bolton says? It's no proof of anything.

Someone watched Hannity last night. The darling of the Republican party, blood brother of Dick Cheney, Mr beloved NEOCON, is suddenly now a "Betrayer", a "lying rat", and a "warmonger" (that last one is true by the way)...

And today, Crazy Rudy, the "Walking Hand Grenade", who is under federal criminal investigation on 8 offenses (so far), has called him a "Backstabber"....

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/480395-giuliani-calls-bolton-a-backstabber-over-ukraine-allegations

And Gen Kelly says of Bolton, "I believe him"...

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/28/politics/john-kelly-believes-john-bolton/index.html

Its so enjoyable watching Repubs attack each other and self-combust...

So, how many Repubs here think Bolton is a Backstabber?

He doesn't have a recording of that statement he claims Trump made.

Nah, he was just in the room and made copious notes with Pence, Pompeo, Mulvaney, and Perry when Donnie directed holding the aid until Ukraine announced the investigation...you know, the QPQ...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yet strangely Bolton himself is silent, his lawyer will confirm none of this and Clinton helper Habermann at NY Times says she has not actually seen the Manuscript on which her conveniently timed hit piece was published,

but hey it had to go out on Sunday night as ordered

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Did he take that classified material and US government property home like Comey did? More “memos”, leaks to the same people and the same book agent coincidence? Nah

Nah, he was just in the room and made copious notes

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What a clown show - they ought to call Trump's lawyers the PT Barnum and Trump circus...

At least it’s was something palatable to watch. The House Dems nightmare no one watched.

Then they bring out Dershowitz who says it doesn't need to be a crime, but now it needs to be a crime, but maybe not... More dementia?

Not like the Dems that can’t even decipher what constitutes as impeachable, no wonder so many flunked Dershowitz classes, now I see.

Bolton just blew up their entire defense...

No, not at all, the President still won’t be convicted or removed.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Not like the Dems that can’t even decipher what constitutes as impeachable

Er, it's you who doesn't understand what is and isn't impeachable. For example: you said Trump wouldn't and even couldn't be impeached, but he is! Kudos!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Someone watched Hannity last night. The darling of the Republican party, blood brother of Dick Cheney, Mr beloved NEOCON, is suddenly now a "Betrayer", a "lying rat", and a "warmonger" (that last one is true by the way)...

Funny, now the Democrats love Bolton, but hated him for over 20 years, you just can’t make this stuff up.

And today, Crazy Rudy, the "Walking Hand Grenade", who is under federal criminal investigation on 8 offenses (so far), has called him a "Backstabber"....

As if liberals ever cared. Lol

So, how many Repubs here think Bolton is a Backstabber?

I don’t know what his motives are, but being the smartest person on JT, fill us all in please. I will say this though, you have people on both sides of the party that flip. Flynn used to think of the world of Obama as did Omarosa.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yet strangely Bolton himself is silent, his lawyer will confirm none of this

Didn't dispute it either...

Did he take that classified material and US government property home like Comey did? 

Uh-oh, now Bolton is just as bad as that other life-long Republican, Comey... Both lying rats?

What a clown show - they ought to call Trump's lawyers the PT Barnum and Trump circus...

At least it’s was something palatable to watch. The House Dems nightmare no one watched.

We,, thanks for agreeing with me that is was a clown show... Who was your favorite, Bozo or Flippo?

Then they bring out Dershowitz who says it doesn't need to be a crime, but now it needs to be a crime, but maybe not... More dementia?

Not like the Dems that can’t even decipher what constitutes as impeachable, no wonder so many flunked Dershowitz classes, now I see.

Maybe it was because he has flip-flopped so many times...

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/live-blog/trump-impeachment-trial-live-coverage-president-s-defense-begins-day-n1123371/ncrd1124386#liveBlogHeader

Bolton just blew up their entire defense...

No, not at all, the President still won’t be convicted or removed.

I can just imagine Bolton grinning over that 'stache when Donnie is perp-walked out of the White House...

Someone watched Hannity last night. The darling of the Republican party, blood brother of Dick Cheney, Mr beloved NEOCON, is suddenly now a "Betrayer", a "lying rat", and a "warmonger" (that last one is true by the way)...

Funny, now the Democrats love Bolton, but hated him for over 20 years, you just can’t make this stuff up.

Its even funnier watching all the Trumpers who loved this guy - called him a conservative icon - a real hero - now saying he's a lying rat and a Backstabber...THAT'S FUNNY....

And today, Crazy Rudy, the "Walking Hand Grenade", who is under federal criminal investigation on 8 offenses (so far), has called him a "Backstabber"....

As if liberals ever cared. Lol

And?

So, how many Repubs here think Bolton is a Backstabber?

I don’t know what his motives are, but being the smartest person on JT, fill us all in please. I will say this though, you have people on both sides of the party that flip. Flynn used to think of the world of Obama as did Omarosa.

So is Bolton a lying rat and a Backstabber or a conservative icon?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Bolton

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Dershowitz defends Trump like he defended Epstein. Oh! But Dershowitz also abused the girls that Epstein had in his 'service'.

Birds of a feather.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Relevant content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AEzA4avnxs

Trevor Noah dissects how Fox News and its presenters flip-flop on Bolton.

Funny, now the Democrats love Bolton, but hated him for over 20 years, you just can’t make this stuff up.

People on the left still hate Bolton (I know I do), but unlike you guys on the right, we don't let our feelings get in the way of facts. Bolton is scum, true. But he is also a key witness, and needs to be questioned.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

now the Democrats love Bolton, but hated him for over 20 years, you just can’t make this stuff up.

You just did. You made this up.

Just because someone turns on Donny XIV doesn't make them a beloved liberal icon. Another bad faith argument.

Bolton is still a loathsome human being. But you know what? I'll take Bolton's word over Donny's. The former tells the truth at least some of the time. In Trumpworld, though, the only person in the whole world who can be trusted is Donald Trump. Bizarre.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Fox News is becoming the best comedy channel on the air...

That Great Blustering Idiot Lou Dobbs just showed what a hypocrite and fool he is....after slobbering over John Bolton when he was on his show, calling him a "Great American", an "institution", "brilliant", last night he flipped and called him an "Agent of the Dems and the Deep State"....

Its that way all over the channel - Carlson called him a "Betrayer" and a "snake"...

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fox-news-hosts-john-bolton-impeachment-bombshell_n_5e2fef17c5b6ce51a4eb1359

Of course, before this weekend, and when he was their colleague for 11 years as a Fox News contributor, he was the savior of the Republican party and a conservative icon...

That's the Republican Party today - if Reagan and Eisenhower were still alive and said they don't like Trump, they'd be called "Dem Stooges" and "Lying Libs"....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You guys are gonna be really surprised when you find the whole Bolton thing was a trap to catch leakers.

for now, a guy named Andrew Peek was caught red handed.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Extraordinary wishful thinking.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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