Denial is more than a river in Egypt, it is the White House’s defense strategy in the senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. And that figures, because they have no defense, so denying that anything is wrong, and continuing their witch hunt narrative is the only card that they can play. Pat Cipollone said, “the president did absolutely nothing wrong” and then he went on to support that statement the only way that he could, by attacking Adam Schiff. When facts are absent, the only tools left are innuendo and tangents. This is what you’re going to see the next few days, get used to it. This “trial” is one sided. The Democrats put on a case, and the Republicans are going to sling mud and hope that it looks good on television and that’s that. This isn’t about law, this is Histrionics 101. The Hill:
Cipollone began Saturday’s proceedings by reading directly from the transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, claiming Democrats misrepresented it, including by ignoring portions that showed Trump cares about burden sharing.
The attorneys quickly showed a clip of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif) reading a parody account of the call, claiming it was “fake” – an early indication they would focus on criticizing Democrats in an effort to drive home their claim that the impeachment inquiry was motivated by partisan interests.
The use of the clip is likely to satisfy Trump. The president spent the days after Schiff made the comments calling for the congressman’s resignation and suggesting he committed treason. Even months after the September hearing, Trump continues to bring up Schiff’s comments in interviews when railing against the impeachment proceedings.
We’ve all heard the adage, “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line,” with respect to how we feel about our candidates. Maybe that should be amended to, Democrats look at what’s real, Republicans don’t care about what’s real, they’ll go along with anything to stay in power. If that’s the case, and it certainly appears from this display Saturday morning that it is the case, then the Republican party is no longer a viable American political party, it’s a fascist cult, currently in the service of a wanna be dictator.
Look for the “defense” in the Senate to consist of Sean Hannity-level monologues, because there is no way in hell that Cipollone and Sekulow can mount a factual or legal defense. There’s a legal aphorism, “if the facts are on your side, pound the facts, if the law is on your side, pound the law, if neither are on your side, pound the table.” You saw the pound the table level of legal argumentation in the House inquiry. Look for more of the same. Obfuscation, hyperbole and showmanship are what this defense is about, particularly the last element. It’s got to look good on television.
And don’t forget what’s been lied about so far. Cipollone has already said that no Republicans were allowed in the SCIF room. Lie. Republican members of the Intelligence committee were present and they were allowed equal time to question witnesses.
Next, Sekulow came up with his “trifecta” of wrongdoing.
During the proceedings that took place before the Judiciary Committee, the president was denied the right to cross-examine witnesses, the president was denied the right to access evidence, and the president was denied the right to have counsel present at hearings. That’s a trifecta; a trifecta that violates the Constitution of the United States.
Sekulow is talking about the Sixth Amendment right, which is specifically limited to criminal prosecutions. It is inapplicable here, because the House doesn’t have the power to prosecute Trump criminally. This is an impeachment trial. The twisting of laws that Sekulow, Cipollone, Dershowitz and the ever comical Rudy Giuliani have come up with is a travesty. But be that as it may, you may recall that Trump was in fact given the opportunity to have counsel present and Cipollone wrote Jerry Nadler a letter on December 6 and told him to get screwed.
As you know, your impeachment inquiry is completely baseless and has violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness…House Democrats have wasted enough of America’s time with this charade. You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings.
Harvard professor Laurence Tribe nailed it the other day when he said that he expected alternative facts being argued, but now he sees that there’s alternative law as well. That’s exactly what is going on. This is legal argumentation Giuliani-style, just cobble something together that sounds intriguing, declare it passionately and somebody will buy it — hopefully all the rubes will, because they don’t want to think too much. This is a brand of jurisprudence never before seen — except in the Spanish Inquisition and maybe the Twilight Zone.