30-second recap: Impeachment Trial Day 7

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Impeachment trial day 7 recap

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

President Donald Trump’s defense attorneys concluded their argument Tuesday, using only a few hours to bring home the case that the impeachment of Trump was a partisan act that should be ended.

“It is time for this to end here and now,” Trump attorney Pat Cipollone said. “Do what the Constitution compels you to do: reject these articles of impeachment for the country and for the American people,” Cipollone told the senators.

Cipollone, along with Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow and White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin, told senators who will decide The Republican president’s fate that the case for impeachment does not exist and that Democrats want Trump removed from office because they do not agree with his policies.

Trump was impeached in the House in December on two articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Here are some of the highlights from Tuesday’s session.

The transcript of the call

Philbin attacked the claims that moving the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a secure server constituted a cover-up.

Philbin showed videos of various witnesses called during the House impeachment inquiry who said they did not see any malicious intent in the placing of the transcript on that server.

Sekulow mentions Bolton claim

Sekulow told the senators that impeachment is “not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts,” addressing former national security adviser John Bolton without naming him.

“That is politics, unfortunately. And (Alexander) Hamilton put impeachment in the hands of this body, the Senate, precisely and specifically, to be above that fray.”

“Responding to an unpublished manuscript that maybe some reporters have an idea of what it says, I don’t know what you’d call that,” Sekulow said. “I’d call it inadmissible.”

What happens If witnesses are called, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham 

Danger, danger, danger

Sekulow brought up special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Christopher Steele’s dossier and former FBI Director James Comey.

“The president of the United States, before he was the president, was under an investigation. It was called Crossfire Hurricane. It was an investigation led by the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. James Comey eventually told the president a little about the investigation and referenced the Steele dossier. James Comey, the then-director of the FBI, said it was salacious and unverified. So salacious and unverified that they used it as a basis to obtain FISA warrants. Members, managers here, managers at this table right here, said that any discussions on the abuse from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, utilized to get the FISA warrants from the court, were conspiracy theories," Sekulow said.

On several occasions, Sekulow warned of “danger, danger, danger,” saying to those in the Senate that the bar to impeach a president is far too low.

Common sense and the Constitution

Cipollone took only about 15 minutes to end the president’s defense. He urged senators to do the only thing they can do and end the impeachment trial.

He told them, “All you need in this case is common sense and the constitution.”

Cipollone showed a video of several Democrats, among them some of the House managers, arguing during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment against impeachment for something that was not a crime.

What’s coming up

The trial has adjourned for the day and will reconvene Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET. When the trial resumes, senators will be allowed to ask questions of the House managers and the president’s attorneys.

The questions will be submitted to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who will read the questions.

There will be two days of questioning then a vote will likely come on Friday as to whether or not to call witnesses in the trial or move on to a vote on whether the president should be removed from office.