The Trump began their defense today and they immediately showed the difference that having the facts on your side means.
They didn’t have to bang the table, farcically cite the Framers and make up things out of whole cloth as the House Democratic managers did during their time.
All the Trump team needed to do was cite the facts. That’s what they did, in a simple declarative way without drawing it out or offending the “jury” of the senators.
SIX FACTS that sink Dems' case:
•Transcript shows no conditionality
•Zelensky: no quid pro quo/pressure
•Ukraine didn't know of aid pause
•No Dem witness testified that POTUS said any conditionality
•Ukraine got aid, did nothing for it
•Trump strengthened Ukraine support pic.twitter.com/6OBpzflFOL
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) January 25, 2020
They noted the simple facts: the transcript doesn’t support the claim, not one person said there had been quid pro quo including President Volodymyr Zelensky, there were no conditions on the call or after, Ukrainians didn’t even know there was a hold up, aid wasn’t withheld but released on Sept 11 without any conditions and Trump has held up aid in the past for a variety of reasons including burden sharing and corruption. Indeed, in this case, he released it after Zelensky signed on to anti-corruption efforts.
The distinction was so sharp with the Democrats case that even CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who is a definite anti-Trump person, had to concede that the president and the Republicans were “winning.”
From Washington Examiner:
“Again, I just think the Republicans are winning here. The president is winning here. And as long as they don’t completely fall on their faces, which they’re all competent lawyers, they’re not going to do that, I think that’s fine for them,” Toobin argued.
“They did make one good point about [the transcript], I thought, which was the president did about burden-sharing in that phone call, and the House managers didn’t focus on that or even mention it. And fair is fair,” he continued. “He has talked about it before, and that was, I thought, a very legitimate good point made by the defense.”
The president’s lawyers repeatedly noted that Trump released the rough transcript of the call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and himself on July 25.
Democrats didn’t talk a lot about the transcript, Cipollone noted, the best evidence of the call, he said. Why? Because it clearly didn’t support their claim. Nor did Zelensky or any of the witnesses as to actually being told any quid pro quo.
Toobin did find one fault with the Trump defense team, however, and you know Democrats are in trouble if this is all they can say. The defense team was apparently not diverse enough for CNN.
Here's that clip of Toobin mocking the Trump legal team as "White House and white people" and "a lesson in the diversity of the two parties" (so ignoring how all lead 2020 Dems are white) He also went the sexism route, wondering if the female lawyers will be "allowed to argue" pic.twitter.com/R5dD2MqFBQ
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 25, 2020