In particular, the president’s team made lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff’s credibility an issue, knocking him for one false statement on top of another.
For weeks during the Democrat-controlled House’s rigged impeachment inquiry, Republicans attempted to call their own witnesses but were denied. They especially wanted to hear from the person who essentially got the impeachment ball rolling: A CIA operative “whistleblower” who originally claimed President Trump sought an illegal, improper ‘quid pro quo’ from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In particular, Patrick Philbin, deputy legal counsel to the president, made reference to a transcript that’s being withheld by the House Intelligence Committee, which Schiff, California Democrat, heads.
Philbin hinted the transcript is likely helpful to Trump’s defense, “pointing to the inspector general for the intelligence community, who raised the issue of the whistleblower’s political bias,” the Washington Times reported.
“We don’t know what exactly the political bias was because the inspector general testified in the House committees in an executive session and that transcript is still secret. It wasn’t transmitted to the House Judiciary Committee,” Philbin said at one point.
The Times reported the existence of the closely-held transcript, adding that the classified material was significant.
“You would think before going forward with an impeachment proceeding against the President of the United States, you would want to find something out about the complainant that started all of it,” Philbin said. (Related: House Republicans bust up secret ‘impeachment’ hearings to demand Democrats release witness transcripts they know will exonerate Trump.)
White House counsel Pat Cipillone opened the defense’s case by accusing Democrats of simply wanting to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
“They are asking you to tear up all the ballots across this county,” he said of Democrats. “I don’t think they spend one minute talking about the consequences of that for our country.”
In fact, Cipillone accused Democrats of doing what they have blamed on Trump: “They are here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in U.S. history.”
Meanwhile, Jay Sekulow, another of the president’s attorneys, noted that the president has placed holds on foreign aid “a number of times” to “ensure that funds go towards activities that further U.S. foreign policy and also further our national security interests.”
In addition, Sekulow knocked Democrats in the House for impeaching Trump for simply disagreeing with his foreign policy agenda, though that is “not an impeachable offense.”
And he also noted that Democrats talked for nearly 24 hours to present their case but did not put forth any actual evidence that he committed a ‘high crime or misdemeanor,’ which is the Constitution’s impeachment standard.
Mike Purpura, another deputy White House counsel, argued that the transcript of President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky — the one referenced by the whistleblower — shows no quid pro quo at all. He also noted that Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have said no quid pro quo was ever mentioned, or that the Ukrainian government was even aware President Trump had placed a hold on their military aid.
Also, he noted that not a single witness the House brought in to testify during the impeachment inquiry was an actual ‘witness’ who saw Trump demand a quid pro quo.
Purpura also played a video clip featuring an opening statement by Schiff during the impeachment inquiry last fall that was completely “fake,” in which the California Democrat was pretending to read from the phone call transcript.
All in all, the president’s defense team gave a good accounting of him while exposing the sham impeachment that the Democrats have engaged in.