***Live Updates*** Impeachment Trial: Team Trump Continues Opening Arguments

Senate Television via AP

President Donald Trump’s lawyers will continue to make opening arguments on Monday.

Trump’s team has about 20 more hours to present their arguments, but they are not expected to use all of their allotted time.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates. All times eastern.

9:02 PM: Trial is adjourned until 1 PM on Tuesday.

8:55 PM: Cipollone now up after Dershowitz and wants to make some quick observations before the Senate adjourns. He said he was thinking how Trump’s impeachment would look like on a law school exam. After going over the fact pattern, he says the first thought would be this could not happen in America. He says one would reject the impeachment. Cipollone says it is instructive to watch videos of past impeachments. He says it’s not playing a game of “gotcha”–it’s paying them compliments. He asks the lawmakers to listen to their younger selves. Cipollone also asks the Senators to consider what he says is the “golden rule of impeachment.” He concludes by saying the most important point is that this choice belongs to the American people and they will get to make their choice months from now. He says there is no basis in the law for Senators to remove the president from the ballot.

8:50 PM: Dershowitz says he is ending his presentation with a non-partisan argument for a fair consideration of his arguments. He says he does his own research and thinking and he has never bowed to the majority on intellectual or scholarly matters. He says there have been few responses to respond to the arguments of those opposed to Trump’s impeachment. He says his arguments have been rejected with negative epithets instead of being judged on the merits.

He says he would be making the same Constitutional arguments in opposition to the two articles regardless of who is the president.

He urges the Senators to not let their strong feelings about one man to undo what the founders created and do irreparable damage to the separation of powers. He asks the Senators to think beyond the emotions of the day and says impeaching Trump on these articles would neither do justice to the president nor the Constitution.

8:37 PM: Dershowitz says nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of “abuse of power” or an “impeachable offense.” He says you can’t turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct by using words like “quid pro quo.” He says words like “abuse of power” are standard-less and reiterates that the founders did not want the country to be a parliamentary democracy where the chief executive could be removed with a “no confidence vote.” He says that is why the framers set the impeachment bar so high.

8:28 PM: Dershowitz argues that even if the Senate were to conclude that a technical crime is not required for a crime, “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” are not impeachable offenses. He says “abuse of power” is an accusation leveled by a president’s opponents. He says presidents like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Tyler, Polk, Lincoln, Grant, Wilson, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Obama have been charged with “abuse of power” and would be subjected to impeachment under the House managers’ standard.

8:27 PM: Dershowitz takes a jab at Lawrence Tribe, saying he argued that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime when it was Clinton. He says Tribe changed his mind like academics often do…

8:18 PM: Dershowitz says a Constitutional amendment was passed to deal with an incapacitated president (Woodrow Wilson) because the framers did not see incapacitation (not criminal) as being impeachable.

8:02 PM: Dershowitz arguing that a president cannot be impeached for non-criminal conduct like “obstruction of Congress” and “abuse of power” that are “outside the range of impeachable offenses.” He says Congress is not above the law.

7:55 PM: Dershowitz says that even if criminal conduct were not required, the framers would have rejected vague terms such as “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”

7:50 PM: Dershowitz now speaking in the prime time slot. He says he would be making the very same Constitutional argument had Hillary Clinton been charged with the same articles. He says he loves his country and is arguing that high crimes and misdemeanors do not constitute the two articles. Dershowitz says the Senate must consider whether the evidence presented by the House managers establishes that the factual allegations occurred. Second, if they occurred, did they rise to “abuse of power”/”obstruction?” Third, whether those charges rise to the level of impeachable offenses under the Constitution. He says to prepare for his remarks, he has immersed himself in a lot of documents from the 18th/19th centuries. He says the founders would not have accepted the vague criteria the House used because it would have turned the country into a British parliamentary democracy.

7:38 PM: Regarding the second article, Ray says it is odd for House managers to argue that Trump obstructed Congress when he declassified and released the transcript.

7:17 PM: Ray says it is not in the country’s best interest to have impeachment just become “politics by other means.” Regarding the first article, Ray says the House managers have said, in short, the president’s conduct is criminal even though they can’t charge him with a crime. Ray is arguing that even if the allegations against Trump were true (White House visit), they would not constitute a quid pro quo. He says there was no pressure/extortion, and he points out Ukrainian officials have said as much. He says Hamilton would be rolling over in his grave if he knew about how the House conducted the impeachment process against Trump. Ray says what is left of the first article of impeachment. He says no crimes were committed or alleged. There is no treason. There is no bribery (no quid pro quo). Not extortion (no pressure). He also says there is also no violation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974.

7:05 PM: Ray says impeachment was never designed to be a partisan tool. He discuss Nixon’s impeachment process that was bipartisan. He says serious crimes were alleged against Nixon while crimes are not present in the articles against Trump. Ray says, to the House managers, impeachment is an empty vessel into which they can pour in any number of charges.

6:57 PM: Ray says the Senate is convened to try a president for articles of impeachment for only the third time. He says the articles do not allege crimes even though the Constitution dictates that a president should be removed when a high crime is committed and that crime betrays the public trust (oath of office). He says both are required and neither, by clear and unmistakable evidence, are present in the articles.

6:56 PM: Sekulow says the evening’ last two speakers in prime time will be Robert Ray and Alan Dershowitz.

6:01 PM: Senate will take a 45-minute break for dinner.

5:55 PM: Herschmann plays clips of Democrats saying impeaching Trump is a “urgent” because national security threat and then delaying. He also said by the House’s standards, former President Barack Obama should have been impeached for his dealing with outgoing Russian President Medvedev. He says the articles of impeachment have been brought for partisan purposes and adds that “this is not the time for souvenirs” or get digs in about how the president will “always be impeached.” He says the House managers do not trust the American people to pick the president and do not think Democrats can beat Trump in November, and that is why they want to impeach him. He says maybe they are concerned that the American people will like the Trump administration’s accomplishments.

5:38 PM: Herschmann says Democrats have circled the wagons to protect the Bidens and have called all investigations into Hunter Biden’s Ukraine dealings “a sham.” He now argues that Trump did not want the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens because he announced his candidacy because Biden had been planning to run well in advance. He says Zelensky’s election was an opportune time to raise the issue because there was now a government willing to fight the type of corruption Joe Biden raised before.

5:07 PM: Eric Herschmann now up and is pushing back on the House managers’ claim that Trump put his interests above the national interest. He says the managers have not bet their burden. He says Democrats are as wrong about the article of impeachment as they were about “Russia collusion.” He says the federal government made it a priority to deal with corruption in Ukraine and also lists Hunter Biden’s lack of qualifications. He says “we are to believe that there is nothing to see here” even though Hunter Biden’s only qualification was he was the son of the vice president who also had Ukraine in his foreign policy portfolio. He says Biden in 2015 said Ukraine had a corruption problem in the energy industry but did not tell his son not to trade on the family name or do business in the energy industry. He asks what are the House managers afraid to find out if they investigate this more. He warns Democrats to “be careful what you wish for” because they have put the Bidens and their dealings front and center.

4:39 PM: Pam Bondi says Democrats mentioned Hunter Biden or Burisma more than 400 times during their presentation so they have to talk about it even though they would prefer not to do so. She says Democrats have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there were no reasons to wonder about the corruption. She now details the Hunter Biden/Burisma relationship, saying even Biden’s business (Chris Heinz) partner called the Hunter Biden/Burisma relationship “unacceptable.” Bondi said Heinz subsequently stopped doing business with Devon Archer and Hunter Biden. After citing the WaPo editorial that called the board appointment “nepotistic at best” and “nefarious at worst,” Bondi details Biden’s lack of qualifications and says the media were right to question this relationship. She cites other reports from outlets like ABC News. Bondi points out Burisma’s owner was on the country’s wanted list for fraud while Hunter Biden was on the company’s board.

4:20 PM: Philbin says the House says they have no time for the courts but what that means is “they have no time for the rule of law.”

4:15 PM: Philbin says the House does not have “Constitutional kryptonite” after saying it is “absurd” and “dangerous” for the House to try to impeach a president for asserting legal defenses and privileges. He said in a government of laws, asserting privileges and immunities is a “fundamental right” and “not obstruction.” Philbin uses Nadler’s and Schumer’s words during the Clinton impeachment trial against them and smirks a bit after the clip of Nadler’s remarks.

3:50 PM: On obstruction, Philbin says the House is trying to impeach Trump for resisting legally deficient demands for documents. He says this will undermine the separation of powers and will be an abuse of power. Philbin says there has been a refrain from House Democrats that there was “blanket defiance,” and that is not true. He says the subpoenas were not authorized because there was no vote in the House on an impeachment resolution. He says there were specific letters explaining all of the legal grounds for resisting. Philbin says the subpoenas also required Trump’s senior advisers to testify even though the Office of Legal Counsel advised that these advisers were immune from testimony.

3:36 PM: Patrick Philbin now up talking about due process and obstruction. On due process, he says the House made errors on due process. He says the impeachment inquiry was unauthorized and unconstitutional. He says it started with nearly two dozen invalid subpoenas. He argues that the House Democrats denied Trump basic due process required by the Constitution in the proceedings they used in the hearings. He says they abandoned the principles that governed impeachment inquiries in the House for over 150 years. Philbin says the Senate should not try to redo the process by bringing in new witnesses or evidence and warns them of ushering in a “new normal” where the Senate becomes the “investigatory body.” He says there will be a lot more impeachments coming.

3:35 PM: Raskin says the score is Giuliani 4, Schiff 0 when it comes to who got what right re: FISA abuse, misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI, Russia collusion, and obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation.

3:19 PM: Senate back from break, and Sekulow begins by speaking about Giuliani and how many times Democrats have mentioned him. He says the issue of Giuliani has come up a lot and he thinks it is appropriate to turn to that issue. He yields to Jane Raskin. She says Giuliani is the House Managers’ shiny and “colorful distraction” because the facts and the law are not on their side. She rips the House Managers’ presumptions, assumptions, and unsupported conclusions and says they are trying say Giuliani was only there to dig up dirt against Biden because he might be Trump’s rival. Raskin asks what evidence has been presented to support their conclusions. She says “virtually none”–“they just say it over and over and over.” She says Giuliani was Trump’s personal attorney but he was not on a personal errand. He was doing what a good defense attorney does. Raskin says Giuliani was following up on a tip about election interference from Ukraine to defend his client against the “Russia collusion” case. She says the bottom line is Giuliani defend Trump vigorously and publicly throughout the Mueller investigation and the “attempted Mueller redo by the Judiciary Committee” that the House Managers want to “sneak through the back door” during the impeachment proceedings.

2:37 PM: Purpura says the “White House meeting” theory has no basis of fact and says Sondland was “only guessing” about the quid pro quo. He emphasizes that Volker testified that Trump never withheld or delayed a meeting with Zelensky because the Ukrainians would not investigate the Bidens. He says the House Managers played Sondland’s testimony 15 times but never read Volker’s testimony that he just read in which he refutes Sondland’s testimony. Purpura says Trump invited Zelensky three times without pre-conditions and the White House was working behind the scenes to make it happen. He says nobody testified in the House record that the president said there was a connection between the meeting and the investigation. “So much for a quid pro quo with a meeting with the president,” Purpura says.

2:16 PM: Purpura, the deputy White House counsel, says the case the House Managers chose to submit to the Senate shows that Trump did not condition anything during the phone call and did not even mention the paused security assistance on the call to Zelensky, who also mentioned that he never felt pressured on the call. The case they submitted also showed that nobody said Trump told them that there was a quid pro quo and the security assistance was given to Ukraine without any announcement of investigations into the Bidens. He is now establishing Trump’s history of being concerned about burden-sharing. He asks why the House Managers never played clips of witnesses like Fiona Hill who undercut their arguments about burden-sharing and corruption.

2:15 PM: After railing against Pelosi’s “celebratory pens,” Sekulow says Purpura. Sekulow says they established on Saturday that there was no quid pro quo and the Ukrainians didn’t know that the security assistance was paused until a month after the phone call.

2:10 PM: Starr says the House “took no oath” calls the House a “runaway House” that has run away from the Constitution’s demand of fundamental demand of fundamental fairness. He says the House, though, inadvertently has given the Senate an “exit ramp” provided by the Constitution.

1:35 PM: Starr emphasizing that impeachment should be a last resort and urges Senators to return to the text of the Constitution to restore the country’s history and tradition re: the common law of presidential impeachment. He says the text always speaks of crimes, beginning with treason. Starr says the Framers made a deliberate and wise choice to cabin the power of impeachment. He says impeachment and removal overturns a national election and influences the next. He speaks about how impeachment must be bipartisan in nature.

1:15 PM: Sekulow is introducing Ken Starr, who will speak next. Starr says the Senators are not in a legislative chamber during the proceedings but in a tribunal. He says we are living in “an age of impeachment” where presidential impeachment is invoked frequently and destabilizing.

1:10 PM: Sekulow leads off and they will not deal with speculation and allegations and deal with transcripts. He asks if presidents will now get impeached every time there is a policy difference.

1:05 PM: Senate Chaplain mentions Kobe Bryant’s and Gianna Bryant’s death before the trial resumes. McConnell wishes Chief Justice Roberts a happy birthday.

12:50 PM: A friendly reminder about the “Impeachment Hoax” hearing from Trump:

12:45 PM: More pressure could be put on Chief Justice Roberts:


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