Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin told the Senate that an ordinary court would declare a mistrial and throw out the case against President Donald Trump, after lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) made up charges that were not in the articles of impeachment.
Philbin called out Schiff for accusing President Donald Trump of “bribery” and “extortion,” and hammered the point home:
If this were a criminal trial in an ordinary court and Mr. Schiff had done what he just did on the floor here, and start talking about crimes of bribery and extortion that were not in the indictment, it would’ve been an automatic mistrial. We’d all be done now, and we could go home. And Mr. Schiff knows that, because he’s a former prosecutor.
It is not permissible for the House to come here, failing to have charged, failing to have put in the articles of impeachment any crime at all, and then to start arguing that, “Actually — Oh we think there is some crime involved, and actually, we think we actually proved it, even though we provided no notice we were going to try to prove that.”
It’s totally impermissible. It’s a fundamental violation of due process.
Later, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-CA) tried to ask about bribery again. Philbin said that the House managers were trying to “smuggle” in claims that were never alleged by the House.
Subsequently, House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) claimed that “bribery” was, in fact, included in the articles of impeachment under the heading of “abuse of power.”
In fact, the articles of impeachment do not allege bribery or extortion, and only mention “bribery” in citing the constitutional text.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.