Politico reported Saturday morning that President Donald Trump’s lawyers would open their arguments in the Senate impeachment trial by focusing on former Vice President Joe Biden. In fact, they barely mentioned Biden at all.
White House lawyers instead focused their two-hour presentation on the facts that, they argued, House Democrats had deliberately left out of their three-day presentation to the Senate because the facts would “collapse” their case. The only person they attacked was lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), arguing that his track record of misleading the public meant the Senate could not trust his inferences about the evidence.
A few minutes before the opening of proceedings in the Senate at 10:00 a.m. ET, Politico sent an email alert: “BREAKING NEWS: Trump’s legal team to begin opening arguments with assault on Biden.” The email claimed that White House counsel were going to open their defense of Trump with an “unbridled” attack on Biden.
But in the end, there was simply a passing reference to the vice president that did not mention him by name.
Politico later reported: “Trump’s legal team launches attack on Dem case — and Schiff.” It admitted:
Unmentioned in the first hours of the trial was Joe Biden, who Trump asked Zelensky to investigate during their July 25 call, a request that Democrats said amounted to a violation of Trump’s oath of office — using his power to obtain a personal, political benefit. Biden is a front-runner to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.
It added: “But [White House lawyer Jay] Sekulow has foreshadowed that Biden will be a feature of the defense.”
The opening arguments of the White House will resume Monday in the Senate at 1:00 p.m. ET.
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.