Trump Impeachment Trial: The Republicans’ Plan To Aid Trump

Trump Impeachment Trial has begun

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Republican senators say they discussed the plan for the 16-hour Q&A session of the trial during their conference lunch today.

They said that a member of leadership in their caucus will likely review questions from Senators before sending them to Chief Justice Roberts to read during the trial. Senators Ernst and Braun said that if there are similar questions from multiple senators, they will likely be combined into one question presented to the Chief Justice. Ernst said that senators’ names will be attached to their questions when they are read.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune said the process will be similar to the process used in the Clinton trial.“I think that it’ll pretty much follow what happened last time around. Questions are asked to the Chair, first come first served, we’ll have more to say about that,” Thune said.

This comes as we expect Democrats to prepare for the questions in much the same way with leadership condensing any redundant questions.

Graham says he missed the airing of his 1999 comments because he’s been “sick as a dog”

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham missed the airing of his 1999 comments about impeachment at the trial this week because he said he was “sick as a dog.”

Asked about the video clip, which was aired Thursday during the Democrats’ opening remarks, Graham noted how much he’s aged since then, then reasserted that there’s no statutory crime in this case. 

He said he wished he had been in the room to watch himself, but took frequent breaks because he’s been “sick as a dog…. I have spent more time in the bathroom than I normally do.” 

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 13, 2020. – Trump is heading to New Orleans to attend the College football playoff national championship. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

About the video clip: House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler played the clip of Graham arguing that “high crimes” don’t “even need to be a crime,” a statement that runs counter to a central Republican talking point in President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Graham, a fierce Trump ally, was not on the Senate floor when the video played, but Republican Sen. Ben Sasse could be seen whispering something to him on his way back in, and Graham smiled.

Jeffries: “The President tried to cheat. He got caught, and he worked hard to cover it up.”

Hakeem Jeffries
WASHINGTON, DC – APR. 9 Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday April 9, 2019.(Photo by Jared Soares for TIME)

House manager Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic congressman from New York, claimed in his remarks that the President worked hard to hide his misconduct.

“The President tried to cheat. He got caught, and then he worked hard to cover it up,” he said. 

Jeffries said that by July 2019, White House officials were aware of “serious allegations of misconduct by President Trump” regarding the withheld military aid to Ukraine. “But instead of halting the President’s corrupt scheme, they worked overtime to conceal it from the American people,” he said.

“As additional evidence mounted, the Republicans worked hard to keep the American people from learning about the president’s misconduct. Secretary of State Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Esper and John Bolton tried to convince President Trump to lift the hold on the security assistance. They failed.” 

“The $391 million in security aid was only released because President Trump was caught red-handed,” he said.

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