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Get Ready for Team Trump to Drag the Bidens Into His Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Trump’s turn. Trump’s legal team will take the impeachment stage Saturday morning for its rebuttal of House Democrats’ thorough and damning presentation of evidence. The team, led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow, will have 24 hours to present its case, a process that…

Get Ready for Team Trump to Drag the Bidens Into His Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Trump’s turn.

Trump’s legal team will take the impeachment stage Saturday morning for its rebuttal of House Democrats’ thorough and damning presentation of evidence. The team, led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow, will have 24 hours to present its case, a process that will likely extend through Tuesday.

“In the next couple of days, you’ll get to see not only the case laid out, the factual information as to how the president did nothing wrong, but also how the process was wrong and unconstitutional,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told VICE News.

That’s easier said than done.

The House’s Democratic impeachment managers spent the last three days laying out in brutal specifics their evidence that Trump actively worked to force Ukraine’s government to announce investigations of his political opponents — including Joe Biden. The Trump administration’s efforts toward this goal included an illegal hold on $400 million in congressionally appropriated military aid as the president’s team sought to force the country’s leaders to comply.

One clear aim of Trump’s team: Bruise the Bidens. A source on Trump’s legal team told reporters during a Friday-evening conference call that because Democrats had brought him up, Trump’s potential 2020 opponent was fair game to attack.

“They spent a lot of time bringing the Bidens to the case and established there is something relevant there. We’ll have to address it.”

“They made it very relevant to the case,” the Trump team member said. “They spent a lot of time bringing the Bidens to the case and established there is something relevant there. We’ll have to address it.”

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But Trump will also need a defense. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of Trump’s impeachment defense team, said their rebuttal would fall into three main buckets:

  • Argue the facts show Trump did nothing wrong
  • Attack the House impeachment process as unconstitutional and unfair
  • Argue that even if Trump did what Democrats claim that it isn’t impeachable because it’s not a crime (Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz will lead this point)

“The best argument is the facts are on the president’s side,” he told VICE News Thursday. “Second, there was a lack of due process extended to the White House and the president, and certainly to the minority. And there’s just a fundamental constitutional issue that Mr. Dershowitz will lay out.”

Inconvenient facts

Trump’s defense team faces a tough situation where the facts appear to be almost unanimously against them. But the president’s dictates and their own approach haven’t helped them any.

Trump’s wholesale refusal to cooperate with the House impeachment investigation included blocking witnesses and refusing documents that Congress has the right to review — a move that led to the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress. And his team’s decision to decline the House impeachment investigators’ invitation to participate in the hearings undercuts his side’s argument that the process was rigged against them, especially since the rules were almost identical to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

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