As the Senate impeachment trial hurtles to a close, the President’s lawyers and House impeachment managers wrapped up around 16 hours of arguments during the question and answer sessions — some serious, and some downright laughable.
Here are some of the most ludicrous moments of the two-day presentations, courtesy of team Trump:
Dershowitz’s Assertion That The President Can Do Anything
Professor Alan Dershowitz made an extreme case for the power of the executive Wednesday, essentially saying that the President can do anything if he believes it will boost his chances for reelection.
“If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” he said.
His words sparked general outcry, and Trump’s lawyers tried to distance themselves from that facet of his argument during later presentations.
Actually, Biden Is The One Who Should Be Impeached
White House Deputy Counsel Pat Philbin eagerly seized on a question from a group of Republican senators asking if baseless allegations against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, would be worthy of impeachment.
Despite the fact that there is no evidence that the elder Biden abused his power to protect his son and the company on whose board he sat, Philbin saw the hypothetical through.
“One could put together fairly easily from those known facts the suggestion that there was a family financial benefit coming from the end of that investigation,” Philbin said, “because it protected the position of the younger Biden on the board.”
He added that such actions would be “problematic” if undertaken by a President.
Let The Voters Decide
A primary team Trump talking point, clearly crafted to give cover to wavering Republican senators, was that the 2020 election is only months away: might as well let the voters decide.
“Most importantly, most importantly,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said, closing out Tuesday’s session, [is] “to respect and defend the sacred right of every American to vote and to choose their president. The election is only months away. The American people are entitled to choose their president.”
He added that it would do “serious and lasting damage” to remove the President from office before the election.
Impeachment Is The REAL Election Interference
Relatedly, Trump’s lawyers referred to the impeachment effort as “massive election interference,” an overturning of the last election and tampering with the next.
A clear attempt to rebrand Russia’s election meddling in the 2016 election, Trump’s lawyers tried to argue that the constitutional process of impeachment would rob Trump of his rightful office, no matter the truth of the allegations.
Flub On The Crucial Biden-Ukraine Question
Philbin struggled mightily to respond to a joint question posed by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) about whether Trump ever mentioned the Bidens in connection to Ukrainian corruption before Joe Biden announced his candidacy for president.
After highlighting the limited scope of the House’s inquiry, Philbin admitted that “…I can’t point to something in the record that shows President Trump at an earlier time mentioning specifically something related to Joe or Hunter Biden.”