Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution Chairman Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on Sunday that the allegations that House Democrats have made against President Donald Trump in their impeachment efforts do not amount to as much as a speeding ticket because they have not alleged that any violation of federal statutes has occurred.
“I do think what we have seen coming out of the House is an abuse of the Constitution,” Cruz told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo. “And the reason is that they’re using this for political purposes. This is the first time in history any president is alleged – has been impeached without the articles alleging any criminal conduct at all, without alleging any federal crime was violated.”
“They don’t allege any federal law was violated. They don’t even allege as much as that the president has a speeding ticket, and that has never happened in our country’s history,” Cruz continued. “And to use impeachment like the House Democrats are doing, to express their political disagreement with the president, to try to overturn an election they’re unhappy with, that is an abuse of the Constitution.”
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Joining me right now, in an exclusive interview, is Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.
Senator, it’s always a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much for being here.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Thank you, Maria. Good morning.
BARTIROMO: So, this is the first time we will hear from the president.
Of course, the president and the White House coming out with a statement last night ahead of the trial. Would you agree that this could be as shore as two weeks? What is your expectation?
CRUZ: I think it is certainly possible that this trial could last one to two weeks.
On the other hand, if the Senate makes decision to go down the road of additional witnesses, that could extend it six, eight weeks, or even longer. So I think there are really two paths here.
But what you just noted there is important. This week is going to be the first time in a year that the president has had the opportunity to defend himself, to lay out the facts, to lay out the law, to lay out the actual substance.
We have seen months and months and months of a one-sided show trial from House Democrats, where they didn’t want to hear from the defense, where they shut out the White House, where they shut out the minority.
The good news is, in the Senate, what I’m confident of is, we’re going to have a fair trial. We’re not going to give in to the kind of games that House Democrats have played. Instead, we’re going to give both sides a full and fair opportunity to present their case.
The House managers will have every opportunity to stand up and to present their arguments, to put forth whatever evidence they have.
But for the first time, the president and the White House defense team is going to be able to walk through the facts and substance. And I think that’s a very, very important development.
BARTIROMO: Let’s talk about your reciprocity resolution.
So if you were to go down the road of witnesses, you want it to be reciprocal. Tell us about that.
CRUZ: Well, that’s right.
It’s kind of strange how we got here. So Democrats have been having hearings, have been doing impeachment for months in the House. They brought in all sorts of witnesses. They blocked the minority from having any witnesses.
And then, as soon as we get to the Senate, the Democratic talking point is, we want more witnesses. Never mind all the witnesses they called before. They want yet more.
And they’re trying to delay this. They’re trying to drag this out. They want this trial to go on forever, because they have a political objective of attacking the president.
What I have said and what I have urged the conference is, is, listen, if we go down the road of witnesses, we’re not going to do what the House did. We’re not going to have a one-sided kangaroo court. Instead, we’re going to respect reciprocity.
What does that mean? That means, if the prosecution gets a witness, the defense gets a witness. If the prosecution gets two, the defense gets two.
That means, if the prosecution gets to call John Bolton, then the president gets to call Hunter Biden.
And I got to tell you, the Democrats are terrified about seeing a witness like Hunter Biden testify, because they don’t want to hear evidence of actual corruption, of corruption, potentially, of Joe Biden, corruption that occurred during the Obama administration. They blocked all those witnesses in the House.
They’re not going to succeed in blocking them in the Senate. If they want to go down the road of witnesses, that means the president enjoys the rights to due process, which means he can call witnesses and lay out his defense.
BARTIROMO: What would that open up a whole ‘nother can of worms?
I mean, obviously, this whole focus on the president and this impeachment trial has put Hunter Biden and Joe Biden to the backseat. No one is actually talking about what went wrong there and why he accepted this money from foreign countries, leadership of foreign countries, while his father was sitting vice president.
CRUZ: Well, Maria, you’re right.
And the Democrats desperately want to keep that topic off the news. And, sadly, an awful lot of folks in the media are very compliant with that.
But that’s why I said this week the president having the opportunity to defend himself is so important, because I think one of the fundamental defenses that I expect to hear from the White House this week is that the president has inherent authority and, in fact, a responsibility to investigate corruption.
And when you look at what happened with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, there is, at a minimum, prima facie evidence of corruption. You have got Hunter Biden getting paid $83,000 a month by Burisma, the largest natural gas company in Ukraine; $83,000 a month is a million dollars a year.
CRUZ: Hunter Biden had zero experience in oil and gas. It’s not like he was a geologist or geophysicist. He was getting that money, the obvious inference is, because his daddy was vice president.
And Joe Biden is on video at the Council of Foreign Relations bragging that he blocked a billion dollars in foreign loans and foreign aid to Ukraine until they fired the prosecutor who was potentially investigating Burisma, the company on which Hunter Biden sat on the board.
When — if the Biden family is profiting to the tunes of millions of dollars, the president is entirely justified to say, let’s investigate and find out what happened. That’s why Hunter Biden is such an important witness and why the Democrats don’t want to focus on, what was the evidence of actual corruption?
I expect to hear a lot from that — from the White House defense team this week.
BARTIROMO: You have got a 51-vote threshold in terms of getting that vote to hear witnesses.
Do you want to hear from witnesses? Then I want to get your take on the White House’s letter sent last night, basically calling the articles of impeachment violations of the Constitution.
CRUZ: Well, starting with the second part first, I do think what we have seen coming out of the House is an abuse of the Constitution.
And the reason is that they’re using this for political purposes. This is the first time in history any president is alleged — has been impeached without the articles alleging any criminal conduct at all, without alleging any federal crime was violated.
They don’t allege any federal law was violated. They don’t even allege as much as that the president has a speeding ticket, and that has never happened in our country’s history.
And to use impeachment, like the House Democrats are doing, to express their political disagreement with the president, to try to overturn an election they’re unhappy with, that is an abuse of the Constitution.
Now, the first question you asked about process and witnesses, let me tell you what we can — what we can expect to see in the next week or two going forward.
On Tuesday, when we come back, the Senate will convene at 1:00 p.m. And we will start with pretrial motions. We will start with probably battling motions.
What I expect the Senate to do is adopt a scheduling order laying out the next couple of weeks. That scheduling order is modeled after the scheduling order for the Bill Clinton impeachment. It’s very, very similar.
So it provides that we start with the House managers getting 24 hours spread over two days to present their case. They can argue evidence. They can argue law and argue whatever they want.
After that, the president and the White House, they get 24 hours spread over two days to present their case. Then we shift questions from senators.
Senators get 16 hours. Our questions have to be in writing, and the chief justice asks them for us. All of that, I would anticipate, takes about a week — a week to a week-and-a-half.
At that point, what the scheduling order provides is, the Senate is going to vote on whether or not additional witnesses are necessary. That’s a 51-vote threshold.
I don’t know how that vote is going to come out. I think all 47 Democrats will vote yes. The open question is whether there will be four Republicans to join with those 47 Democrats.
And, look, I think some of that depends on what happens in the first week-and-a-half, what arguments the House managers put forward, what arguments the White House puts forward, what questions comes out.
I hope, at the end of the week-and-a-half, where Republican senators are is — is, we have heard enough. The evidence they have put forward doesn’t satisfy the constitutional standards.
The Constitution says, impeachment lies for high crimes and misdemeanors.
CRUZ: This wasn’t a high crime or misdemeanor. They didn’t allege any crime at all.
And so I hope, at the end of this process, that we will get at least 51 votes to say, let’s move to final judgment. And when we move to final judgment…
CRUZ: … the outcome of this is going to be, the president will be acquitted. The Senate will vote not guilty.
And the reason I can say that with confidence is because, on their face, the articles of impeachment, they don’t allege high crimes and misdemeanors. They fail on their face.
And so I hope we get 51 votes in a week-and-a-half to say, this is over. If not, if not, if there are at least four Republicans who joined the Democrats for witnesses, then we’re looking at a trial that will probably last six, eight weeks or longer…
CRUZ: … because you have to assume there’s going to be litigation over the witnesses, there’s going to be delay.
But if we go down the road of witnesses, all of the Democrats, envisioning only prosecution witnesses and no defense witnesses, they’re in a fantasyland.
The Senate is not going to do like the House and play political games.
CRUZ: We’re going to be fair, and we’re going to give the president a full opportunity to defend himself.
BARTIROMO: Real quick, how likely is it that we see a motion to dismiss in the first — after the first 48 hours, after you actually look at those articles?
CRUZ: You know, I don’t think it is that likely.
CRUZ: And the reason is, I think dismissing this cases is a much less attractive option than rendering final judgment and acquitting the president.
CRUZ: And the reason is twofold.
Number one, if you do a dismissal, a dismissal doesn’t reach the merits. An acquittal, a verdict of not guilty, that verdict stands for all time.
Nancy Pelosi is going out on TV crowing that the president has been impeached forever.
CRUZ: Well, when will we get to final judgment, the president will have been acquitted forever of these bogus impeachment charges.
CRUZ: That’s a much better outcome for the president and for the country.
BARTIROMO: And we’re going to speak with…
CRUZ: Secondly, if we dismissed at the outset, the president would never get a chance to defend himself.
The president — the White House lawyers would never get the opportunity to put on the affirmative case.
BARTIROMO: That’s true.
CRUZ: Think about it.
In the months and months of House hearings, what I said on Hunter Biden, you didn’t hear any of the witnesses say that, because the House Democrats didn’t want those facts and evidence.
CRUZ: They didn’t want to explore the evidence of corruption.
CRUZ: The president is entitled to have his case laid out, laid out persuasively, to be able to point out, as the brief the president filed this weekend points out, that these House Democrats have wanted to impeach the president since November of 2016.
BARTIROMO: That’s right.
CRUZ: Since Election Day, they have been saying, we’re going to impeach the president, which means this has nothing to do with Ukraine.
It was long before anything had happened with Ukraine.
CRUZ: This was before the president had been sworn in. House Democrats were saying they wanted to impeach him. This is pure politics, and it’s abusing the Constitution.
BARTIROMO: Right. What a week this will be.
I want to take a break.
When we come back, there are some areas where you agree with your colleagues on the left. One of them is about big technology and how powerful technology companies have come.
There were worries that the big tech companies cheated in the 2016 election. I want to ask you if you expect them to cheat in 2020.
Senator Ted Cruz, stay with us.
Back in a moment with more.
BARTIROMO: And I am back with Texas Senator Ted Cruz ahead of a historic week, with the impeachment trial starting.
Real quick, before we get to technology, Senator, in terms of that resolution, is there any concern that you have got, the senators, basically having allegiance to Joe Biden?
He’s served 36 years in the Senate. There are some senators who will be — quote, unquote — “jurors” who are running for president. Of course they have a — they have their motive.
And then there are others who perhaps have an allegiance to Joe Biden.
CRUZ: Well, look, there’s no doubt Joe Biden served with an awful lot of senators. There are a number of senators who consider him a personal friend.
I am hopeful and I believe that senators will do their constitutional duty, which means that they’re not going to decide this case based on friendship, but, rather — there was a reason that the framers of the Constitution gave the responsibility of conducting an impeachment trial to the Senate.
They debated quite a bit where to do the impeachment, particularly of a president.
CRUZ: And one of the options they considered was the U.S. Supreme Court.
They also considered the Senate. They also considered a third option of sort of a combination of the two, combining the two.
CRUZ: And that’s sort of what they did by bringing the chief justice the United States in to preside over the Senate.
But if you look at the Federalist Paper — Papers…
CRUZ: … Alexander Hamilton explains, the reason they chose the Senate was two things.
Number one, they wanted an institution with the credibility to resolve issues.
CRUZ: The impeachment of the president is a big deal. They knew it would be politically contentious. They wanted an institution that could have the credibility with the American people to be fair.
CRUZ: Secondly, they wanted an institution that could withstand the buffeting of politics, that wouldn’t be like the House.
The House is designed to respond to momentary political surges. The Senate is designed to be more stable, more consistent.
CRUZ: That’s why the framers gave it to the Senate.
And I’m hopeful that my colleagues will fulfill that responsibility.
BARTIROMO: Senator, let me switch gears and ask you about a testimony in front of your committee by Robert Epstein as it relates to Google and big tech.
BARTIROMO: Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROBERT EPSTEIN, AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY: In 2020, if all these companies are supporting the same candidate, there are 15 million votes on the line that can be shifted without people’s knowledge and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Fifteen million votes.
Go back for us. What happened in 2016? And are you worried that big tech wants to put its finger on the scale in the upcoming 2020 election?
CRUZ: So, I’m very worried.
That testimony that you just showed is Dr. Robert Epstein, who’s a very respected academic. He’s a psychologist, used to be the editor of Psychology Today.
And he did an empirical study on Google in 2016 and on the search results they came back — and he was astonished by the results. He found that, based on manipulated search outcomes, biased search outcomes, that Google in 2016 shifted 2.6 million votes towards Hillary Clinton.
Now, here’s the interesting thing, Maria. Dr. Epstein is not a Republican. He is a liberal Democrat. He voted for Hillary Clinton. So, politically, he was happy to see more votes for Hillary.
But he was horrified to see big tech have that kind of power. And he went on to testify what you just played, which is, if they do the same thing in 2020, which all indications are that they’re going to, they could shift up to 15 million votes.
It is terrifying that a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires that now control over $5 trillion of the American economy have no accountability and the ability to censor, to deceive and to manipulate votes.
CRUZ: And I think that’s a threat to our democracy we need to take very seriously.
BARTIROMO: Well, let’s not forget Michael Bloomberg, who is running for president, said that he’s willing to spend…
BARTIROMO: … up to a billion dollars, even if he’s not the nominee. He’s already spent $217 million.
CRUZ: He’s already spent — Bloomberg has already spent more than every other candidate combined.
And it is kind of striking. With all the rhetoric, it’s fairly interesting…
CRUZ: … that the two top spenders on the Democratic side are two gazillionaires, billionaires, who are just writing massive checks.
And that often is the case when you see people with socialist rhetoric, is, they often are doing so from position of great wealth themselves. And so they’re happy to redistribute other people’s wealth, not so much themselves.
CRUZ: I think we ought to be the sort of economy where everyone has a fair opportunity, where people — people like my dad, when he came from Cuba in ’57, with nothing…
CRUZ: … washing dishes…
CRUZ: … have an opportunity to achieve the American dream.
BARTIROMO: Well, that’s…
CRUZ: And big government socialists, which the 2020 Democrats are advocating, it doesn’t give that economic mobility. It freezes the billionaires in place.
CRUZ: And it freezes everyone else in place also.
CRUZ: That — that’s not America.
CRUZ: And that’s not the freedom that this country was built on.
BARTIROMO: You’re going to have some week ahead. We will be watching.
Senator, good to see you. Thank you so much.