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The Senate impeachment trial kicked off Tuesday with all the predicted fireworks, including Democratic allegations of a “cover up” by Republicans, dire declarations from the impeachment managers and bruising rebukes by the president’s legal team. Amid all the Capitol Hill commotion, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) stepped in front of cameras to provide a succinct summary of the day Democrats have long anticipated, and threw in a prediction for good measure.
The opening arguments of the Democratic impeachment managers, headed up by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), said Cruz, are best summarized by an “old saying.”
“We’ve seen one motion after another after another. They’ve been redundant; they’ve been making the same arguments,” Cruz told reporters Tuesday. “This seems to be a time for Adam Schiff and the House managers to lecture the American people and attack the president.”
“But, you know, there’s an old saying that ‘If you have the facts, you bang the facts. If you have the law, you bang the law. If you don’t have either, you bang the table,'” said Cruz. “Well, this afternoon, we’ve seen a whole lot of table banging.”
“And at the end of the day, we’re in the same spot we were in when we began the day,” he continued, “which is the House articles of impeachment that were passed on a partisan basis, they don’t meet the constitutional standard.”
Cruz then offered a prediction about the outcome of the trial. “And that’s why the end of this process, after a fair proceeding — after hearing the arguments of the House managers, after hearing the arguments of the president — the end of this proceeding is going to be an acquittal because the House managers still can’t meet the constitutional threshold.”
If you have the facts, you bang the facts.
If you have the law, you bang the law.
If you don't have either, you bang the table.
Today, we've seen a whole lot of table banging. pic.twitter.com/ez6HZtvu7y
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 22, 2020
As The Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer reported, Cruz also weighed in on social media Tuesday concerning the Democrats’ demand that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, one of the members of Trump’s high-powered impeachment team, “must either disclose any pertinent information he has about Democrats’ substantive impeachment claims or otherwise be dismissed as a Trump defense lawyer at trial.”
“You may be a material witness to the charges against President Trump, even though you are also his advocate,” the Democrats’ impeachment managers wrote in a letter to Cipollone, as reported by Politico. “[A]t a minimum, you must disclose all facts and information as to which you have first-hand knowledge that will be at issue in connection with the evidence you present or arguments you make in your role as the President’s legal advocate so that the Senate and Chief Justice can be apprised of any potential ethical issues, conflicts, or biases.”
Cruz, a constitutional attorney who clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, weighed in on the Democrats’ “absurd request” on Facebook:
Democrats’ opening salvo in impeachment: they demand Trump get rid of his lawyer, Pat Cipollone.
Unlike the House, the Senate will have a FAIR trial. That means we won’t deny the President his lawyer ON THE DAY the trial starts.
The Sixth Amendment provides the accused the right “to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” Note that the Sixth Amendment does not apply to the prosecution; it protects only the accused. Under the standard put forth by the House Democrats today – that any potential fact witness cannot serve as counsel in the impeachment hearing – there is an obvious person who should be disqualified: Adam Schiff.
Schiff, it has been alleged, spoke directly with the so-called “whistle-blower” and may even have helped him draft the complaint that launched this entire impeachment.
So, maybe we should disqualify Schiff as a lawyer, and schedule him instead as a witness to explain his role in creating the “evidence” in this proceeding?
Hammer notes that the Constitution “affords no role for the impeachment trial prosecution to impose procedural demands upon the Senate itself,” citing Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 which states that the House “shall have the sole power of impeachment,” and Article I, Section 3, Clause 6, which specifies that the Senate “shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.”