The Senate impeachment trial began yesterday, and continued on into the early morning hours.
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live, we broke down day one of the proceedings.
In his private capacity as a leading member of President Trump’s legal team, ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow is taking part in the President’s impeachment defense. Here’s an excerpt from his statements on the Senate floor yesterday:
It’s also my privilege to represent the President of the United States before this chamber. Senator Schumer said earlier today that the eyes of the founders are on these proceedings. Indeed, that’s true. But it’s the heart of the Constitution that governs these proceedings. And what we just heard from Manager Schiff: the courts have no role, privileges don’t apply, and what happened in the past, we should just ignore.
In fact, Manager Schiff just said, I’ll try to summarize my colleagues’ defense of the President. He said it, not in those words, of course, which is not the first time Mr. Schiff has put words into transcripts that did not exist. Mr. Schiff also talked about a trifecta. I’ll give you a trifecta. During the proceedings that took place before the Judiciary Committee, the President was denied the right to cross examine witnesses. The President was denied the right to access evidence. And the President was denied the right to have counsel present at hearings. That’s a trifecta. A trifecta that violates the Constitution of the United States.
Later in the proceedings, Jay made the following point:
Mr. Schiff did say the courts really don’t have a role in this. Executive privilege? Why would that matter? It matters because it’s based on the Constitution of the United States. One manager said that it is you that are on trial, the Senate. He also said that, and others did, that you’re not capable of abiding by your oath. And then we had the invocation of the ghost of the Mueller Report. I know something about that report; it came up empty on the issue of collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction. In fact, the Mueller Report, to the contrary of what these managers say today, came to the exact opposite conclusions . . . . Let me quote from the House impeachment Report, page 16: “Although President Trump has at times invoked the notion of due process, an impeachment trial, an impeachment inquiry is not a criminal trial and should not be confused with it.” Believe me, what has taken place in these proceedings is not to be confused with due process, because due process demands, and the Constitution requires, that fundamental fairness and due process – we’re hearing a lot of due process – due process is designed to protect the person accused.
ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow also joined us for a brief update. You can hear both updates, as well as analysis from ACLJ Director of Policy Harry Hutchison, on the full episode here.
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