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Trump Lawyer Explains Why Quid Pro Quo Is Just Fine - Page 2

Plus, 41 protesters arrested as trial enters Q&A phase
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2020 10:58 AM CST
Updated Jan 29, 2020 3:30 PM CST

  • The GOP then asked the president's lawyers to respond to that question: Deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin said it boils down to precedent. "What is the precedent that is going to be set for what is the acceptable way for the House to bring impeachment to this chamber?" They didn't even subpoena John Bolton, he noted, "and to now insist this body will be the investigative body and do all the discovery ... then that's the new precedent, that the House doesn't have to do the work, they throw it over the transom, and then this institution [the Senate] gets derailed and has to deal with it. That should not be the precedent." (CNN notes Democrats did formally ask Bolton to voluntarily testify in its impeachment inquiry; he didn't show because the White House asked current and former officials not to participate.)
  • In answering the following question, Schiff said not hearing from witnesses was setting a more dangerous precedent. He also said Democrats didn't subpoena Bolton because they didn't want a drawn-out court battle.
  • A question from Ted Cruz: "As a matter of law, does it matter if there was a quid pro quo?" Trump's lawyers said presidents are allowed to authorize money with conditions when dealing with foreign policy. "If you don't do it, you don't get the money. If you do it, you get the money. There's no one in this chamber that would regard that as in any way unlawful," said Alan Dershowitz. Responding to that, Schiff said "All quid pros are not the same. Some are legitimate and some are corrupt, and you don't need to be a mind reader to figure out which is which."
  • Dershowitz also argued that, hypothetically, Trump is allowed to use such a quid pro quo to benefit his own re-election if he believes that re-election is in the national interest: "Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest. And mostly you’re right—your election is in the public interest. And if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment." Trump's team is arguing in hypotheticals because they still do not concede a quid pro quo was attempted.
  • CNN reports 41 protesters were arrested as they attempted to climb the Capitol Rotunda steps; 39 were charged with crowding, obstructing and incommoding; one was charged with all of that plus resisting arrest; and one was charged with crossing a police line and failure to obey.
  • What kind of questions are likely? Politico lists a dozen. For context: During Clinton's impeachment trial, 106 questions were asked.
(Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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