Talking Points: House Managers Present Overwhelming Evidence That Trump Broke The Law; GOP Senators Call For “New” Evidence 24 Hours After Blocking “New” Evidence

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President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, at Turning Point USA’s 5th annual Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.) Public Domain.

The seven House impeachment managers—led by Rep. Adam Schiff—presented overwhelming evidence that Donald Trump broke the law by withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election.

  • Managers read from the July 25 call memo where Trump asked for “a favor though”—an investigation into his political rival—when President Zelensky requested military aid.
  • Managers showed video of Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitting on national television that Donald Trump held up the military aid until Ukraine agreed to launch political investigations benefiting the president’s re-election.
  • Managers showed video of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland saying that “the answer is yes,” there was a quid pro quo and that “everyone was in the loop.”

The highly respected independent watchdog organization, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), reviewed the evidence and determined that Donald Trump committed a crime, meeting the standard for impeachment that Republican senators themselves set for impeachment and removal from office.

But they’re trying to move the goal post once again, complaining that there wasn’t any “new” evidence presented.

  • Of course not! That’s because, on Tuesday, Republicans senators voted to block any “new” evidence from being entered into the proceedings! That includes critical documents from the State Department, Office of Management and Budget and the National Security Council, and firsthand witnesses who had conversations with Donald Trump like former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
  • These proceedings come at the same time that Donald Trump bragged at a press conference in Davos that his administration was withholding large troves of documents.

Fortunately, the American people are listening to the evidence and aren’t buying the White House and GOP’s arguments about blocking witnesses:

  • new Pew poll shows a majority of Americans—63 percent—say that Trump has definitely or probably done things that are illegal and a whopping 70 percent say Trump definitely or probably acted unethically.
  • new FiveThirtyEight poll shows that 54 percent support the senate removing Trump from office.
  • new CNN poll shows that 69 percent of Americans support calling new witnesses who did not testify in the House impeachment inquiry.

This should be a warning sign for GOP senators. This trial will be seen as a sham and Republicans’ acquittal of Donald Trump will be seen as nothing more than a cover-up if they don’t stop blocking all the new evidence that Trump is bragging about withholding.

It’s time that Republican senators live up to their oath of office by performing their constitutional duty in holding a fair trial that considers all the facts, allows firsthand witnesses to testify, and puts country before party.

No one in the United States is above the law—not even the president.

Pushback to Republicans’ Arguments

GOP SPIN: Why didn’t the House get these documents and witnesses during the impeachment hearings? Why should the Senate do their job for them?

  • THE TRUTH: They did. The House requested documents and the White House blocked them. The House asked key witnesses like John Bolton to testify but he refused. 

GOP SPIN: Why didn’t the House go to court to get these documents and witnesses?

  • THE TRUTH: They did. But the Trump administration is in court right now—today, in fact—arguing that the House doesn’t have the right to.

GOP SPIN: The president can’t be impeached if there’s no crime.

  • THE TRUTH: This is false, but not even applicable in this case. An independent watchdog, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), found that Donald Trump did break the law when he abused his power by withholding military aid to pressure Ukraine into helping with his re-election.

    Also, Donald Trump’s own lawyer Alan Dershowitz said during the 1999 Clinton impeachment that: “It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty.”

GOP SPIN: President Andrew Johnson’s defense lawyer, former justice Benjamin Curtis, persuaded the Senate in the 1868 impeachment trial that “abuse of power” was not an impeachable offense.

  • THE TRUTH: This is false. Curtis’ arguments not only lost a Senate majority—they came only one vote shy of losing the super majority needed to remove Johnson. Johnson was ultimately saved not by the power of Curtis’ argument but by the fact the deciding senator was bribed to vote for the president. 

    Further, Johnson’s defense team clearly viewed abuse of power as impeachable, making a robust argument against why he committed an abuse of power.

Originally posted on Impeachment HQ. Re-posted with permission.

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Impeachment HQ is a new rapid response project that serves as a resource to talkers, reporters, and activists on the impeachment proceedings.

The new project is a joint effort from Defend the Republic, a messaging and strategic communications project focused on holding the Trump Administration accountable, and Stand Up America, one of the country’s largest grassroots advocacy organizations and a key group driving grassroots action on impeachment.

The project is led by Zac Petkanas, who was previously the Director of Rapid Response for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Communications Director to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senior Adviser to the Democratic National Committee.

The project is also supported by communicators, campaigners, and researchers from both Defend the Republic and Stand Up America—including Ryan Thomas, the Press Secretary for Stand Up America, who leads the communications team.

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