President Donald Trump’s legal team has wrapped up their defense of the president with an urgent appeal to leave things to the will of voters.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone urged senators Tuesday to “trust the American people” and acquit President Trump of impeachment offenses.
In his closing argument, Cipollone said, “You know what the right answer is in your heart. The election is only months away. Why not trust the American people with this decision? The American people are entitled to choose their president. It is time for this to end, here and now.”
The president’s lawyers ended three days of legal arguments in the trial to determine whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office for abuse of power and obstructing Congress.
During his summation, Mr. Cipollone played video clips of several Democratic lawmakers arguing against President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.
Among them was Charles E. Schumer of New York, now the Senate minority leader, who warned at the time that impeachment “will be used as a routine tool to fight political battles.”
“My fear is that when a Republican wins the White House, Democrats will demand payback,” Mr. Schumer said back then.
Some senators in the chamber laughed at the irony of Mr. Schumer’s remarks from two decades ago.
Mr. Cipollone told Mr. Schumer, “You were right, but I’m sorry to say you were also prophetic.”
Trump’s lawyers wrapped up their arguments by mid-afternoon, making for a relatively short day and teeing up two full days later in the week for questioning.
The Bolton book has thrown a wrench in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plans for a speedy trial with no new witnesses since the revelations provide a first-hand account of an alleged quid pro quo. The book has made it harder for GOP senators to ignore Bolton and have amped up calls from Democrats to demand witnesses.
In dramatic testimony that the Republicans have seized on, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, said on Monday, “Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power, or an impeachable offense.”
The case now moves to two full days of questions from senators.