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Trump Impeachment Trial Winds Down With Closing Arguments

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C-SPAN Radio

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

But we begin with the latest on the Senate impeachment trial and tomorrow's Iowa caucuses the first contest in the race for the democratic nomination the Senate narrowly rejected democratic demands for witnesses but pushed off a final vote to acquit president from till Wednesday the day after he addresses Congress on the state of the union let's bring in Kevin Cork reporting from the president's retreat of Mar a Lago but the latest Calvin Chris just three more days before the White House can finally peers the cloud cover of what they've considered the brazen partisan process the single party impeachment of the president of the United States laughter Monday's closing arguments senators final remarks and then finally Wednesday at four PM the vote on the two articles of impeachment and barring a political earthquake the president's expected acquittal one by the thinnest of definition say defined Democrats still reeling from the Senate's fifty one forty nine vote rejecting demands for additional witnesses if the president is equated with no witnesses no documents acquittal will have no value wedged in between Monday's resumption of activity on the Senate floor and Wednesdays historic vote is the president's state of the union address Tuesday evening theme the great American come back the president is expected to focus on what the White House calls the blue collar economic boom lowering overall healthcare costs and safe legal immigration in a speech sources tell fox news will be both positive and optimistic I tone in sharp contrast perhaps to its we sit overnight by the president shortly after midnight in which she accused Democrats of using the impeachment process as a blazingly political process to damage the GOP and lose their chances Chris in twenty twenty Chris Kaman Cork reporting from Mar a Lago Kevin thank you they are I spoke about the Senate trial with a member of the president's defense team Alan Dershowitz professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of the new book guilt by accusations this is George with let's start with the Senate's decision by a vote of fifty one to forty nine not to call witnesses the Republicans have the votes so they won but is there a legal justification a legal reason for not calling evidence when there is substantial new evidence yes as I argued to the Senate if somebody were accused of the crime of abuse of power or dishonesty something it's not a crime what you do is you make a motion to dismiss on the other side has no we want to introduce evidence no no no no you can't is use evidence if there is no legitimate indictment here the articles of impeachment did not charging impeachable offense so the right answer is to dismiss it and cut it off right there no amount of witnesses could have changed that okay but the top Democrats in Congress Nancy Pelosi the house Chuck Schumer in the Senate say that the failure to call witnesses is going to put a taint on any of the weather listen to sure this country is headed towards the greatest cover up since Watergate but he will not be quite as you cannot be acquitted if you don't have a trial of course you can be acquitted if you don't have a trial if they don't charge you with illegitimate crime it's the fault of Nancy Pelosi and the others for failing to charge an impeachable offense they're going to say they say he's never going to be truly acquitted because you didn't have witnesses who didn't have new evidence he dismissed it before you even really got to hear what the facts were in a criminal context it would be cool victory a great victory here if they have been charging the fans then maybe he hasn't been acquitted but he also hasn't been charged he's in exactly the same situation you should have been in had they done the right thing and not impeach him at all you've created quite a controversy with something you said in the Senate trial here is which is sad and here's some of the blood does which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest cannot be the kind of that results in impeachment if you can identify something as president that's in your public your political interest and say that's the national interest they're all bets are off is what I don't understand right you have made it clear new and I went out at last week on the question of you say that to be an impeachable offense it's gotta be a crime criminals like behavior of kin to treason and bribery that's what the constitution means when it says treason bribery or other high crimes and get into this question of whether or not the president thanks his re election is in the public interest because you seem to be implying that somehow that gives them an extra level of immunity no no it doesn't I was asked the question by a senator the question was does quid pro quo matter and my answer is it matters is what the president it is illegal or wrong but if the president is something completely waffle the fact that part of his motivation may have been to help his election cannot be the quid pro quo that's what I said I never said I mean and I don't believe that a president can do anything if he thinks it is national interest look I supported the impeachment of Richard Nixon he thought that the five crimes he committed our own national interest these folks have totally distorted quite deliberately because they saw that I was having an impact on some of the senators so they deliberately distorted what I said and said even if it's criminal what the president thinks is in the best interest it can't be an impeachable offense nonsense I never said it was three journals as I never said it New York times says I never said it and the fact that Schumer and shifts and CNN say I said it doesn't make it true again I don't even know why intense is an issue and why you got into it as I was but but my point is the activity has what you say is the case if it's criminal or criminal like activity that it can be impeachable if it's not criminal activity it doesn't matter what the motive the example I gave I said there are three levels of motor the sample I gave the president says I'm not giving you money you crane unless you give me a million dollar kick back of course that's criminal and of course he goes to jail Abraham Lincoln said the troops owned Indiana vote for Republicans in the election was that impeachable no matter what it was well it doesn't matter to me but it managed to shift and medicine to the people on the other side they were focusing on motive I was responding to them I didn't put that in my original speech because you're right but I was on the floor to respond to constitutional arguments question and it was wrenched out of context you seem pretty upset about I was very upset about that because it is has has hurt me people think I actually believe the president like Nixon can do anything he wants is exactly the opposite of what I've been teaching arguing in as a civil libertarian believing in the fifty years how dare they deliberately and willfully distort my position and then not give me an opportunity to respond all rights forget impeachment from asking you this and maybe a little agree to do it or not but a thought experiment Alan Dershowitz citizen do you find it troubling problem out at that residence with Lincoln anyway forget is not about I'm not saying it's criminal his support