President Trump, Senate, Vice President discussed on Skullduggery
They also pretty clear all right. But you also argue that it's extortion and that you you know the pressure. The pressure was overwhelming. Obvious notwithstanding the fact presidents Alinsky said there wasn't any pressure and that was seconded by other Ukrainian government. Officials doesn't mean you can you can ignore some of the facts but of course the point of the trial is to have all of those facts on the facts and shouldn't though all of the facts include the testimony of people who directly spoke to the president about this issue who can but Michael Nicole is not every single fact that she would like again. This is is not an oversight. Hearing if there are sufficient facts they are looked every trial was about certainly a threshold matter. Of How many facts do you need before. You can make an informed decision about what it is. You're being asked to decide and what I'm suggesting to you is. It's not so much about guilt or innocence. Although obviously what. The President's presidents team is seeking is a judgment of acquittal ultimately. But it is. I suggest to you based upon our history principally the question of whether or not the conduct as charged warrants the president's removal from office. And if you can do that without having witnesses and documents I'm not telling the Senate that that's what they should do. That's ultimately silently their decision. Decide whether or not that's what they need. They'll know what they need. Do you have any idea what John Bolton would say if he's called to testify that's not my my my task here okay. My my my mind might might task any idea not. I'm not well look I. My task here is to deal with the existing record. Okay there will not be. Va Record with regard to what Jolt John Bolton might testify to until such time as the Senate in its wisdom decides that it needs to hear from John Bolton and what happens if if the Senate does vote that it wants to hear his testimony and we'll we are prepared for all contingencies including a trial with witnesses. It's necessary we don't. I think it is necessary and we will make that argument at the appropriate time next week before the Senate but ultimately it will be his job to decide whether or not. They think they need that. In order to resolve these impeachment articles that if the Senate votes for witnesses John Bolton is subpoenaed right now sitting here on our podcast you think get is more likely that the trump defense team will of the trump White House will invoke executive privilege or more likely that they will not and he will come forward. He didn't testify. and Are you getting prepared to litigate. An executive privilege claim. The president himself has signaled that. That's what's likely to occur. I don't speak for the president with regard them his lawyer but ultimately it's the president's call as to whether or not executor privileges asserted. I mean that's that's that's his judgment to make and I think you have some experience litigating. These claims previous independent short. And you know look. The president is also suggested even though in some fashion. It's not always necessarily in his best interest to do so. You do have to respect on. I know you know in today's world is always everybody's motives are always questioned. But you know there's a legitimate don't question with regard to executive privilege where the need to assert. It is not about just protecting this president and this president's White House in this president's executive branch but protecting the integrity of the assertion of executive privileges for all presidents every president has had that in mind. And it's been something that has been of concern to President's residents going all the way back to President Washer. Look the issue is how you deal with. Executive privilege claims and If John Bolton is called the testify you could do it in a closed-door store deposition question by question and if you want to invoke executive privilege to some questions you can there are other questions presumably. That would not invoke that would did not rise to the level of need to invoke executive privilege. Is that a compromise arrangement. You could accept. You know let's okay. Let's go to the testimony. Mony will sit in if we think that there are some questions that the that Bolton can't Answer will invoke executive privilege at that time. Michael There are too many ifs. It's in that question that this doesn't become an issue until such time as the Senate decides that they're going to be witnesses which is something they have not yet decided. Allies is the optics of invoking executive privilege to shut down key. Testimony is not great. I'm familiar with optics. Going all the way back to the the Whitewater Whitewater investigation several independent counsel investigations in the One thousand nine hundred. I'm familiar with it. From history. And also farming viewed it myself in connection with the the Watergate proceedings so it looked. This is not news to me. I understand all about optics but you know the question is really. We've got an impeachment article here here which accuses the president of obstruction of Congress largely as the result of his assertion of executive privilege which he he was entirely permitted to to do and was prepared and did litigate the issue and because the house chose to sort of pull the plug on that prematurely they did not only that but they and then turned around and chose to to impeach him for it. It's kind of ironic position to take. Since the principal evidence in this case that has resulted resulted in his impeachment is the call transcript which the president declassified and released. Well speaking of optics do you. What about the optics of Senate Majority Leader Mitch. McConnell publicly saying that he was coordinating impeachment. Planning with the White House. He is now sworn an oh th to be an impartial juror was at appropriate. And this I mean honestly I think a lot of that was overblown. I mean you know is it shouldn't be of any mystery to anybody With regard to the procedural mechanics not substance that you would be engaged in planning and coordinating with the White House with in connection with an impeachment trial. I don't know why that's we'll have you ready. Norma surprise to anybody have you or any of the other members of the trump legal defense team been talking to McConnell or his staff a defense. I I can tell you that I can only speak for myself. I have not all right. So if there are witnesses you got some. You're GONNA call always ever perset about witnesses is if the Senate decides and makes a determination that they need to hear from witnesses that it should be fair okay so you can expect that if there were witnesses were called. It's not going to be just a situation where the house managers to get to call the witnesses. They want in fairness to the president. which is all? We've we've ever been seeking through all of this including from when we were back in the House of Representatives our position has simply been. You can't hear from witnesses from just one side. This is from both sides based on the case that the Democrats have presented and they spent a lot of time yesterday talking about Joe Biden and Hundred Biden right is would vice president biden be a legitimate legitimate witness to call. I think it's premature to be able to make that determination But I will say that the argument by many of the house managers and many others that testimony with regard to the Biden's meaning both the former vice president and his son as has there characterization. Completely irrelevant seems to sort of beg the question. If you're big contention here is that there is an improper motive. Owed by President Trump. In pursuing this conversation with presidents alinsky relative to investigation of the Biden's it seems to me your views about that are colored or affected by whether or not you think there was merit to such an investigation seems to me. That's relevant evidence. And after all who's the defendant on trial L. in this matter the president. He's entitled to a defense. It's rather odd concept to say. Oh no you can't present a defense with regard of the Biden's that's irrelevant. Really the the president gets to present a defense as he sees fit six. That Biden that Vice President Biden would be a legitimate omit witness and that if witnesses if the Senate votes to allow witnesses that you should call him well that's up to the Senate right. I mean ultimately. Oh the question of whether they're going to be witnesses up to the Senate but who gets called is up to well. Even who gets called is is clearly their determination. I mean we could make we can can make proposal as who we'd like to call just because we propose something doesn't mean that Senate has to accept it. I mean you're familiar with that. That issue in connection with the the Clinton impeachment. It wasn't you know there was a decision in determination that they would hear from three witnesses. That was a a determination that was made by the body so just because just because we want them. It doesn't necessarily mean that we get them. Wouldn't you also concede that from your perspective as as a defense lawyer that Vice President Biden might not be an ideal witness in terms of the optics. He's a pretty popular guy he's matters. Are there consequences and political considerations to a lot of these things. Of course you know no and I you know my role here is a trial lawyer. Defending the President United States in connection with an impeachment. I don't get to make all of those determinations. There's a lot of other things. Is that way into that. My job is to get the president safely through these proceedings to a judgment of acquittal period. That's my job you know there. I'm not suggesting that there aren't important. Other considerations involve But my focus is on doing and performing as well as I can't ah in the task at hand. That's my task. Hunter Biden Bull. It's the same point you know. Would he be at the top of your list. I think people have already spoken to that. That's not for me to say and you can you. You know you can direct those kinds of questions to the to the head of the trial team who would be The White House counsel witnesses. Who would they? Maybe Hunter Biden. Joe Biden the whistle blower. Anybody do you have somebody else told you rattled off all the ones that you could potentially think of that you have been discussed the whistle blower lower The I guess junior whistle blower the device vice president Potentially hundred by look I you know we it depends ha also. We're not even through the house managers presentation what's wanted. We all. Just be patient and wait until they're done. We have a defense case by way of opening winning. And we'll see where we are and then the you know the Senate is going to take that up. What will at the threshold question is again? I hate to hearken back or you know repeat I repeat myself but I mean House Democrats. They'd plenty of that so before before we ever get to that. They're still has to be a determination as to whether or not witnesses witnesses and And and further documents really truly would be helpful in terms of the Senate's ability in order to resolve the matter at hand and doc matter is whether or not this is going to the president's removal from office which requires as you know bipartisan support in a two thirds. Vote if you're not going to get there all all the questions that you might have can be resolved later on. It seems to me oversight capacity this is not the purpose of impeachment trial. You just go back back to the point I was making before. There's a core factual dispute. was there a quid pro quo or not and there may not have any actual factual dispute because you would have expected in order to tee that up here that a quid pro quo would have been alleged in an article of impeachment. Not only was it. Not alleged not only was bribery. Not alleged but there's no rest arrested macron's argument whether it's the thrust the question is whether it's charged you know..