Impeachment manager Hakeem Jeffries on the case against Trump


Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named seven Democratic lawmakers to serve as impeachment managers or prosecutors trying to convince the Senate to convict President Trump joining us now from New York a member of that team congressman Hakeem Jeffries and welcome back to Fox News

Sunday morning Griff the White House defense team last night sent out their responses to the articles of impeachment calling impeachment a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president this is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn

the results of the 2016 election and interfere with a 20/20 election now just months away they say Democrats have been trying to impeach and remove this president since the day he took office our case is simple the facts are uncontested and the evidence is overwhelming Donald Trump pressured a foreign

government to target an American citizen for political and personal gain and withheld 391 million dollars in military aid from a vulnerable Ukraine without justification as part of his effort to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election that isn’t a corrupt abuse of power and that is precisely

why we are here right now getting way ready to proceed with a Senate trial let’s talk about the trial as we talk and we’re now just a little over 48 hours from when the trial will actually start with motions on Tuesday do you the Senate

impeachment managers do you know what the rules of this trial are going to be that you’re going to have to operate under and secondly what about this talk that Senator McConnell is going to put out a rule that you have two days 24 hours basically two 12-hour sessions to deliver your opening

arguments do you have any problem with that well we do not know what the rules are going to be at this moment we certainly look forward to being able to review the resolution the most important thing is that the American people deserve a fair trial the Constitution deserves a fair trial our democracy deserves a fair trial and we believe that a fair trial of all witnesses it involves evidence

it involves documents we intend to present that to the American people we’re gonna proceed in a serious solemn and sober fashion as we’ve done in the house now as we transition to the Senate we need to just follow the facts apply to law be guided by the Constitution present the truth to the American people as it

relates to the solicitation of foreign interference in a twenty twenty election the Senators are going to have to decide the American people are going to have to decide is that the right thing for a president to do should we protect the corruption of our demarcate

but to answer my specific question there is talk and it appears that it’s informed talk that McConnell is gonna say you got two days you have 24 hours but you got two days and we’ll keep the Senate in session from 1:00 in the afternoon to 1:00 in the morning are you okay with that well again I don’t want to speculate as it

relates to what the resolution may look like because Senator McConnell hasn’t presented that resolution and ultimately the decision will be made by the 100 senators all of whom have sworn an oath to be impartial we certainly hope that they conduct themselves in that fashion we have a very strong case to present there were 17 different witnesses who testified in the house proceeding 12 of whom testified publicly many of them

were Trump appointees individuals like ambassador Solomon gave a million dollars of course the Trump’s inauguration who testified under oath that this was a quid pro quo but here’s what I think a lot of people find curious that your team in your opening arguments is basically going to be making two arguments that are completely contradictory one you have an overwhelming case you had the case that you have built is

sufficient that the president should be removed from office but two we need to call more witnesses don’t those contradict each other they don’t there’s a strong case that was developed in the house but as was the situation in the Clinton impeachment as Senator Graham just acknowledged there were three additional witnesses including Monica Lewinsky

who was at the center of the impeachment in 1998 who did not testify before the house proceedings but was called to be present as it relates to what took place in the Senate and if Senator McConnell is saying that we’re going to follow the Clinton model then let’s just follow the Clinton model

what about the argument that we heard from Senator Graham in the previous segment why should the Senate take the time and go to the trouble to litigate whether or not they can hear from witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton when the house could have done it and you decided that you were in too much of a rush to do that what we proceeded expeditiously because you know

Trump’s abuse of power his pressuring of a foreign government in this instance for his own personal political gain related to an urgent matter of national security you know the notion of withholding 391 million dollars that was allocated and again you can’t have it both ways Congress when you say it was an urgent matter it was a threat and then Nancy Pelosi waited a month to even hand over the articles of impeachment yeah I’m glad you raised that because there’s

two parts to this process there is the impeachment process and then of course there’s the removal trial that takes place in the Senate and speaker Pelosi’s decision which was the right one to temporarily for a short period of time hold those articles of impeachment have created the space for us to have a discussion about a fair trial and in that space

what we’ve seen is john bolton has come forward to say he’s willing to testify before the senate left harness has come forward to say he’s willing to testify before the Senate we’ve acquired additional information in terms of correspondence between the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense which says that the president was the one who directed the aid be withheld from Ukraine

we’ve had five Republican senators say that a fair trial should involve hearing from witnesses and we’ve also seen that the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has concluded that the White House broke the law that’s additional information that I would think senators who believe in a fair trial would want to hear you heard Lanza Graham before say look he doesn’t want witnesses but he says if we’re gonna have witnesses and the number of other Republicans are saying

this there should be reciprocity if Democrats get to call witnesses then Republicans get to call witnesses if you want and I assume he’s your top witness former national security adviser John Bolton if you want to call John Bolton and the Republicans say well then we’re gonna call hunter Biden are you willing to pay that price well ultimately this is a decision that the 100 senators will make perhaps with some involvement from Chief Justice John Roberts who’s presiding over the trial prayed for you well what I will say Chris is that

the standard that should apply is relevance as it relates to the central allegation in this case of the president pressuring the Ukrainian government for his own personal political gain what I would think is relevant is the fact that in 2017 the Trump administration allocated 150 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine and allegedly there were no concerns with corruption in Ukraine in 2018 the same Trump administration allocated 200 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine it was never held up there

were never any congressional hearings about alleged corruption in Ukraine under Republican control the President had two different calls with the Ukrainian president in April on the 21st and that’s what as soon as argument Leiby that’s what he became aware of that well the key question is what was the intervening event because the President had two calls of course he never mentioned the word corruption in May of 2019 the Department of Defense Trump’s Department of Defense indicated in the letter to Congress that all

necessary preconditions for the receipt of the aid had been met including the implementation of anti-corruption reforms by the Ukrainian government it seems that the intervening event may have been the announcement by Joe Biden that he was running for president okay one final question and that is House Speaker Pelosi who’s been saying for weeks that she takes no joy in the impeachment of Donald Trump she use the words that you’ve used so Long’s solemn sober serious here she is this is a very serious matter and we take it to heart and it really solemn way which is why even some

Democrats were surprised to see the ceremony where she signed the articles of impeachment handing out pens like it was a celebratory bill signing and as we can see from these pictures here all the participants look pretty happy doesn’t that blow a hole in your narrative that the Democrats aren’t enjoying the the impeachment and the effort to remove this president I was at that ceremony and there was no joy we just saw the pictures congressman there was no joy in that ceremony and from the very beginning through the end speaker Pelosi has been clear that we are going to proceed in a very serious and solemn and sober fashion

we don’t dislike this president we work with this president on criminal justice reform I did personally on the first-step Act we work with this president to pass the us-mexico Canada trade agreement we work with this president to fully fund the government but you’ve also I’m talking about impeachment a lot of your members since he took the oath of office we don’t dislike Donald Trump but we do love America we do love democracy we do love the Constitution and in America no one is above the law not even the President of the United States George

Washington in his farewell address said the Constitution is sacredly obligatory upon all that means everyone congressman Jeffries thank you thanks for your time today and will of course be following the action on the Senate floor this week which could go let well into the evenings thank you sir thank you Chris


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