Trump Defense Team Opening Argument Transcript: Jan 25 Impeachment Trial Statements from Cipollone, Philbin, Sekulow, Purpura - transcription powered by Happy Scribe

[00:00:00.03]
Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, Senators, Leader McConnell, Democratic Leader Schumer. Thank you for your time. And thank you for your attention. I want to start out just very briefly giving you a short plan for today. We were going to be very respectful of your time, as Leader McConnell said. We anticipate going about two to three hours at most. And to be out of here by one o'clock at the latest, we're going to focus today on two points.

[00:00:36.02]
You heard the house manager speak for nearly 24 hours over three days. We don't anticipate using that much time. We don't believe that they have come anywhere close to meeting their burden for what they're asking you to do. In fact, we believe that when you hear the facts and that's what we intend to cover today, the facts, you will find that the president did absolutely nothing wrong.

[00:01:13.05]
And what we intend to do today and we'll have more presentations in greater detail on Monday.

[00:01:18.05]
But what we intend to do today is go through their record that they established in the House.

[00:01:26.06]
And we intend to show you some of the evidence that they adduced in the house, that they decided over there three days and 24 hours that they didn't have enough time or made a decision not to show you. And every time you see one of these pieces of evidence, ask yourself. Why didn't I see that in the first three days? They had it. It came out of their process. Why didn't they show that to the Senate? And I think that's an important question because as House managers, really, their goal should be to give you all of the facts because they're asking you to do something very, very consequential.

[00:02:22.06]
And I would submit to you to use a word that Mr. Schiff used a lot, very, very dangerous.

[00:02:30.09]
And that's the second point that I'd ask you to keep in mind.

[00:02:33.04]
Today, they're asking you not only to overturn the results of the last election, but as I've said before, they're asking you to remove President Trump from the ballot in an election that's occurring in approximately nine months.

[00:02:56.00]
They're asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative. Take that decision away from the American people. And I don't think they spent one minute of their 24 hours talking to you about the consequences of that for our country. Not one minute. They didn't tell you what that would mean for our country today. This year and forever into our future. They're asking you to do something that no Senate has ever done. And they're asking you to do it with no evidence.

[00:03:48.00]
And that's wrong, and I ask you to keep that in mind, I ask you to keep that in mind. So what I would do is point out one piece of evidence for you and then I'm going to turn it over to my colleagues and they will walk you through their record and they will show you things that they didn't show you.

[00:04:07.08]
Now, they didn't talk a lot about the transcript of the call, which I would submit is the best evidence of what happened on the call.

[00:04:18.07]
And they said things over and over again that are simply not true. One of them was there's no evidence of President Trump's interest in burden-sharing.

[00:04:32.03]
That wasn't the real reason.

[00:04:35.00]
But they didn't tell you that burden sharing was discussed in the call in the transcript of the call. They didn't tell you that. Why? Let me read it to you.

[00:04:51.04]
Here's the president and we'll go through the entire transcript. I'm not going to read the whole transcript. We'll make it available. I'm sure you have it. But we'll make available copies of the transcript so you can have it.

[00:05:03.07]
The president said, and they read this line. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time, but they stopped there. They didn't read the following much more than European countries are doing. And they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk. And I think it's something that you should really ask them about.

[00:05:38.07]
When I was speaking to Angela Merkel, she talks Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of European countries are the same way. So I think it's something you want to look at. But the United States has been very, very good to Ukraine.

[00:05:54.07]
That's where they that's where they picked up again with the quote. But they left out the entire discussion. A burden sharing. Now, what is President Stilinski say? Does he disagree? No, he agrees. They didn't tell you this. Didn't tell you this. Didn't have time and 24 hours to tell you this. Yes, you are absolutely right. Not only one hundred percent, but actually one hundred percent. And I can tell you the following, I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her and I also met and talked with McCrone and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions.

[00:06:48.00]
They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine.

[00:06:56.03]
It turns out that even though logically the European Union should be our should be our biggest partner, but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union.

[00:07:08.03]
And I'm very grateful to you for that, because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine, much more than the European Union, especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation.

[00:07:24.02]
You heard a lot about the importance of confronting Russia. And we're going to talk about that. And you will hear that President Trump has a strong record on confronting Russia. You will hear that President Trump has a strong record of support for Ukraine. You will hear that from the witnesses in their record that they didn't tell you about.

[00:08:02.08]
So that's one very important example. They come here to the Senate. And they ask you. Remove a president. Tear up the ballots in all of your states. And they don't bother to read the key evidence of the discussion of burden sharing. That's in the call itself.

[00:08:30.06]
Now that's emblematic of their entire presentation. I'm going to turn the presentation over to my colleague, Mike Purpura. He's going to walk you through many more examples of this.

[00:08:51.00]
And with each example, ask yourself, why am I just hearing about this now after 24 hours of sitting through arguments? Why? And the reason is we can talk about the process. We will talk about the law. But today we are going to confront them on the merits of their argument. Now they have the burden of proof. And they have not come close to meeting it, in fact, and I want to ask you to think about one issue regarding process beyond process.

[00:09:33.06]
If you were really interested in finding out the truth, why would you run a process the way they ran if you were really confident in your position on the facts?

[00:09:47.06]
Why would you lock everybody out of it from the president's side? Why would you do that? We will talk about the process arguments, but the process arguments also are compelling evidence on the merits. Because it's evidence that they themselves don't believe in the facts of their case. And the fact that they came here for 24 hours and hid evidence from you.

[00:10:18.06]
Is further evidence that they don't really believe in the facts of their case, that this is for all their talk about election interference.

[00:10:30.07]
But they're here to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history.

[00:10:41.04]
And we can't allow that to happen. It would violate our Constitution. It would violate our history. It would violate our obligations to the future. And most importantly, it would violate the sacred trust that the American people have placed in you and have placed in them. The American people decide elections. They have one coming up in nine months.

[00:11:15.08]
So we will be very efficient. We will begin our presentation today. We will show you a lot of evidence that they should have showed you. And we will finish efficiently and quickly so that we can all go have an election. Thank you. And I yield to my colleague, Michael Purpura.