Cipollone: Nadler Should Be 'Embarrassed' for 'the Way You've Addressed This Body'

By Susan Jones | January 22, 2020 | 5:43am EST
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone presents arguments in the Senate impeachment trial on Jan. 21, 2020. (Photo: Screen capture)
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone presents arguments in the Senate impeachment trial on Jan. 21, 2020. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - It was after midnight when tempers ran short at the Senate impeachment trial:

"Mr. Nadler, you owe an apology to the President of the United States and his family. You owe an apology to the Senate. But most of all, you owe an apology to the American people," White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told House impeachment manager and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).

Cipollone said he and others on the president's team "came here today to address the false case brought to you by the House managers."

We've been respectful of the Senate. We've made our arguments to you. And you don't deserve and we don't deserve what just happened. Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team. He made false allegations against all of you. He accused you of a cover-up. He's been making false allegations against the president.

The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler is you, for the way you've addressed this body. This is the United States Senate. You're not in charge here.

Preceding Cipollone at the podium, Nadler had just argued against executive privilege, asserting, "the president has no authority to block ambassador Bolton from appearing here."

Nadler told the body, "Only guilty people try to hide the evidence." (Evidence, it should be noted, that House Democrats did not try to compel when they were making their case.)

Nadler also questioned whether (Republican) senators will choose to "be complicit in the president's cover-up" by concealing evidence from the American people.

We cannot be surprised that the president objects to calling witnesses who would prove his guilt. That is who he is. He does not want you to see evidence or hear testimony that details how he betrayed his office and asked a foreign government to intervene in the election.

But we should be surprised, that here in the United States Senate, the greatest deliberative body in the world, where we are expected to put our oath of office ahead of political expediency; where we are expected to be honest; where we are expected to protect the interest of the American people; we should be surprised, shocked, that any senator would vote to block this witness or any relevant witness who might shed additional light on the president's obvious misconduct.

The president is on trial in the Senate. But the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people. Will you vote to allow all of the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray your pledge to be an impartial juror? Will you bring ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire evidence of the president's misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the president’s cover-up?

So far, I'm sad to say I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses -- an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote. A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the president. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States.

A real trial, we know, has witnesses. You are here to do your duty, permit a fair trial. All the witnesses must be permitted. That's elementary in American justice. Either you want the truth and you must permit the witnesses, or you want a shameful cover-up. History will judge. So will the electorate.

‘Time to bring this power trip in for a landing’

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, responding to Nadler, addressed the issue of John Bolton:

"They don't tell you that they didn't bother to call Mr. Bolton themselves. They didn't subpoena him,” Cipollone said.

So for them to come here now and demand that before we even start the arguments, that they ask you to do something that they refused to do for themselves, and then accuse you of a cover-up when you don't do it -- it's ridiculous. Talk about out of control government.

Now, let me read you a quote -- from Mr. Nadler, not so long ago: “The effect of impeachment is to overturn the popular will of the voters. There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment, or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”

Well, you've just seen it for yourself. What happened, Mr. Nadler? What happened? The American people pay their salaries, and they are here to take away their vote. They are here to take away their voice. They have come here and attacked every institution of our government. They have attacked the president, the executive branch. They have attacked the judicial branch. They say they don't have time for courts. They have attacked the United States Senate, repeatedly.

It's about time we bring this power trip in for a landing.

‘The Senate is not on trial’

Next up, Trump Attorney Jay Sekulow complained that Nadler, the chairman of the judiciary committee, had uttered the words, "executive privilege and other nonsense."

“Mr. Nadler, it is not nonsense,” Sekulow said.

These are privileges recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States. And to shred the Constitution on the floor of the Senate to serve what purpose?  The Senate is not on trial. The Constitution doesn't allow what just took place.

Look what we've have dealt with for the last 13 hours. And we hopefully are closing the proceedings, but not on a very high note. Only guilty people try to hide evidence? So I guess when president Obama instructed his attorney general to not give information, he was guilty of a crime.

That's the way it works, Mr. Nadler? Is that the way you view the United States Constitution? Because that's not the way it was written. That's not the way it's interpreted. And it's not the way the American people should have to live. I will tell you what is treacherous. Come to the floor of the Senate and say, “executive privilege and other nonsense.”

A short time later, presiding Chief Justice John Roberts admonished both sides:

"I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and president's counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world's greatest deliberative body," Roberts said. "Those addressing the Senate should remember where they are."

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