Sen. Ted Cruz Anticipates Trump Acquittal: No Allegations of Law-Breaking

Susan Jones | January 14, 2020 | 9:46am EST
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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (Photo: Screen capture)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (Photo: Screen capture)

( - "I think at the end of this process, these articles of impeachment are going to be thrown out," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Fox News on Tuesday morning.

"And I think it's going to end, not with a dismissal but with a verdict of not guilty," he continued:

And the way it works in the Senate, when you come to vote on verdict, you vote on each article. And each senator will vote either guilty or not guilty. And the reason why this ends with an acquittal is very simple. The House hasn't met the constitutional threshold.

The Constitution specifies, for impeachment of a president, that you have to demonstrate bribery, treason, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. They haven't done that. In fact, this is the first time in the history of our country that any president has been impeached without even so much as an allegation of criminal conduct.

They have not alleged in these articles of impeachment that the president violated any criminal law. They haven't alleged he violated any civil law. They haven't even alleged the president has a speeding ticket. And for that reason, this doesn't meet the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors. And so the end of this process will be an acquittal, and I think that's probably in about a couple of weeks.

Cruz said the length of the trial depends on whether witnesses are called:

"I think this trial will be anywhere between two weeks and six weeks. And the big determinant on that I think is going to be, if we go down the row of witnesses, it could take five, six weeks easily."

Cruz also noted that it's up to the prosecution and the defense to call witnesses:

The president has a legal team. It's led by the White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. And so Pat and his team of lawyers will be there on the floor of the Senate. They will be able to present opening arguments, they will be able to present evidence, they will be able to call witnesses if they choose.

And it's one of the things -- you know, there's all this discussion about witnesses. One of the important things to remember, it's not the Senate that chooses to call witnesses. It is the prosecution or the defense, typically, that says -- you know, Pat Cipollone stands up and says, "The President calls Hunter Biden to the witness stand."

Now at that point, the Senate decides, will we allow you to do that? But it's the initial decision of the lawyers prosecuting and defending the case. And it'll be the white house defense team in consultation with the president making those decisions.

Instead of dismissing the impeachment case outright, the Senate will allow both sides to present opening arguments, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said.

McConnell last week said "Phase One" of the trial would include arguments from both the prosecution and the defense -- "and then a period of written questions" from senators, who are not allowed to speak during the trial. Senators' written questions will be read by presiding Chief Justice John Roberts.

"At that point," Cruz said, the Senate will debate "whether or not to dismiss the case or to vote a final verdict then or to take up witnesses. I expect a contentious debate decision, probably about two weeks from now."

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday also raised the possibility of calling Hunter Biden to the witness stand:

"My colleagues can’t have it both ways," Paul tweeted. "Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more!"


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