“I couldn’t say it better myself,” concluded Trump attorney Pat Cipollone in his summation at Tuesday’s Senate impeachment trial – reacting to a video he had just played reminding Democrats of their own past declarations about impeachment.
“All you need in this case, is the Constitution and your common sense,” Cipollone said in his remarks to the Senate. “You just look at the articles of impeachment. The articles of impeachment fall far short of any constitutional standard, and they are dangerous.”
Cipollone urged senators to “look to the words of the past that I think are very instructive.” “They are instructive because they were right then and there right now, and I will leave you with some of those words, Cipollone said.
The video montage showed what Democrats at the 1998 House impeachment hearings, such as then-Representative Chuck Schumer (D-NY), providing dire warnings of the consequences of a politically-motivated, partisan impeachment.
“You were right. But. I am sorry to say you were also prophetic,” Cipollone said. “And, I think I couldn't say it better myself, so I won't.
“You know what the right answer is, in your heart. You know what the right answer is for our country. You know what the right answer if for the American people.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY): “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 will produce the divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come, and will call in to question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.): “This is unfair to the American people. By these actions, you would undo the free election that expressed the will of the American people in 1996. In so doing, you will damage the faith of the American people have in this institution and in the American democracy.
“You will set the dangerous precedent that the certainty of presidential terms, which has so benefited our wonderful America will be replaced by the partisan use of impeachment. Future presidents will face election, than litigation, then impeachment. The power of the president will diminish in the face of the Congress, a phenomenon much feared by the Founding Fathers.”
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) “This is a constitutional amendment that we are debating, not an impeachment resolution. The Republicans are crossing out the impeachment standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ and they are inserting the words ‘any crime or misdemeanor’. We are permitting a constitutional coup d'etat which will haunt this body and our country forever.”
Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): “I warned my colleagues that you will reap the bitter harvest of the unfair partisan seeds you sow today. The constitutional provision for impeachment is a way to protect our governments and our citizens, not another weapon in the political arsenal.
Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “I expect history will show that we have lowered the bar on impeachment so much, we have broken the seal on this extreme penalty so cavalierly that it will be used as a routine tool to fight political battles. My fear is, that when a Republican wins the White House, Democrats will demand payback.”
Cipollone: “You were right. But I am sorry to say you were also prophetic. And, I think I couldn't say it better myself, so I won't. You know what the right answer is, in your heart. You know what the right answer is for our country. You know what the right answer if for the American people.”