Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
Texas Senator Ted Cruz appeared in a pre-recorded interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures yesterday. In his segment, the Senator lays out how he expects the Senate impeachment trial will proceed, including his clear expectation that the trial will begin “in early January.” So, Sen. Cruz either expects that San Fran Nan Pelosi will relent in her idiotic tactic of withholding the Houses’s imbecilic articles of impeachment, or that Mitch McConnell will simply deem the articles to have been transmitted to the Senate and proceed without her. Oh, how I do hope it will be the latter scenario.
Regardless, a clip of the interview appears below, followed by a verbatim transcript of the Senators remarks:
— Maria Bartiromo (@MariaBartiromo) December 29, 2019
For those who still prefer to read stuff, here is a Transcript:
Bartiromo: Senator, it is always a pleasure to see you.
Sen. Cruz: Good to be with you, Maria, thank you.
Bartiromo: So, Nancy Pelosi said, after the impeachment, that maybe she will sit on the articles of impeachment before sending it over to you and your colleagues in the Senate. Can she do that?
Sen. Cruz: [Laughing] You know, you can’t make this up. Listen, I think this is a sign of weakness. This is a sign she understands just how weak these articles are. These articles of impeachment that they actually voted on were really an admission of failure.
The House Democrats haven’t even alleged any ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ much less proven any. And so now, Pelosi is in a situation where she knows that when it goes to the Senate there’s going to be a fair trial, we’re going to give both sides the opportunity to present their case, we’re going to protect due process. But she also knows that the result of a fair trial is that these impeachment claims are going to be thrown out, because they haven’t met the constitutional standard.
Bartiromo: Would you want to see witnesses in a Senate trial?
Sen. Cruz: I would, but let me tell you how I think it’s likely to play out. The trial will start in early January. It will start with the Chief Justice of the United States swearing in all 100 senators.
It will then shift to the House managers presenting their case – that’ll probably take several days. They’ll stand up, they’ll present evidence, they’ll make arguments.
Then it will shift to the White House, to the defense team for the President making their case. The President’s going to have a full and fair opportunity to defend himself.
It then will shift to questions. Now, here’s where it’s a little weird. I think some people, having seen what happened in the House, they’re expecting in the Senate to see a bunch of Senators asking questions. Well, the Senate impeachment rules prohibit any Senator from speaking in open session, in other words, when the TV cameras are on.
You’re not gonna see Elizabeth Warren and me going 15 rounds on the Senate floor because that’s not allowed. We’re both gonna be sitting quietly at our desks. Now, we can submit questions, but the questions have to be in writing. We can write out the questions, we hand them down, and the Chief Justice asks the questions from the senators.
I think at that point, we are likely to recess and have a discussion. I think one of two things will happen:
One, it is possible that a majority of the Senate will be prepared [to say], let’s move forward, let’s vote, they haven’t met their threshold, they haven’t come close, let’s reject these claims. I think that’s an outcome that could happen.
Secondly, there could well be a procedural fight. Do we need more evidence? Do we need more witnesses? In which case, that question is decided by 51 senators. Every legal question, the Chief Justice can rule in the first instance, but the Chief Justice can be overruled by 51 senators.
I think John Roberts is very likely to follow the Rhenquist precedent and just defer the procedural questions to the Senate, which means if 51 Republicans agree, we can resolve any legal issue. And to me, that means if the President wants to call Hunter Biden, if the President wants to call the Whistleblower, due process mandates that we allow the President to defend himself, to make his case.
And so, I think we should do so. But, that’s a decision in the first place for the White House and his legal team.
Bartiromo: Based on what you know today, do you expect any Republicans to vote to impeach [remove] in the Senate?
Sen. Cruz: You know, I don’t. It is certainly possible, and there are a couple that could vote that way. But I think anyone voting on the facts, anyone voting on the law, this is a very easy vote.
What they have alleged is not a ‘high crime or misdemeanor.’ There are two articles:
The first article is just this amorphous ‘abuse of power’, which, by the way, is ‘mal-administration.’ It’s literally the term that was rejected in the Constitutional Convention. That’s what they’re alleging. That plainly does not meet the Constitutional threshold.
The second article, though, is orders of magnitude weaker. The second article is ‘obstruction of congress,’ and interestingly enough, people are used to obstruction of justice…
Bartiromo: …Yeah, I’ve never heard of that, of ‘obstruction of congress,’ but I’ve heard of obstruction of power, or obstruction of justice…”
Sen. Cruz: Well, and obstruction of justice is a real crime, it’s a felony, it’s a serious felony…
Bartiromo: …But they have named it ‘obstruction of congress…’
Sen. Cruz: …Because they couldn’t prove obstruction of justice. By the way, Bill Clinton was impeached on obstruction of justice; Richard Nixon was going to be impeached on obstruction of justice. But they couldn’t prove obstruction of justice.
The basis for their so-called ‘obstruction of congress’ claim is that the President and aides in the executive asserted privileges. That’s it.
For example, when they wanted John Bolton to testify – John Bolton, National Security Advisor to the President – his lawyer went to a federal district court and said, the House has asked me to testify, the White House is asserting executive privilege: Your honor, what do I do? Judge, I’ve got two conflicting demands here: I will do what you tell me to do.
You know what the House Democrats did? They said, ‘nevermind.’ They just backed away. They didn’t subpoena Bolton, they didn’t litigate it.
Remember, the Nixon case was litigated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court, at the end of the day, ordered the Nixon White House to hand over the White House tapes, and I think two days later, Nixon resigned. That’s how you actually fight these matters.
The House Democrats didn’t do that. Instead, their assertion is that simply claiming the privilege is an impeachable offense. If that were true, all 45 presidents going back to George Washington, every one of them would have committed impeachable offenses. That’s just laughable.
Bartiromo: This is a new precedent – it sure is.
Now, the thing to remember about Ted Cruz is that he is truly a Constitutional scholar. As a former Solicitor General of Texas, Senator Cruz argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He understands the Constitution and he understands better than most current Senators the rules and laws surrounding impeachment and removal of a President.
Cruz and the other 52 GOP senators have also spent much of the past two weeks in meetings and calls with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in an apparently successful effort to reach consensus on how to conduct the Senate trial. So, when Cruz states flatly that he expects the trial to begin “in early January,” that statement carries a lot of weight, and might indeed mean that Leader McConnell plans to convene the trial regardless of Pelosi’s cynical tactics.
I personally think that Cruz’s reminder that any procedural decision initially made by our very unreliable Chief Justice can be overruled by 51 Republican votes is meant as a shot across Justice Roberts’ bow. It is likely an indication that Cruz is confident that there are at least 51 GOP senators who are tired of this crap dragging on for weeks on end, and who are intent upon bringing it to as fast a conclusion as possible. If that is the case, then Justice Roberts might want to avoid embarrassing himself by being overruled by 51 senators, and just play the case straight.
This interview, and the messages Senator Cruz – who remember, was Donald Trump’s chief competitor for the 2016 GOP nomination and who still harbors presidential ambitions of his own – sends within it, are a very important marker in the impeachment debate. This was not just a courtesy interview by the Senator, and that’s good news for America.
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.