On Saturday, after three days of House Democrats advocating for President Donald Trump‘s removal from office, the commander-in-chief’s legal team offered two hours of defense arguments.
According to CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Trump and his Republican allies did a good job. Per Mediaite, analyzing the trial for CNN, Toobin reasoned that Trump and the GOP are “winning,” offering compelling arguments against House Democrats’ impeachment case.
For Democrats, the issue of bringing additional witnesses is crucial, and they have failed to offer a good argument for doing so, according to Toobin. In fact, White House lawyers have managed to present information that “would allow Republicans to vote against witnesses and to vote for an acquittal.”
Furthermore, according to the analyst, the lawyers’ explanation of the importance of the timing of when Ukraine became aware that military aid was cut off was “persuasive,” and successful.
Toobin also discussed the Trump legal team’s decision to start the trial with a short opening. According to the expert, speeding through the opening was the correct call because Trump and his allies are “winning” against their Democratic counterparts.
“If you’re winning, shut up. That’s I think a guiding principle of what they’re doing,” the analyst said.
Toobin stressed that White House lawyers had no need to go on the offensive and to bring up former Vice President Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden, stressing once again that Trump and the GOP are “winning” in the impeachment trial.
“I just think, you know, the Republicans are winning here, the President is winning here.”
“As long as they don’t completely fall on their faces, which they’re all competent lawyers, they’re not gonna do that — I think that’s fine for them,” he added.
Toobin explained that House impeachment managers — lead by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff — made the mistake of not addressing important issues related to Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The defense responded accordingly, successfully making their case, according to the analyst.
“This is what good lawyers do, you point to evidence that favors your case,” he concluded.
Initially, the Bidens’ alleged corruption was meant to be in the focus of the Trump legal team’s arguments, but the attorneys appear to have completely changed their strategy. Instead of going after the former vice president and his son, they have decided to target Schiff, portraying the top Democrat as an overzealous prosecutor with no credibility.
Schiff, White House attorneys argued, is determined to remove Trump from office, and impeachment is his latest attempt to do so. During their opening remarks, the president’s lawyers played video clips of Schiff confidently claiming that Trump conspired with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election, casting doubt on his integrity.