White House counsel Pat Cipollone, a member of President Donald Trump's legal team, used a compilation of videos from 1998 to use the words of Democratic House impeachment managers and current senators in arguing Tuesday during the Senate impeachment trial that a partisan impeachment would damage the U.S. and its institutions.
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"All you need, in this case, is the Constitution and your common sense," Cipollone said, speaking from the Senate floor during his closing argument. "You just look at the articles of impeachment. The articles of impeachment fall far short of any constitutional standard, and they are dangerous.
"And if you look to the words from the past — that I think are instructive, as I said last night — they're instructive because they were right then, and they're right now. And I'll leave you with some of those words."
With that, Cipollone played clips of statements made by current House impeachment managers Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and now-Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), where all five Democrats argued passionately against impeachment during House proceedings against former President Bill Clinton (D).
In the video, Nadler argues that a partisan impeachment "will produce the divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions." Lofgren warned the House of Representatives in 1998 that "the certainty of presidential terms ... (would) be replaced by the partisan use of impeachment" if a narrow impeachment were successful against President Clinton.
Markey accused Republicans of "permitting a constitutional coup d'état which will haunt this body and our country forever," while Menendez "warned (his) colleagues that (they) will reap the bitter harvest of the unfair partisan seeds (they) sow."
The video showed Schumer saying, "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." He added, "My fear is that when a Republican wins the White House, Democrats will demand payback."
"You were right," Cipollone said when the video concluded. "But I'm 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 is for the American people."
H/T: Craig Bannister, CNSNews.com