President Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, spoke on the Senate floor during the impeachment trial, criticizing House impeachment manager Adam Schiff and voicing support for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s impeachment resolution.
Sekulow took issue in particular for what he saw as Schiff indicating that “courts have no role, privileges don’t apply, what happened in the past we should just ignore.”
Sekulow also criticized how Schiff described the defense of the Trump legal team, saying it’s “not the first time Mr. Schiff has put words into transcripts that did not exist.”
“Believe me, what is taking place in these proceedings is not to be confused with due process. Because due process demands, and our constitution requires, that fundamental fairness and due process … is designed to protect the person accused,” Sekulow said.
Sekulow said that Democrats sought to target Trump over his interactions with Ukraine after the Russia investigation didn’t work in their favor.
“When the Russia investigation failed, it devolved into the Ukraine,” he said.
Sekulow also defended Trump’s use of executive privilege and criticized the way the Democrats have been conducting impeachment proceedings.
“We’re acting as if the courts are an improper venue to determine constitutional issues of this magnitude? That is why we have courts. That is why we have a federal judiciary," he said."
"As we proceed in the days ahead, we will lay out our case. We’re going to put forward to the American people, but more importantly, for the constitution’s sake, what’s taking place here. But this idea we should ignore what has taken place over the last three years is outrageous,” Sekulow remarked.
He continued: “We believe what Senator McConnell’s put forward provides due process, allows the proceedings to move forward in an orderly fashion.”
Sekulow took aim at Democrats for delaying the delivery of the impeachment articles to the Senate, suggesting House Democrats were attempting to dictate what rules the Senate would adopt for the trial.
“Thirty-three days — 33 days they held onto those impeachment articles. Thirty-three days. It was such a rush of national security to impeach this president before Christmas that they then held them for 33 days,” he said.
“We’re prepared to proceed. In our view, these proceedings should begin,” Sekulow concluded.