'It’s about flipping the Senate': New book exposes GOP efforts to bail out Trump during his first impeachment
A new book is shedding light on the extent of Republican lawmakers' involvement in defending former President Donald Trump amid his first impeachment trial.
According to HuffPost, the new book titled, “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump,” written by Politico’s Rachael Bade and Karoun Demirjian with The Washington Post detail the efforts that were made behind closed doors to shield Trump from impeachment.
Per the news outlet: "Former law professor Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer for Trump, went so far as to argue before the entire Senate that Trump could have done whatever he wanted to get himself reelected if he believed that his own reelection would be in the public interest, a sweeping claim of executive power."
The farfetched defense is said to have alarmed lots of Republican senators. In fact, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told the former president's legal team to fire Dershowitz while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned them to change their tactics.
“Out of one hundred senators, you have zero who believe you that there was no quid pro quo. None. There’s not a single one,” Cruz reportedly said at the time.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also expressed disapproval of Trump's legal team. “We are F--KED. We are F--KED!” Graham reportedly fumed.
According to Bade and Demirijan's reporting, per the news outlet, "Publicly, many GOP senators refrained from commenting on the substance of the proceedings, telling reporters doing so would be inappropriate because of their responsibility to remain neutral as jurors. But privately, the ineptitude of Trump’s legal team forced them to take matters into their own hands."
They were reportedly focused on convincing small factions of Republican lawmakers to "vote against hearing testimony from witnesses like Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, who had claimed in a book that Trump specifically told him that he withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to obtain an investigation into Biden and his son."
“This is not about this president. It’s not about anything he’s been accused of doing,” McConnell told his caucus, according to the book. “It has always been about November 3, 2020. It’s about flipping the Senate.”
The book also recounted details about a Q&A portion of the legal proceedings featuring former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) leading legal counsel Andrew Ferguson.
The book recounts: "The group gathered around a laptop to weigh in as Ferguson typed. 'Assuming for argument’s sake that John Bolton were to testify in the light most favorable to the allegations…isn’t it true that the allegations still would not rise to the level of an impeachable offense?' They agreed to ask. 'And that therefore…his testimony would add nothing to this case?'"
"But the senators were worried. Trump’s lawyers had already proven themselves unreliable, even when lobbed the easiest softball questions. 'Is Trump’s team going to answer this the right way?' Graham asked."
"'I will go down there and tell them to answer it the right way,' Ferguson vowed."
“Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump,” is scheduled to be released on October 18.
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