Cruz Fires Back at 'Absurd Request' That Trump's Lawyer Should Be 'Material Witness' in Senate Trial


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted Democrats’ request that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone be considered a fact witness in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

In a letter to Cipollone, the House impeachment managers said that he could be a “material witness” and asked that he “disclose all facts and information” that could lead to an “ethical issue.”

“[A]t a minimum, you must disclose all facts and information as to which you have first-hand knowledge that will be at issue in connection with the evidence you present or arguments you make in your role as the President’s legal advocate so that the Senate and Chief Justice can be apprised of any potential ethical issues, conflicts, or biases.”

Additionally, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) called for Cipollone to recuse himself from the case. 

Cruz responded to the Democrats’ request, in a Facebook post, and suggested that there is another individual who could be a fact witness.

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“Absurd request. Unlike the House, the Senate will have a fair trial. That means we won’t deny the President his lawyer on the day the trial starts.”

He continued to suggest that one of the impeachment managers could be considered a fact witness and said that — according to Democrats’ standards — that individual would be “disqualified” from serving as counsel in the trial. 

“Under the standard put forth by the House Democrats today – that any potential fact witness cannot serve as counsel in the impeachment hearing – there is an obvious person who should be disqualified: Adam Schiff.”

“Schiff, it has been alleged, spoke directly with the so-called ‘whistle-blower’ and may even have helped him draft the complaint that launched this entire impeachment,” he said.

Finally, Cruz suggested the Senate call Schiff as a witness in the trial, “So, maybe we should disqualify Schiff as a lawyer, and schedule him instead as a witness to explain his role in creating the ‘evidence’ in this proceeding?”

“The Democrats are an utter joke – they have no case, and this latest political stunt proves it,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in response to Democrats’ request.

“The idea that the Counsel to the President has to turn over protected documents and confidential information is ludicrous, and to imply he can’t represent the President of the United States in an impeachment proceeding is completely absurd,” he added. 

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