The White House announced on Monday, Jan. 21, several prominent Republican House lawmakers who will represent President Donald Trump at the Senate impeachment trial as it is set to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said these members will serve as part of the president’s team “working to combat this hyper-partisan and baseless impeachment.”
GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), John Ratcliffe (Texas), Mike Johnson (La.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) and Doug Collins (Ga.) were appointed to join president’s defense team.
Honored to continue fighting on behalf of @realDonaldTrump.
This impeachment has been a sham since day one, and we will continue to expose it for what it is: A blatantly political attempt to overturn the will of 63 million Americans. #ShamImpeachmenthttps://t.co/ilVw3pcEWx
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) January 21, 2020
“Throughout this process, these members of Congress have provided guidance to the White House team, which was prohibited from participating in the proceedings concocted by Democrats in the House of Representatives,” read the statement.
President Trump’s legal team will be headed up by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and the president’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow who already sent out a brief on Monday in response of the two articles of impeachment, condemning the “rigged” House impeachment process and urging the Senate to reject the two “flimsy” articles.
During an interview with Fox News’s “Hannity” on Monday night, Sekulow said that President Trump’s legal team was “champing at the bit and ready to go.” Reiterating his points on the legal brief, Sekulow stressed that executive privilege, a long-standing constitutional principle protecting executive branch deliberations from disclosure, would wreck the “obstruction of Congress” article of impeachment, while Democrats had only hearsay evidence and speculation to support their “abuse of power” charge.
Meanwhile, the prosecution team of House managers, in their own filing Monday, underlying the central assertion that the president abused his office and should be removed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unveiled the text of his resolution for the Senate trial on Monday night, a giving two-day calendar for each side—President Trump’s defense team and House impeachment managers—to make their case, at 12 hours per day. Afterward, senators will ask questions and consider subpoenas of witnesses.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) described McConnell’s resolution a “national disgrace,” adding that the rules would turn the looming Senate trial into a “cover up.” He vowed to force votes on amendments on Tuesday, reported The Hill.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) fired back at Schumer’s comment, accusing Democrats of holding “secret hearing” that would mislead American people.
“House Democrats held secret hearings in Schiff’s bunker to concoct a narrative that would sway public opinion in favor of impeachment,” he wrote in a tweet. “For the most part, the Senate trial will be televised & open for all to see and hear. You tell me which party is on the side of the ‘cover up.'”