Removing Trump would be 'very very dangerous': Defense team

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on January 26, 2020 - Duration: 02:43s

Removing Trump would be 'very very dangerous': Defense team

Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump told his Senate impeachment trial on Saturday that Democrats' efforts to remove the president from office would set a "very, very dangerous" precedent in an election year.

Colette Luke reports.

Removing Trump would be 'very very dangerous': Defense team

(SOUNDBITE) WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL PAT CIPOLLONE SAYING: "And they are asking remove the president!

Tear up the ballots in all the states.." President Trump's legal team argued Saturday for the first time during the Senate impeachment trial that efforts by Democrats to remove the president would set a very dangerous precedent in an election yearโ€ฆ White House counsel Pat Cipollone..

(SOUNDBITE) WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL PAT CIPOLLONE SAYING: "They are asking you to remove President Trump from the ballot from an election that is occurring in 9 months.

They are asking you to tear up all of the ballots all over this country on your own initiative, take that away from the American people, and I don't think they've even talked to you for one minute about the consequences of that... you will find that the President did absolutely nothing wrong." The defense team also sought to poke holes in the Democrats' case with lawyer Michael Purpura arguing there was no quid pro quo on a July 25th phone call between Trump and the President of Ukraine.

(SOUNDBITE) DEFENSE TEAM LAWYER MICHAEL PURPURA SAYING: "The fact that the Ukraine president felt no pressure on the call and did not perceive there to be any connection between security assistance and investigations would in any ordinary case in any court be totally fatal to the prosecution.

We know there was no quid pro quo on the call, we know that from the transcript." The Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Trump last month and argued that Trump should be removed from office for encouraging Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election by pressuring its leader to dig up dirt on Trump rival, former Vice President Joe Biden while withholding millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine..

Trump has denied any wrongdoing House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff told reporters after the day's proceedings that he didn't think Trump's lawyers offered a strong defense (SOUNDBITE) HOUSE IMPEACHMENT MANAGER ADAM SCHIFF SAYING: "What was most striking to me that they don't contest the basic architecture of the scheme.

They do not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election to help him cheat.

I think they acknowledge by not contesting that the facts are overwhelming." Saturday's impeachment session was relatively short - just around two hours - with Republicans wanting to save the bulk of their arguments for early next week when they expect higher TV viewership.

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