House impeachment managers target top Trump defense attorney Cipollone, claim he is ‘material witness’

The house Democrats who prosecuted Trump’s impeachment case on Tuesday pointed to White House lawyer Pat Cipollone, stating in a surprising letter that the main member of the president’s defense team is actually a “material witness” to the charges on both items and the request to disclose all “facts and information firsthand” before the trial begins.

The “managers” of the political process said they needed this information to evaluate any “ethical” problems or conflicts of interest related to their defense of the president.

A few hours before the resumption of the Senate judicial process, prosecutors said that during the investigation by the House of Representatives they collected “evidence” indicating that he is “witness to the facts of numerous critical events related to the president’s scheme and the president’s guidelines to hinder the investigation of the political process of the Chamber remain deeply involved in the implementation actions “.

“In preparation for the trial of Donald J. Trump before the Senate, we are writing to inform you that the evidence received by the House of Representatives during the investigation into the political trials indicates that you are a material witness to the allegations in both indictments for which President Trump is now on trial, “executives, representatives Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Val Demings, Hakeem Jeffries, Sylvia Garcia, Zoe Lofgren and Jason Crow, wrote in a letter addressed to Cipollone on Tuesday.

“You must disclose all facts and information about firsthand knowledge that will be disputed in relation to the evidence you present or the arguments you present in your role as legal defense of the President so that the Senate and the President of the Supreme Court can be informed. of possible ethical problems, conflicts or prejudices, “they wrote.

Then, the leaders described Cipollone’s alleged connection with both articles of political judgment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

White House lawyer Pat Cipollone leaves the United States Capitol after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on December 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

“Evidence indicates that, at a minimum, you have detailed knowledge of the facts relating to the first article and have played an instrumental role in the behavior accused in the second article,” they wrote.

They went on to say that ethical rules generally “prevent” a lawyer from acting as a defender in a trial if he or she is also a witness.

“These problems are directly implicated by their participation in the events behind the Impeachment Articles,” they wrote.

Regarding the article on the abuse of power, the leaders referred to the testimony of “multiple witnesses” in the Chamber’s investigations on the request of Ukrainian officials to investigate the democrats and the control of military aid to Ukraine among those he asks, noting that he has informed their concerns of the vice adviser to the president for national security affairs, John Eisenberg. The managers stated in their letter Tuesday that Eisenberg “reports directly” to Cipollone.

Executives also claimed that the White House prosecutor’s office was “directly involved in possible efforts to hide President Trump’s plan from Congress and the public.”

“In addition, there is evidence that he was directly involved in informing President Trump about the whistleblower’s complaint filed with the inspector general for the intelligence community and the decision to keep that congressional complaint in violation of the law,” they wrote. .

“In light of his extensive knowledge of these key events, his personal representation of President Trump threatens to undermine the integrity of the ongoing process,” they wrote.

The White House criticized the request of the leaders of the House, calling it “completely absurd” and said that instead Schiff should consider leaving the prosecution team.

“Democrats are an absolute joke: they have no case and this latest political trick proves it. The idea that the president’s attorney should hand over protected documents and confidential information is absurd, and to imply that he cannot represent the President of the United States in a political trial is completely absurd, “said the White House deputy secretary of the press. Hogan Gidley said in a statement Tuesday.

“Furthermore, the man nominated by the Democrats to conduct these proceedings is Adam Schiff, who was caught lying repeatedly on the evidence of Russia’s collusion that did not exist, invented a totally false telephone conversation about Ukraine that never happened and he lied that his staff had no contact with the complainant, “he continued.” If there is anyone who should be disqualified to direct this procedure, it is Mr. Schiff. “

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz also presented the disqualification of Schiff, who is the general manager of the political process.

The initial rescue of the Democrats in the political process: they ask Trump to get rid of his lawyer, Pat Cipollone. Absurd request, “Cruz said in a statement to Fox News.” Unlike the House, the Senate will have a FAIR trial. This means that we will not deny the president his lawyer on the day the trial begins. “

He continued: “According to the standard presented today by the Democrats of the House of Representatives, that any potential witness cannot serve as an adviser in the hearing of the political process, there is an obvious person who should be disqualified: Adam Schiff. It has been claimed that Schiff spoke directly to the so-called “whistleblower” and may even have helped him to write the complaint that launched all these accusations. … So maybe we should disqualify Schiff as a lawyer and program him as a witness to explain his role in creating “evidence” in this trial? “

Schiff, the chairman of the House’s intelligence committee, led much of the investigation into his panel’s political trials. House of Representatives Republicans claimed that Schiff’s staff members talked to the complainant before the dispute vanished. Schiff claims that he did not personally speak to the anonymous complainant. However, it was revealed late last year that the complainant had had early contacts with his office, essentially informing them of the complaint regarding Trump’s July 25 phone call with the President of Ukraine that sparked the controversy.

Meanwhile, the president’s defense is led by Cipollone and Trump’s attorney, Jay Sekulow. But at the end of Monday, in a surprise move, a large number of high-profile Republicans announced that they would also formally join the president’s team, including representatives Jim Jordan, Doug Collins, John Ratcliffe, Mark Meadows, Elise Stefanik. , Lee Zelskin, Debbie. Lesko and Mike Johnson.

“During this process, these members of Congress provided guidance to the White House team, who were prohibited from participating in the procedures invented by Democrats in the House of Representatives,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a Monday statement. “The president hopes that they will continue to participate and is confident that MEPs will help end this shameless political revenge for the American people.”

In defense of the president, former independent lawyer Ken Starr, constitutional academician Alan Dershowitz, former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, former federal prosecutor Robert Ray and Jane Raskin, as well as deputies Cipollone Patrick Philbin and Michael Purpura.

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