Trump's personal lawyer did all he could to stroke Dear Leader's soft spots, including saying Ukraine might have interfered in the 2016 election.
January 25, 2020

With lawyers like these, who needs enemies?

Jay Sekulow went full tin foil hat word salad in the well of the Senate floor this morning, in his introductory argument to his jury: 100 senators and presumably 130 million or so American people. First he claimed that just because all of our Intel Community and Robert Mueller determined Russia DID interfere in our elections, doesn't mean Ukraine DIDN'T.

This is called, in legal terms, the "Why not both?" argument, and is usually accompanied by a cute GIF.


SEKULOW: So as we begin introducing our arguments, I want to correct a couple things in the record as well. That's what we're doing today. We intend to show over the next several days that the evidence is actually really overwhelming that the president did nothing wrong. Mr. Schiff and his colleagues repeatedly told you that the intelligence community assessment, that Russia was acting alone, responsible for the election interference, implying they somehow debunked the idea there might be interference from other countries, including Ukraine. Mr. Nadler deployed a similar argument saying that president Trump thought, quote, Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in our last presidential election. This is basically, what we call a straw man argument. Let me be clear. The House Managers, over a 23-hour period, kept pushing this false dichotomy that it was either Russia or Ukraine, but not both. They kept telling you the conclusion of the intelligence community and Mr. Mueller was Russia alone with regard to the 2016 elections. Of course that's not -- the report that Bob Mueller wrote focussed on Russian interference. Although there is some information in letters regarding Ukraine, and I'm going to point to those in a few moments. In fact, let me report -- I think I'll talk about those letter right now. This is a letter dated May 4, 2018, to Mr. Yuri Lutsenko. He's the general prosecutor for the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. It was a letter requesting that his office cooperate with the Mueller investigation involving Ukraine issues and issues involving Ukraine government or law enforcement officials, it's signed by Senator Menendez, Senator Leahy and Senator Durbin. I'm doing this to put this in an entire perspective. House Managers tried to tell you the importance -- remember the whole discussion, and my colleague, Mr. Purpura, talked about this, the conversation between President Zelensky and president Trump and the bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at the White House, as if an article of impeachment could be based upon a meeting not taking place in the White House but taking place some place else.

Notice three things, please.

  • Sekulow is speaking at a pace that is the aural equivalent of a college freshman's 2-page paper quadruple-spaced with 1.5-inch margins so that it takes up 4-1/2 pages, just so he can get to the page that can have a "5" typed on the bottom of it before he turns it in.
  • That Ukraine argument is sh*t. Ukraine interfered because three Democratic senators wrote to their prosecutor's office asking them to cooperate with Mueller?
  • He couldn't get away from that crappy argument fast enough. All he could say about it was that he was trying to offer "perspective." He couldn't even FINISH the second sentence he started before he did a Chevy Chase pratfall into his next point, which was an attempt to say it didn't matter where the Trump/Zelensky meeting took place.

Even that point was a humongous fail. He read Dr. Fiona Hill's testimony that Pres. Zelensky just wanted a meeting with Trump, it didn't matter where. He claimed triumphantly that such a meeting DID indeed take place — at the U.N. General Assembly. When, though? On Sept. 25, 2019. After aid had been released. After there was outrage about it being withheld. After the public learned Bill Barr held back the whistleblower's complaint, which had been deemed credible and important. So, how, exactly does this approach from Sekulow help his client, Donald John Trump?

Only the best people, amirite?

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