When Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow opened the floor arguments Monday in defense of his client, he had a simple message: Just the House facts, man. “We deal with transcript evidence, we deal with publicly available information,” Sekulow said. “We do not deal with speculation—allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all.” Trump’s legal team wouldn’t be dabbling with anything outside of the case that was transmitted to the senate by the house. In other words, the John Bolton bombshell directly implicating Trump in an extortion scheme was entirely off the table.
What Sekulow forgot to mention was that, when it came to conspiracy theories about Joe and Hunter Biden, Team Trump would let their imaginations run wild. In fact, Trump attorney and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi quoted a 2014 Washington Post article citing Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board as “nepotistic at best, nefarious at worst.” Bondi claimed that the House managers referenced Biden or Burisma “over 400 times” as they made their case for impeachment as if that alone was somehow an incriminating fact. In other words, Bondi quoted House Democrats who were quoting the disinformation injected into the ether by Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and then she charged that the sheer quantity of those mentions was somehow dispositive. In reality, what she latched on to was nothing but a feedback loop created by Trump and his henchmen.
Bondi also implicitly put Biden on trial, making the ridiculous claim that Democrats must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump’s accusations about the Bidens were baseless. She added that Democrats, by noting all those accusations had been debunked, were just creating “a distraction.”
Actually, no. Bondi was creating the distraction—dangling her keys as it were before the American public in order to direct its gaze on Biden rather than Trump, who’s the person actually on trial.
But Senate Republicans were just thrilled by all that key dangling. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst could barely contain herself as she was musing later about the effect all that disinformation might have on Biden’s chances of winning Iowa.
“Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus-goers,” Ernst said late Monday, beaming with the enthusiasm of a high school cheerleader. “Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point? Not sure about that.”
Wow. Senate Republicans, supposedly weighing whether the nation’s commander in chief tried to corrupt the 2020 elections with bogus investigations, are gleefully finishing the job Trump started.
Watch Ernst gush.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 27, 2020