Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie has the reaction:
AFTER MONTHS of President DONALD TRUMP opting to sit out of the House’s impeachment proceedings, his defense strategy became quite clear in his team’s first official response to the Senate: attack, attack, attack. The six-page response, which will be followed up by a trial brief Monday, hit on not only the process but also argued the entire impeachment effort was engineered by his political opponents. It was a stark contrast to the Democrats’ 111-page brief that detailed their case against the president, including new evidence that has come out in the last few weeks.
Adam Schiff on the Sunday talkies:
SCHIFF: “Well, it’s surprising in that it really doesn’t offer much new beyond the failed arguments we heard in the House. The facts aren’t seriously contested. The president withheld hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid to an ally at war with Russia, withheld a White House meeting that the president of Ukraine desperately sought to establish with his country and with his adversary the support of the United States, in order to coerce Ukraine into helping him cheat in the next election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: “Well, that’s what I wanted — that’s what I wanted to get to, because that’s the argument — Alan Dershowitz is coming up, and that’s the argument he’s going to make. He says, quote, ‘Abuse of power, even if proved, is not an impeachable offense.’
SCHIFF: “Well, that’s the argument I suppose you have to make if the facts are so dead set against you, if the president has admitted to the wrongdoing, his chief of staff has confessed to the wrongdoing, his European Union ambassador has confessed to the same quid pro quo, you have to rely on an argument that even if he abused his office in this horrendous way, that it’s not impeachable, you had to go so far out of the mainstream to find someone to make that argument, you had to leave the realm of constitutional law scholars and go to criminal defense lawyers.”
Meanwhile, Axios reports that ampy be-chinned #MoscowMitch is still planning on greasing-up the ol’ rat for a good eff’ing:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing a resolution that would leave room for President Trump’s lawyers to move immediately to dismiss the impeachment charges if they so choose, according to Republican Sen. Josh Hawley.
Yes, but: Republican Senate leaders, including McConnell and Roy Blunt, the senior senator from Missouri, have already said members aren’t interested in a vote to dismiss. And it seems unlikely that Trump’s team would push for what would almost certainly be a losing vote — a move that could be seen as a sign of weakness at the outset of the trial.
Behind the scenes: “I am familiar with the resolution as it stood a day or two ago,” Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri, told me in a phone interview on Saturday. “My understanding is that the resolution will give the president’s team the option to either move to judgment or to move to dismiss at a meaningful time…”
But let’s end on a cheery note from the AP:
“No cellphones. No talking. No escape. That’s the reality during the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, which will begin each day with a proclamation: ‘All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment.’ After that, 100 senators will sit at their desks for hours on end to hear from House prosecutors, Trump’s defense team and possibly a series of witnesses.”
We have a guarantee that we will not hear Senatorette Lindsey Graham open his gob. So we got that working for us.