CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin On Impeachment Trial: “The President Is Winning”

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin On Impeachment Trial: “The President Is Winning”

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin reacts to the first two hours of White House lawyers’ rebuttal to House Democrats’ impeachment case on Saturday afternoon:

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We heard a very, very different side of the story from these four White House lawyers today. Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Mike Purpura and Pat Philbin some more powerful than the others in trying to raise questions about credibility of House Managers, especially the Lead House Manager, Adam Schiff.

Jeffrey Toobin has been watching all of this very, very closely. I suspect, Jeffrey, that if you’re one of the wavering GOP Senators on the fence right now, what they heard from these White House lawyers probably helped them if they’re going to come around to the decision to avoid any additional witnesses or evidence.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Right. I’m not sure there are many wavering Republican Senators at this point, but certainly there was information put forth today that would allow Republicans to vote against witnesses and to vote for an acquittal. That’s what defense lawyers do.

It was not spell binding. I thought Mr. Purpura, who was I believe the second person to argue, did a very good job of talking about one rather narrow issue, which is whether when the Ukrainians knew that the aid was cut off. I thought that he was persuasive on that point.

But after that I thought it deteriorated. I was very surprised that Jay Sekulow who I think is a very fine lawyer I’ve seen him argue in the Supreme Court several times sort of wandered in the wasteland of the Mueller report that didn’t seem very relevant.

Mr. Philbin who is not a spell binding performer went on about how it was legitimate in their view not to respond to any subpoenas, not to provide to provide any witnesses by the Trump Administration. I thought that was a particularly weak performance.

But, you know, if you are inclined to the defense point of view, there were facts and arguments that you could certainly find to justify your position this morning…

Again, I just think the Republicans are winning here. The President is winning here. And as long as they don’t completely fall on their faces, which they’re all competent lawyers, they’re not going to do that, I think that’s fine for them.

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