Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow: Senate impeachment trial witnesses unlikely, but ‘we are prepared for every contingency’
Jay Sekulow discusses his team’s plans to defend the president in his Senate impeachment trial.
As day two of proceedings in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump stretched into Wednesday night, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow took a brief break from his seat at the defense table to speak with “Special Report” host Bret Baier.
“These policy disputes are not what the Founders had in mind when it came to the seriousness of an article of impeachment or conviction,” said Sekulow, who added: We basically are already into what I would call repeat cycles. We are hearing the same things each time. We haven’t put our case out yet. I’m quite confident of where this goes at the end of the day but we are going through the process right now.”
Sekulow also commented on the shouting match between his team and Democratic impeachment manager Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. hours earlier — an exchange that prompted a bleary-eyed Chief Justice John Roberts to sternly admonish both sides for misconduct in the chamber.
“Jerry Nadler accused the United States Senate of being liars and part of a cover-up,” Sekulow said. “He accused the president’s lawyer of basically trying to make it as if he had done something that was unethical. He was representing his client.”
Nadler began the spat while he spoke in support of an amendment offered by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., calling for former National Security Advisor John Bolton to be subpoenaed to testify. Nadler said GOP senators would, “betray [their] pledge to be an impartial juror,” and “be complicit in the president’s coverup,” if they did not vote for the Schumer amendment.
“When they accuse my client on the floor or they accuse senators of not keeping their oath and being involved in a cover-up, we are going to say something,” Sekulow told Bret Baier. “We will have to respond.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., kicked off opening arguments by accusing Trump of trying to “cheat” in the 2020 election through his Ukraine dealings.
“We are responding to what they are saying, but we will also put on the affirmative case,” Sekulow said. “Not only [that] what the president did was completely legal, constitutional, perfectly appropriate, but the idea that this reaches the level of impeachment, legally speaking, is really absurd.”
Sekulow touted the “great team” assembled to represent the president, among them constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz and former independent counsel Ken Starr.
“We are going to put on a series of lawyers that will be dealing with the issues on the facts in great detail. On the law and constitution, we have two constitutional law professors,” Sekulow said.
“We will talk about the foundations of what it means to rise to the level of what is impeachable and what is not. We have a tremendous fact presentation and will respond to what’s going on in the next few days.”
On the question of witnesses, Sekulow told Baier that it was unlikely that any would be called.
“They will have to prove the need for witnesses that they are presenting all this information,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for two days. I’m not going to predict what the Senate does. I’m not concerned about it because I know the facts and I know the law and we have a great team and we are ready to proceed in whichever way it goes.
“I don’t believe that it will get to witnesses, but that will be the Senate’s decision,” Sekulow concluded. “We are prepared for every contingency. We will make the case on why it’s not necessary to have witnesses. We will talk about what the law requires and deal with what the Senate decides and move forward.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.