Rand Paul said Sunday the Senate impeachment trial is ‘over before it starts’ claiming there is ‘zero chance’ Donald Trump will be convicted – as the former president’s attorneys prepare to present an impeachment defense showing a double standard in acceptable speech for Democrats and Republicans.
‘Is there any chance that the Senate will vote to convict Donald Trump?’ Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked the Kentucky senator on Sunday.
‘Zero chance of conviction,’ Paul said. ’45 Republicans have said it’s not even a legitimate proceeding so it’s really over before it starts.’
At least 17 Republicans would have to cross the Party line for a successful conviction – and not nearly that many GOP senators have indicated they plan to do so.
Paul said the whole proceedings are a ‘partisan farce’ meant to further demonize Republicans.
Republican Senator Rand Paul said Sunday the impeachment trial is a ‘partisan farce’ that has ‘zero chance of conviction’
Democrats claim Trump is to blame for the Capitol storming on January 6 for a speech he made before the riot. Paul lamented: ‘Are we going to impeach, and potentially criminally prosecute people for political speech when they say, ‘Get up and fight for your country, let your voices be heard.’? Has nobody in this country heard of figurative speech?’
Trump’s impeachment trial kicks off in the Senate this week and his lawyers have said they will weaponize video of Democrats’ ‘inciting violence’ as a counter to the left’s argument that the former president is to blame for the Capitol storming for his speech beforehand.
Trump’s impeachment attorneys revealed Friday they plan to use clips during the trial this upcoming week to strengthen their defense by exhibiting times Democrats incited violence with ‘inflammatory rhetoric’ as proof of a double standard.
Bruce Castor, the former president’s lead impeachment lawyer, told Fox News he would counter video used by the Democrat impeachment managers of Trump’s January 6 speech and the Capitol storming by playing clips of lawmakers on the left calling for rioting in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests.
One of the most notable examples is when Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and progressive member of the so-called ‘squad’ said there should be ‘unrest in the streets.’
‘Make the phone calls, send the emails, show up,’ Pressley told MSNBC’s ‘AM Joy’ over the summer.
‘There needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives. And unfortunately, there’s plenty to go around,’ she said at the time.
Paul said free speech, a fundamental of the First Amendment of the Constitution, should not be punished.
‘Are we going to impeach, and potentially criminally prosecute people for political speech when they say, ‘Get up and fight for your country, let your voices be heard.’? Has nobody in this country heard of figurative speech?’ Paul lamented.
The Republican senator also said that if Democrats want to use speech to prosecute people, they need to look within their own ranks.
‘I think if we’re going to criminalize speech and somehow impeach everybody who says, ‘Oh, go fight to hear your voices heard,’ I mean really we ought to impeach Chuck Schumer then,’ Paul said during his interview on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘He went to the Supreme Court, stood in front of the Supreme Court and said specifically, ‘Hey Gorsuch, hey Kavanaugh – you’ve unleashed a whirlwind and you’re going to pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you continue with these awful decisions.’
‘This inflammatory wording, this violent rhetoric from Chuck Schumer was so bad that the Chief Justice, who rarely says anything publicly, immediately said this kind of language is dangerous as a mob tried to invade the Supreme Court,’ he added.
‘So if people want to hold President Trump accountable for language, there has to be a consistent standard,’ Paul said.
‘And to my mind, it’s a partisan farce because they’re not doing anything to Chuck Schumer, not doing anything to Representative Omar, not doing anything to Maxine Waters. It’s just not fair. It’s just partisan politics under a different name.’
Republican Bill Cassidy also said Sunday the House impeachment trial was unfair and rushed.
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said Sunday the House impeachment vote was a ‘Soviet Union show trial’ as he prepares to preside over the Senate trial this week
The Louisiana senator said the lower chamber proceedings and subsequent vote were more emblematic of a ‘Soviet Union… show trial’ than a legitimate Democratic process on reprimanding a person serving higher office in the U.S.
‘The president wasn’t there, he wasn’t allowed counsel, they didn’t amass evidence, in 5 hours they kinda judged and boom he’s impeached,’ Cassidy told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday morning.
Despite the defense of the former president, Cassidy insisted he has an ‘open mind’ going into the trial.
Just one week after the Capitol storming on January 6, House Democrats voted to impeach Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection,’ claiming he is the majority to blame for the violence that ensued that day.
On Tuesday, the Senate will begin its trial, which will eventually conclude with a vote on whether to convict Trump, an unlikely outcome as a two-thirds vote is needed – meaning 17 Republicans would have to cross the Party line.
Representative Adam Schiff, who served as the lead impeachment manager in the first trial against Trump in 2019, defended the swift movement this time around, claiming the House didn’t want to sit on the case.
‘We simply couldn’t sit still and wait for weeks or months while this man posed a danger to the country,’ Schiff, who spoke with ‘Meet the Press’ immediately after Cassidy, said on Sunday.
It is not immediately clear which footage Castor and fellow impeachment defense attorney David Schoen will use or if that would include other calls from Democrats for public action against Republicans and Trump’s supporters and staff.
Castor, however, said the video would prove Democrats have used ‘inflammatory rhetoric’ to rile up their base over the summer during the Black Lives Matter movement, leading to violence, looting, destruction and even injury and death.
Trump’s defense attorney Bruce Castor detailed Friday he would use video fo Democrats’ ‘inflammatory rhetoric’ inciting Black Lives Matter riots over the summer to juxtapose video he anticipates they will use of Trump’s January 6 speech and the ensuing Capitol riot
‘I think you can count on that,’ he told Fox’s Laura Ingraham of using visual aids to counter Democrat video of Trump’s speech and the rioting. ‘If my eyes look a little red to the viewers, it’s because I have been looking at a lot of videos the last couple of days.’
‘Many of them [Democrats] in Washington, using really the most inflammatory rhetoric as possible to use,’ he continued. ‘But here when you have the president of the United States give a speech and says ‘you should peacefully make your thinking known to the people in Congress,’ he all of a sudden the villain. So you better be careful what you wish for.’
Trump’s lawyers plan to use as their main argument that Trump can not Constitutionally be impeached and convicted because he is no longer serving as president.
They wrote in their brief outlining their argument that the founding text ‘requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached.’