President Trump's defense team kept things brief Saturday, as they launched their presentation against impeachment.
The defense, including White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Deputy White House Counsel Mike Purpura, and Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, wrapped up their arguments in about two hours. While there's more to come Monday, there was no doubt they wanted to move along much more quickly than the Democratic prosecutors earlier this week. But it likely wasn't just so they could have the rest of their weekend free; instead, it seems to be a part of their strategy to get in the good graces of their Senate audience.
Brevity is a key to the WH approach to influence senators in trial. Trump legal team trying to appeal to the Senate jurors by taking less time than the exhaustive presentations delivered by the Hse Dem mgrs. Brevity is a key to the WH approach to influence senators in trial.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 25, 2020
It's worked already in some cases — Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said the lawyers "shredded" the Democrats' case and she's leaning against voting for witnesses. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) followed the lead of some of his GOP colleagues and complimented the other side, saying he thought the defense did a "good job" and that their presentation was "succinct," though he doesn't think they showed enough to move forward without additional witnesses like former National Security Adviser John Bolton or acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Of course, not everyone thought Cipollone and company were very impressive.
This was an embarrassment. The lack of seriousness not to mention the lack of evidence is telling. I wonder if Susan Collins will be offended.
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) January 25, 2020
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