Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) plans to ask President Donald Trump’s counsel questions regarding House impeachment manager Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) “impartiality” during the impeachment proceedings and how impeaching Trump for “abuse of power” sets a dangerous precedent for future presidential action, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
Loeffler, the Senate’s newest member, plans to ask Trump’s counsel about House impeachment manager Schiff’s fictitious retelling of a conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During a House impeachment inquiry hearing in September, House Intelligence Committee chairman Schiff recited a fabricated conversation between Trump and Zelensky that made it appear that President Trump directly asked Zelensky for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Schiff’s false retelling of the conversation between Zelensky and Trump drew such controversy that 185 Republicans, or more than 90 percent of the House GOP conference, cosponsored a resolution to condemn Schiff.
Loeffler will ask the president’s counsel if this scandal raises questions about Schiff’s “impartiality” and his handling of the impeachment proceedings.
Loeffler will ask:
At a Sept. 26 House hearing on the release of the Ukraine whistleblower report and a White House transcript of President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, Manager Schiff told the public that Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to “make up dirt” on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden. When challenged at the hearing on his reading of the transcript, Mr. Schiff admitted he had made up the quotes as “parody.” Does Mr. Schiff’s past actions raise concerns about his “impartiality” as a manager and questions about his handling of the impeachment process in a fair manner?
The president’s legal defense team answered Loeffler’s second question Wednesday, in which the senator asked if Schiff’s handling of the impeachment inquiry creates due process concerns.
Patrick Philbin, the deputy counsel to President Trump, answered:
The short answer is yes…that is a major problem and major defect in the way the House proceedings occurred that infects this record. It means that it is not a record that could be relied upon to reach any conclusion other than an acquittal for the president.
Answer: “The short answer is yes…that is a major problem and major defect in the way the House proceedings occurred that infects this record. It means that it is not a record that could be relied upon to reach any conclusion other than an acquittal for the president.”
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) January 30, 2020
Loeffler also asked Wednesday, alongside Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Mike Lee (R-UT), if the House has a lower threshold for impeachment compared to the Senate and if the House Democrat impeachment managers met evidentiary standards for convicting Trump.
Philbin contended that the standards are lower for impeachment; however, the Democrats did not meet that lower threshold for conviction:
Answer: The House standard is lower, but they didn’t even meet it. They sent over a weak case based on hearsay, not facts.
Failure to provide evidence = Trump’s acquittal.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) January 29, 2020
Loeffler will ask what precedent the House Democrats are setting by impeaching a president without alleging that Trump committed a specific crime. She will ask, “The prior three times the Judiciary Committee advanced articles of impeachment, they involved accusations of an actual violation of a concrete law. What precedent is being set by the House of Representatives regarding the articles of impeachment with no specific crime?”
Loeffler also plans to ask the president’s counsel if the Democrats set a “dangerously vague standard” by charging President Trump with “abuse of power.” Furthermore, she will ask how the president has exercised executive privilege relating to the Democrats’ second article of impeachment that Trump obstructed Congress’s impeachment inquiry.
She will ask for an explanation of why the “‘abuse of power’ allegation sets a dangerously vague precedent that could be twisted and applied to any presidential action, the implications this could have on the Office of the President, and why this article should fail.”
Loeffler plans to inquire, “In regard to the second article on ‘obstruction of Congress,’ please describe how the president exercised long-standing, constitutionally based privileges under the separation of powers, and list examples of past presidents who exercised the same privileges.”
Since entering the Senate chamber, Loeffler has worked to defend the president amidst impeachment.
The Georgia Republican made her first act in Congress to cosponsor a Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) resolution to dismiss the impeachment trial against President Trump for lack of prosecution when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Loeffler also slammed Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) for suggesting he may consider additional witnesses during the Senate impeachment trial, suggesting the Utah junior senator is appeasing the left.
“After 2 weeks, it’s clear that Democrats have no case for impeachment. Sadly, my colleague @SenatorRomney wants to appease the left by calling witnesses who will slander the @realDonaldTrump during their 15 minutes of fame,” Loeffler tweeted Monday. “The circus is over. It’s time to move on!”:
After 2 weeks, it’s clear that Democrats have no case for impeachment. Sadly, my colleague @SenatorRomney wants to appease the left by calling witnesses who will slander the @realDonaldTrump during their 15 minutes of fame. The circus is over. It’s time to move on! #gapol
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) January 27, 2020