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White House indecision on lawyers proves they’re ‘woefully unprepared’ for impeachment: ex-Clinton adviser

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On CNN Saturday, former Clinton White House adviser Guy Smith — who saw the last presidential impeachment up close — discussed the problems with the Trump White House’s strategy for protecting the president.

“Let’s start with the question of the moment, and that is whether or not the president should have his own attorneys participate in what’s coming next?” said anchor Martin Savidge.

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“Well, as you and I have talked before, the White House is woefully unprepared to deal with this, and this is another example,” said Smith. “Since the Intelligence Committee hearings ended more than a week ago, every single day, one of the other White House and Republican excuses has been taken away. And now he’s saying, well, we can’t have lawyers. Well, now they are invited to have lawyers, to actually have their own witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses, and to not do that puts themselves more at a disadvantage, and we know that they don’t have a very good story, but if they don’t have their lawyers defending them at all, they are going to be in even worse shape.”

“And this narrative that’s coming out of the media that the polls show no movement is — remember, when Nixon was at this stage, the American public was only around 25 percent,” added Smith. “This is already at 50 percent for impeachment and removal. It is a significant number.”

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CNN

‘Not even a close comparison’: CNN’s Toobin says Democrats have blown the GOP out of the water on preparation and facts

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued that the Democratic House managers did a much better job of presenting their case than President Donald Trump's legal team.

"You know, I don't want to sound like a partisan, but the Democrats have been so much better, it is not even a close comparison as far as I can tell," said Toobin. "Adam Schiff knows the facts, and that is something that you can't fake. I mean, you know, a lot of what he is doing is off of the cuff. It is responding to the arguments, and most of the lawyers have been just reading, reading presentations."

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CNN

‘The trifecta of constitutional misconduct’: Adam Schiff rains hell on Trump in blistering impeachment statement

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Tuesday delivered a blistering opening statement at the start of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the United States Senate.

In his speech, Schiff took apart the Trump legal team's claims that the president's conduct would not be an impeachable offense even if all the allegations against him were definitively proven to be true.

"It is the president's apparent belief that, under Article 2, he can do anything he wants, no matter how corrupt," Schiff said. "And yet, when the Founders wrote this clause, they had this type of conduct in mind, conduct that abuses the power of office for his personal benefit, that undermines our national security, that invites foreign interference in our democratic process of an election. It is the trifecta of constitutional misconduct justifying our impeachment."

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CNN

CNN historian lays waste to GOP defense of Trump stonewalling: ‘Largest cover-up of impeachment in history’

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A presidential historian identified two key differences between President Donald Trump's impeachment trials and the two others in history -- and dismissed Republican arguments against hearing evidence as "nonsense."

Canadian-American historian Tim Naftali told CNN that Trump's impeachment trial differed greatly from its two predecessors, and knocked down GOP defenses of the president.

"There are two big, big considerations out there that the public should have in mind when they list to the debate, if they do later today," Naftali said. "One, this is the first time the president's party has ever controlled a Senate trial in the history of the United States -- it's never happened before. Either it was the other party, or it was a faction, in the case of Andrew Johnson."

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