Legal experts have been ripping Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for breaking his pledge to use the same impeachment trial rules that were used for former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s — and New York University Law professor Ryan Goodman thinks it’s all part of a shameless coverup.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Goodman explains how the Trump legal team’s impeachment brief, which falsely claims that European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) “exonerated” Trump from charges that he shook down Ukraine by withholding its military aid, is a pretext for letting McConnell sweep everything under the rug.
In particular, he notes that the memo rightly claims that Sondland and Johnson are the only two people who have gone “on the record” about Trump’s scheme to withhold Ukraine’s aid, but that’s only because the White House has blocked testimony from people who have more direct knowledge of the president’s motivations for withholding the aid.
“The brief reveals the secret sauce to the coverup — to try to keep others who directly communicated with the president from going on the record,” Goodman explained. “The brief carefully relies on these third-person accounts to claim what the president did or did not say. The irony is the Sondland call is actually one of the most incriminating parts of the record. When Sondland told other officials of this very call, it sent off alarm bells.”