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Trump Confesses Amid Senate Impeachment Trial: A Closer Look


-As House managers
in the Senate impeachment trial seek to prove
that the President Is a criminal
who’s unfit for office, the President
is providing more evidence that he’s a criminal
who’s unfit for office. For more on this,
it’s time for “A Closer Look.” [ Cheers and applause ] You might recall
that earlier this week, after a tense exchange Between House managers and
President Trump’s defense team, Chief Justice John Roberts, who’s presiding
over the impeachment trial, warned both sides
to observe the decorum accorded to such an august body
as the United States Senate. -I think it is appropriate
at this point for me to admonish
both the House managers and the President’s counsel,
in equal terms, to remember
that they are addressing the world’s greatest
deliberative body. -The world’s greatest
deliberative body? Are you serious?
There’s better deliberation between the hosts
of “The Voice.” [ Laughter ] This is a place
where a sitting senator once brought out
a giant poster of Ronald Reagan
holding a machine gun, riding a velociraptor
to mock the Green New Deal and where another senator,
James Inhofe, infamously held up a snowball to try to prove that
global warming isn’t real. It is not
a great deliberative body. It’s more like show-and-tell
hour at the senior center. [ Laughter ] Also, the Senate isn’t
a deliberative body, because it doesn’t deliberate.
It does nothing. It’s where legislation passed
by the House goes to die. Democrats have passed
hundreds of bills on everything
from the minimum wage to prescription drugs
to equal pay to voting rights, and Mitch McConnell
has ignored all of it. In his office,
he separates his trash into three different cans, for evidence
against the President, legislation passed by the House,
and plastic. [ Laughter ] And in this trial…
[ Cheers and applause ] In this trial right now,
we are very much seeing at least some of the Senators
live down to the very low expectations
they’ve set for themselves. For example, former senator
and MSNBC contributor Claire McCaskill
expressed some concern that members of the Senate
might not be able to stay awake through the trial
and listen to the evidence for long, uninterrupted periods. -For Senators, this is hard, because they’re used to
moving constantly, they’re used to talking
constantly. They are not used to listening
for long periods of time. -I love how the hardest thing
to ask a senator to do is just shut the [Bleep] up
for one lousy day. [ Laughter ] Just sit down and shut up.
It’s not hard. It’s irritating,
but it’s not hard. Also, you know who else
is used to talking and moving and has difficulty listening
for long periods of time? Children.
We talk about senators the way pre-K teachers
talk about story time. “Well, they’re used to
moving and talking, so we only made it
halfway through ‘Clifford Commits a Crime.'”
[ Laughter ] But it’s true. Senators apparently are having
a tough time doing their jobs, because there have reportedly
been stretches of the trial where senators
have been caught napping or missing from their desks.
And the A.P. reported today that almost immediately,
bored and weary senators started openly flouting
some basic guidelines. At a chamber
that prizes decorum, when one of the freshman House
prosecutors stood to speak, many of the senator jurors
bolted for the cloakrooms, where their phones are stored. Oh, my God, they’re like parents
at a school play when someone else’s kid
is onstage. “Okay, Tyler’s part is done,
so I’m gonna go warm up the car
for three hours.” Also read the first part
of that sentence again. How can you be bored
almost immediately? This is a historic
Senate impeachment trial, not a French New Wave film. And by the way, we get it,
Truffaut — life is hard
and death inevitable. Would it kill you to throw in a guy getting hit in the nuts
with a soccer ball just once? In fact, at one point,
one of the House managers prosecuting the case
against Trump, Jason Crow, a combat veteran,
was laying out in damning detail just how egregious
Trump’s crime was, when he noticed that Senators
were leaving the chamber, and commented on that fact.
-There is a process for making sure
that U.S. aid money makes it to the right place,
to the right people. And, Mr. Chief justice, I do see a lot of members
moving and taking a break. Would we like to take a break
at this time? I have another
probably 15 minutes. -That’s insane. I mean, in the middle
of laying out damning evidence against the President
of the United States, in the middle of an historic
Senate impeachment trial, and he had to stop to ask
if the members needed a break. Can you imagine
an episode of “Law & Order” where the jury just walks out during Sam’s Waterston’s
big speech? His eyebrows would raise
right off his head. [ Laughter ] [ Slide whistle plays ] And not only…
[ Cheers and applause ] Not only have senators
been napping, fidgeting, and leaving the room as evidence
of the President’s crime is laid out before them, some of them are even whining
about the amenities. For example,
Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy complained to the A.P., there’s coffee,
but it’s miserable coffee. Oh, I’m sorry, is the coffee at
the Senate impeachment trial not gourmet enough for you?
Should we have George Clooney stop by and bring you
an espresso machine? [ Cheers and applause ]
And you know who I bet definitely doesn’t care
about the quality of the coffee? Bernie Sanders.
“I drink black coffee out of a tin cup
like an old prospector, and that’s it.”
[ Laughter and applause ] “I don’t even rinse.” The Republicans
can’t be bothered to pay attention
to the evidence, and neither, it seems,
can Trump’s own defense team. If you’ve been watching
the trial in detail, you might have noticed
the stark difference between the table where the
Democratic House prosecutors have been sitting
and the table where Trump’s defense team
has been sitting. -You see the counsel table, that the impeachment managers’
table on the left. That’s got all the paper on it. The much cleaner counsel table
on the right is the White House defense
counsel for the President. You can tell a little bit
about the difference in approach from the two sides
simply from looking at their work environment.
-It’s true, the Democrats’ table looks like it has
actual evidence on it. The Trump team’s table
looks like a bus boy
just cleaned it off. I guess it’s not surprising, given that Trump’s desk
is also always so clean. I mean, look at that.
He looks like a tourist taking a photo
on the set of “The West Wing.” [ Laughter and applause ] “Is this — Is this the same
phone Martin Sheen used? This is so cool.”
[ Laughter ] And even when
they do have papers, Trump’s defense team usually
doesn’t seem prepared to actually use them.
I mean, the last time a lawyer showed up to Congress
to defend Trump, he was literally
lugging his documents around in a grocery-store tote bag. Remember that guy from
the House hearing, Steve Castor? He was either a lawyer or a guy
the Republicans randomly picked from the frozen aisle
at Whole Foods. “Quick, can you come defend
the President from impeachment?” “Alright, I guess.
Just let me finish filling my tote bag
with these Amy’s burritos.” [ Laughter ] In fact, Trump’s team
is apparently so unwilling to listen to the actual
arguments Democrats are making, that at one point,
Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow went off on an angry tirade about something he misheard
during the trial. Basically,
one of the House prosecutors made a reference to FOIA
lawsuits to obtain documents. “FOIA” is just an acronym for
“Freedom of Information Act.” If you’re in politics or law or are really just a person
who reads the news, you’ve probably
heard that term before. But Sekulow thought she said
the words “lawyer lawsuits,” which makes no sense at all, and
then he went off about it. -The President’s lawyers
may suggest that the House should have
sought these materials in court or
awaited further lawsuits under the
Freedom of Information Act — AKA, FOIA lawsuits. -And by the way… lawyer lawsuits? [ Laughter ] Lawyer lawsuits? We’re talking
about the impeachment of a President of
the United States, duly elected. And the members, the managers, are complaining
about lawyer lawsuits? [ Laughter ] The Constitution
allows lawyer lawsuits. [ Laughter ]
It’s disrespecting the Constitution
of the United States to even say that
in this chamber — lawyer lawsuits. -She didn’t say it,
because it’s not a thing! Also, if it was a thing,
why would you be insulted by it? Lawyer lawsuits is just a
redundant way to describe a job, like “bus-driver bus driving.” [ Laughter and applause ] “What the [Bleep] did you say?!” [ Laughter ] Seriously!
How have you never heard… [ Cheers and applause ] Have you never heard the term
“FOIA lawsuits” before? You’re supposed to be a lawyer? Did they also pick you
out of line at Whole Foods? “Alright, who else here wants to defend the President
from impeachment? You get a $10 coupon
for an espresso.” And Sekulow isn’t
the only Trump defender who doesn’t seem to know
how the law works. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro
lashed out on Twitter in the middle of the trial
as House manager Adam Schiff was presenting his case,
writing, “Prosecutor Adam Schiff says Donald Trump
is not innocent. Way to go, Democrats. No presumption of innocence.
No constitutional guarantees. Welcome to America
under Democrat rule.” Have you never seen a trial
before? Prosecutors
are supposed to argue that the defendant is guilty.
That’s how it works. They don’t walk out and say, “Ladies and gentlemen
of the jury, today we’re gonna figure out
some stuff together, and however it breaks
is good with me.” [ Laughter ] How do you not know that? Your show is literally called
“Justice with Judge Jeanine.” Are you actually a judge, or did you just pick that name
because you love alliteration? I mean, in that case,
you could have also gone with “Janky Jeanine’s
Jibber-jabber Junction.” [ Laughter and applause ] You know, while
this was going on, Trump is at the
World Economic Forum in Davos, where he confirmed that he was watching
the impeachment proceedings. And in the process,
he actually confessed to one of the
articles of impeachment, obstructing Congress.
During a press conference, Trump bragged that his side
was winning the trial because he was hiding
all of the evidence from House prosecutors.
-We’re doing very well. I got to watch enough, I thought
our team did a very good job. But, honestly,
we have all the material. They don’t have the material. -He literally just confessed.
[ Laughter ] Again, the guy confesses more
than a 15-year-old Catholic boy. “Forgive me, Father,
for I have sinned four times in the bathroom
at home and once in the bushes
by cheerleader practice.” [ Laughter ]
“Also, I’d love to wrap this up so I can get home
and sin again.” [ Laughter ] Trump, of course, is only
the third President in history to face the prospect of
being removed from office by the Senate
in an impeachment trial. Now, you might expect
a normal person in that position to do everything possible to prove that they’re competent,
sane, fit for office. Instead, here’s
the sitting President of the United States,
amid historic reckoning that will stain his name
and presidency forever, talking about how Tesla CEO
Elon Musk is good at rockets. -Tesla is now worth more
than GM and Ford. Do you have comments
on Elon Musk? -Well, you have to
give him credit. I spoke to him very recently,
and he’s also doing the rockets. He likes rockets. And he does good at rockets,
too, by the way. -Yeah, yeah, yes, he does.
He does good at rockets. [ Laughter ] The presidency of Donald Trump
is the closest we’ll ever come to finding out what it would be
like if Tarzan worked at NASA. “Ground control to Tarzan,
What’s your status?” “Space cold for Tarzan,
but Tarzan good at rockets.” [ Laughter ] What we’ve seen
once again this week is that Trump and his lawyers
have no defense for his obviously corrupt
behavior, which is why
their desks are empty and their Republican allies
are leaving the chamber and ignoring the evidence. Even if he’s acquitted
by the Senate, Trump may very well spend
the rest of his life in court, dealing with legal challenges
and indictments, or as they’re
technically known… -Lawyer lawsuits. -This has been
“A Closer Look.” [ “A Closer Look” theme plays ]
[ Cheers and applause ]

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