President Donald Trump said Friday that he has instructed his defense team representing him in the Senate impeachment trial to “just be honest” when they begin to present their case on his behalf Saturday morning.
Speaking to Raymond Arroyo of Fox News, Trump remarked:
“What my people have to do is just be honest, just tell the truth. They’ve been testifying, the Democrats, they’ve been telling so many lies, so many fabrications, so much exaggeration. And this is not impeachable.”
The president went on to claim that his alleged bribing of Ukraine — trading military aid for dirt on a political opponent — is not the least bit criminal or deserving of impeachment:
“I don’t even know how to determine this, but they say it’s not a crime, everybody says that. [Democrats] say, ‘But it doesn’t have to be a crime.’ Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be a crime, but can you imagine being impeached and you didn’t commit a crime?”
“When you look at the Bidens and the Biden family, when somebody with actually, not a job, who just was taken out of the Navy — I mean, thrown out of the Navy, had nothing, all of a sudden the father becomes vice president … the son is making millions and millions of dollars. It’s corruption.”
As for his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump maintained that he would never have said anything inappropriate because other American officials were also on the call:
“And you have to understand when I made that call, there might have been 25 people on the call. You know, I know that there are many people on all of those calls.
“Can you imagine … with all of these people on the call, I’m going to say something that’s inappropriate?”
However, that call was exactly what led a whistleblower from the intelligence community to file a complaint with an inspector general, who turned the matter over to the relevant committees in Congress. That complaint precipitated articles of impeachment being drawn up against Trump.
The president’s defense team will begin making their case at 10:00 a.m this morning.
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