For those who are enjoying the suspense of recent events—spoiler alert. It’s pretty complicated, involving subpoenas and some time travel, but I got my hands on some of the transcript of President Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate from January, 2020. Due to various loyalty issues, the president slimmed down his legal team to just his consigliere, Rudy Giuliani, and this page is from day two…
Your Highness, I want to object on the record to the characterization of the president as a “two-bit con man” in the introduction paragraph of the articles of impeachment.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS
Sustained. The senators will disregard the words “two-bit”.
Thank you, Your Eminence. One further matter. On page four of our response documents, we characterized this proceeding as a “fishing expedition.” We’d like to amend that to read “witch hunt.”
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS
So ordered. If there’s nothing else, let’s move on and resume questioning. Mr. President, I remind you that you’re still under oath. Senator Schumer, you have the floor.
Thank you. This is actually a question from one of my constituents in Ithaca, New York. Mr. President, in the word-for-word transcript of your July phone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky, what did you mean when you said you were going to “make him an offer he couldn’t refuse”?
(confers with GIULIANI) I decline to answer based on executive privilege. (confers further) I mean the fifth commandment. (confers again) I mean the Fifth Amendment.
Well, how about when you said, “it’s not personal, it’s business”? That’s from the transcript as well. It’s about halfway down page three.
That fifth thing again.
I see. Later in that conversation, let me read from the transcript, you said, “some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me, but until that day, consider this $400 million in foreign aid a gift.” What did you mean by that?
I’m sorry, but could I interrupt here? We’d like to amend our documents one more time and change “witch hunt” to “media conspiracy.”
It goes on like this for page after page, but someone like Francis Ford Coppola could really bring out the dramatic tension. Or maybe P.T. Barnum. And though I’m sworn not to reveal the outcome, anyone who wants to bet on Senate Republicans growing spines should ask for long odds.