PATRICK PHILBIN: There’s a very much higher standard at stake here. As we pointed out in our trial memorandum, the mere accusation made by the House comes here with no presumption of regularity at all in its favor. The Senate sits as trier of both fact and law, reviewing both factual and legal issues de novo, and the House managers are held to a standard of proving proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every element of what would be a cognizable impeachable offense. Here, they have failed in their burden of proof. They have also failed on the law. They have not stated in their articles of impeachment anything that on its face amounts to an impeachable offense. And on the facts I think we have demonstrated very clearly that they have not presented facts that would amount to an impeachable offense, even under their own theories. They have presented only part of the facts and left out the key facts. And Mr. Purpura went through very effectively showing that there are some facts that don’t change. The transcript of the July 25th call shows the President doing nothing wrong. President Zelensky said he never felt any pressure. His other advisors have said the Ukrainians never felt any pressure, they didn’t think there was any quid pro quo. They didn’t even know that the military assistance had been held up until the Politico article at the end of August. The only two people with statements on record who spoke to the President, who are Sondland and Sen. Ron Johnson, report that the President said to them that there was no quid pro quo and the aid flowed without anything ever being done related to investigations. That is what’s in the record. That is what the House managers have to rely on to make their case and they have failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, failed even to prove it by clear and convincing evidence, failed to prove it at all, in my opinion.
CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK