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The first day of former President Trump's impeachment trial has just come to a close and we are joined here by one of the jurors to help us break it all down. This is verdict with Ted Cruz.
I think I've heard it before, I think I've said it before, maybe almost exactly a year ago on the very first episode of this show, is that not word for word verbatim exactly how verdict began? It is because, you know, Senator, it would seem that we are just stuck, suspended in midair in this country. Nothing is changing. I have to tell you, when we started this show, it was because the first I'm going to start singing.
I got you, babe.
You're just going to keep on and on.
When we first heard this, I had no idea really what was at play in that first impeachment trial. And that, to me, seems clear cut compared to this second sort of impeachment trial. I guess the biggest question on people's minds is, is this even an impeachment trial? Because obviously Trump is not the president anymore. You were there all day. We are. We are doing exactly what we did a year ago. We were here in the middle of the night.
You've just left the Capitol.
Now, I will say that it is much more humane. So so when we started this last year, I think it was two thirty seven in the morning when we started this. It's now, what is it, 10, 12 p.m. much more recent. You know, that's positively civilized. Does that tell you something about the seriousness of this impeachment trial? Yes.
Look, to be honest, both sides are dialing it in, OK?
The end result of this is is preordained that this this trial, as Shakespeare put it, is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
Senator, you know, I'm not the most literary guy in the world. I thought that was William Faulkner who said that I was I was reading a tweet from Andrea Mitchell on NBC. She seemed to want to make fun of you and attribute that quote to Faulkner.
It really was a pretty stunning exchange. So this happened a little over an hour ago. Yeah. And I guess Andrea Mitchell decided that she was going to upbraid me and demonstrate her intellectual superiority and better learnedness and. You know, apparently she she does not ironically, I didn't know that she has a degree in English literature, American literature.
Well, that would explain. And so and so Faulkner, she knows. But but apparently Macbeth. She does not know. She does not. I think actually there is something in this exchange that tells us a lot about the whole impeachment trial, which was this this combination not just of ignorance, but also arrogance to correct someone who's using the correct quote.
Well, life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Wow. And one would think not only ABC, Jennifer Rubin and Washington Post chimed in, agreeing with Andrea Mitchell. It really is kind of amazing that between NBC and The Washington Post, nobody has actually read Macbeth. I'll tell you, Senator, if you spend as much time in the media and around journalists as I do, not surprising at all. Absolutely not surprising.
Well, and, you know, I will say nothing is better than when Ernest Hemingway wrote, is this a dagger I see before me, the handle towards my hand. Come, let me clutch thee. I have the knot. And yet I see these still. I thought that was J.K. Rowling.
I don't know. I said we could go through the whole literary canon.
You know, this does, though, this issue of ignorance and arrogance. It does bring me back to the question of the trial, because I'll I'll confess to ignorance here. I don't get it. I don't know. Is is this thing constitutional? Is it unconstitutional? Is the Senate have the right to hold the trial? Can there be an impeachment trial of an ex-president? What, you were there all day. What's going on? So those are really important questions.
And we actually address those questions yesterday. So so the trial itself started today. Yesterday, we had essentially a pre-trial motion and an argument about whether the Senate even has jurisdiction to consider this matter. And what's at heart in the argument is, is that Donald Trump is no longer the president. Right. And so the argument that the Trump legal campaign made is that the Senate doesn't have the jurisdiction to try a former officeholder. Right. That jurisdiction only extends to current office holders.
And once they left the White House, the Senate could no longer have an impeachment trial. So this has been my understanding of it. But, you know, I didn't go to law school and I'm no constitutional expert.
Well, and, you know, it's interesting. The constitutional question is actually very close. It is a difficult question. It's not a question I had examined until till we were faced with it. And I got to say, as I looked at it, I actually think the better argument on the substance and on the merits is that the Senate does have the jurisdiction to try a former officeholder. That being said. I don't believe the jurisdiction is mandatory, I don't think we have to take it, and so I don't think we should take and let me walk through that, because there's are some complicated legal concerns.
And I want to point out, generally speaking, you've heard people it's binary. They'll say either the Senate has no jurisdiction here. This is a farce of a trial or the Senate not only has jurisdiction, but we have to do it. It's our constitutional responsibility to throw Trump in the gulag. And and you, as far as I can tell, this is a unique legal take. It may well be, although actually, Mike Lee, my colleague, he and I are very close to agreement on this.
We've talked about this a lot. Mike is a serious legal scholar, clerked for Justice Sam Alito on the Supreme Court. Mike and I have spent many, many hours talking about this issue, in his view, and mine are very, very close on this. Let me start on just the threshold question. Do you have jurisdiction? So if you look at the constitutional text. You can take arguments from the text on on on both sides, so the Constitution says the House shall have the sole power of impeachment and the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.
Interestingly, those are the only two places in the Constitution. You find the words sole power. And so it's just impeachment's house is entirely in charge of impeachments. The Senate is entirely in charge of trying impeachment. Nobody else has power.
And actually, even on this point, I think it's worth clearing up is because we use these terms. Plus why Trump has already been impeached, correct? Twice. Correct. Because the House voted to impeach him. He was in office both times. Then there's the trial. He's been acquitted once during the first episodes of verdict. And now the question is, will he be acquitted or convicted? And this is one of the things most misunderstood, just in sort of general parlance.
But to be impeached, think of it like in the criminal context, to be indicted. If the grand jury indicts you, it means they bring charges against you. If you're indicted for running over somebody's dog doesn't mean you're convicted. It means you're charged with it. And then when you have a trial, if you're convicted, is when you're found guilty. Right. So the house impeaches, which is to bring the charges and the Senate conducts the trial.
Now, there are a couple of textual arguments that were raised as to why former office holders do not fall into the impeachment power. One is that another portion of the constitution refers to the president rather than a president. Right. And Donald Trump right now is not the president. There is only one the president at any moment in history today. Joseph Biden is the president. Trump is a former president. That's a textual argument that is used to say, well, he's not the president.
So it's not he's not subject to impeachment. What that provision actually says, though, is when the president is impeached, the chief justice shall preside because Trump isn't the president. The chief justice is not presiding. Right. There is another provision that says that that that when the president is impeached and convicted, he shall be removed. That uses the word shall. Yeah. So the argument is made. Well, shall I? But he can't if he can't be removed, that means you can't remove an ex office holder.
Look, that's a real argument. That's a substantive argument. On the flip side, as we said, he's not the president, he is. A former president, if you look at the history as you examine it at the time the Constitution was written, it turns out the question of what's called late impeachment was actually a topic of discussion. Can former office holders be impeached? If you looked at British common law and the framers were very familiar with British common law, and often when you're interpreting U.S. constitutional provisions, you look to a what?
Where did it come from? Right. Under British law, because many of the concepts the framers took from British law and there were two very notable British impeachments. One was in seventeen twenty five. And that was Lord Chancellor Macclesfield, who was impeached for public corruption. It's very well known impeachment now.
I knew all about it. I was you know, I talked about, you know, is there a day you don't talk about the Macclesfield impeachment? Well, Macclesfield was impeached after he left office.
A second impeachment was the impeachment of Warren Hastings. Now, Warren Hastings was the governor general of India. Interestingly enough, his impeachment began in 1787. So literally, while the framers were in Constitution Hall in Philadelphia and in the debates of the Constitution, they discuss the impeachment of Warren Hastings. Now, Hastings, likewise, was no longer the governor general, and yet nonetheless, he was impeached. And by the way, do you know who led the charge to impeach Hastings?
Someone you're a big fan of? Would this be Edmund Burke? Edmund Burke, the a great consider the founder of modern conservative philosophy? Very. It's actually very important context for how these framers are thinking about that. So they're literally talking about at the constitutional convention. Yeah. The impeachment of an out of office officeholder. And by the way, right after the founding 06. In Great Britain, Lord Melville was impeached, impeached as well, so very shortly thereafter.
So you've got a fair amount of history with British common law and then you look at U.S. history. The first impeachment we have was of Senator Blunt of Tennessee, and he was impeached, he was actually impeached because he tried to essentially sell Florida and Louisiana away from the U.S. and he was impeached. He was thrown out of the Senate. He the guy was crooked.
This is like when someone says, you know, if you believe that I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. He tried to sell and tried to sell a bridge in Florida.
So there was a big debate during the blunt impeachment. So Blunt was impeached. The House brought charges. The Senate expelled him because he was a senator. And then there was a big debate on jurisdiction. There were two arguments on jurisdiction. One, that the Senate couldn't impeach him because he was a senator and that impeachment didn't apply to members of Congress that only applied to members of the executive branch or the judicial branch. And then secondly, an argument that was given was he couldn't be impeached because he was no longer in office or he couldn't be tried.
Rather, the Senate ended up voting by a vote of 14 to 11 that the Senate did not have jurisdiction over Blunt. That has both arguments were presented. So it's not necessarily conclusive, but the predominant arguments that were raised was that he was a senator. And so it was a comment about what kind of job he had rather than being a former officeholder. One other major precedent, 1876 Secretary of War William Belknap. Now, Belnap resigned, was crooked, was caught corruption, was impeached in the Senate, actually had two weeks of debate over whether a former office holder could be impeached because not Knap argued, I'm out of office.
You can write. And and the Senate ended up voting 37 to 29 in favor of jurisdiction in favor of saying we can try a former officeholder. So as I look at this, the textual language of the Constitution. There's some ambiguity, but the grant of power to the Senate is really broad, the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. That's a very broad power given the history of British common law in American history.
I think the better constitutional argument is, yes, you can try a former office holder. And let me give an example. Imagine we discovered we found evidence that a former president had sold American nuclear secrets to the Chinese government. Yeah. That they were guilty of treason and bribery both. And the evidence here was conclusive and by the way, treason and bribery are both mentioned explicitly in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment, I think in those circumstances the House would conclude overwhelmingly it had jurisdiction to impeach them.
The Senate would conclude overwhelmingly it had jurisdiction to try them, even though they were a former office. Right. So I concluded I wrote an op ed last night laying out these arguments as to why I think the right constitutional argument is close, but I think the right argument is, yes, we have jurisdiction over a former office holder. I think you've actually managed to change my mind on this in this discussion because I was leaning very much text of the Constitution certainly made it seem to me as though Senate doesn't have jurisdiction.
But when you factor in British common law, when you factor in these other debates that were happening at the time, that is that is a compelling argument. And yet and yet. So yesterday I voted against jurisdiction. Yes. And the reason for that is, is generally speaking, there are two kinds of jurisdiction. Mandatory jurisdiction and discretionary jurisdiction. OK, mandatory jurisdiction means you must take the case if you have the authority to take it, you must take the case and you have no choice.
Yeah. Discretionary jurisdiction, as you have the authority to take the case, but you can choose whether or not to hear it, and the easiest example is the U.S. Supreme Court. The vast majority of the U.S. Supreme Court's docket is discretionary jurisdiction. We heard a lot about this during the election, right? There were these cases that the court didn't take. The court didn't think you were actually slated to argue. One of them court said, no, thank you.
We don't want to hear it. In any given year, the Supreme Court will get about 8000 what are called petitions for certiorari, which are requests for the court to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction to hear a case out of those 8000, the court hears about one percent. It hears about 80 out of those eight thousand. So seventy nine hundred. It says go jump in a lake. Right. As I look at the Constitution, there's nothing in the Constitution that says we have mandatory jurisdiction.
The Senate has to take a case, right.
It says the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. It's up to the Senate. The Senate makes those determinations. And so what I argue to my colleagues and actually at lunch today, I made this argument to all of my colleagues that for what it's worth, here's my thinking that in this case, we should not exercise jurisdiction. We shouldn't take up the case and the reasons we shouldn't take it up. Our number one, the House had zero due process.
Yeah, they considered it for seven days. They heard no witnesses. They held note. They held no hearings. They examined no evidence. This was a political impeachment. It seems as though they're sort of changing their arguments. Maybe we'll get into that a little bit on just what happened today. Yeah, but yeah, it just it seems it seemed like a shallow process in the House.
And I don't think the Senate is obliged to look this precedent.
You know, this has also been called a snap impeachment where they just vote out an impeachment because we hate the guy. Yeah, I don't think the Senate has any obligation if the House engages in a sham proceeding to conduct a full trial. I think we are perfectly justified in saying we are declining to exercise jurisdiction over this because it doesn't meet the threshold of a credible, real serious impeachment. Secondly, on the merits, I think there is no serious argument that this meets the legal threshold for impeachment.
There's only one count that the House House alleges, which is incitement to insurrection, incitement to riot and violence. Now, there clearly was a riot. There was a terrorist attack on the Capitol. It was horrific and, you know, today. So we went through eight hours of of the House managers arguments and they did an effective job. Let me start by saying that they. Look, Democrats have a lot of trial lawyers and they had some trial lawyers today that were good storytellers who were emotional.
I mean, they they got up, they walked through. They were well-organized. And it was. We watched a lot of videos today. They seem to rely a lot on these very charged videos that evoke a lot of emotions, and it was powerful.
It was horrifying. I mean, there were a lot of moments in the Senate where you could hear a pin drop because you're watching this. And it's horrific. It's horrific seeing violent criminals and terrorists assaulting, beating police officers, loudly proclaiming their desire to carry out murder and succeeding in murdering one police officer and injuring over one hundred. I mean, it was. All of us and I think all of the country who watched today was horrified at what happened and that that this was a grotesque terrorist attack.
Carried out by violent criminals who should be fully prosecuted and spend a long, long time in jail, I think is unequivocal.
Sure, but but the emotional effect of the videos and even the stories that these impeachment managers were saying, it's not the same thing as an argument that the president committed impeachable offense.
Well, and 90 plus percent of the time of the House managers today was on how horrific the attack was. And if we were impeaching, you know, the guy with Viking records that were beating people up. Right. Sign me up. Where to where do I vote? Right. But at the end of the day, incitement, the standard for incitement is, is it has to be a very direct call for violence. Yeah. And if you look at what the president said, the president and listen, the president's rhetoric at times, I think is overheated.
I wish some of the things he says, some of the things he tweeted, I wish you didn't say in tweet. But if you look at what he actually said at the speech on January 6th, the Democrats are making a big deal of what he kept saying, fight. You need to fight like hell. Yeah. Let me tell you, if we take every person who has ever said, you got to fight, you got to fight like hell, you got to win, we got to take our country back, you would literally be prosecuting every single political candidate in America for incitement ever like, I guarantee you, of of all the all 50 Democratic senators, every single one.
And if you've ever given a stump speech, if you ran for seventh grade class president, I'm well, I'm willing to bet, Michael, you stood up and said we got to fight. Yes, I did. And I won my race down there because it's effective political rhetoric and everybody does.
It is. Ubiquitous, it is commonplace language to say fight in this case, President Trump said peacefully and explicitly said peacefully, but not a call to violence. And where the House managers argument falls apart is is whatever standard. They haven't really articulated a standard for incitement. Maybe they'll do that tomorrow, but they haven't even tried to say this is how you distinguish ordinary political speech or even hot rhetoric. You mean from. Truly criminal incitement, any standard they would articulate.
Right after this trial, we better start moving forward against Nancy Pelosi, yeah, and Maxine Waters and Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton for them, Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, Booker. Look, you look at Nancy Pelosi called police officers Nazis. Yeah. There's some rich irony. Now, all these Democrats are defending police officers, given a year of vilifying cops and saying abolish the police and A.S.A. be their motto, all cops are bastards is what that stands for.
And these are now the defenders of law enforcement.
I mean it, right? You know, if God were still in the business of throwing lightning bolts, some Democrats might have been struck down. Right.
Right. You look at. Chuck Schumer, who went to the steps of the Supreme Court, called out to Supreme Court justices by name and says, You have unleashed the whirlwind and you will pay the price. He threatened them directly.
Now, look that if what Trump said is incitement, what Schumer said is insane. Well, Maxine Waters said when you see Republicans in public go up, get in their face and start a confrontation, she explicitly urged violence. And I'll tell you, Kamala Harris.
Right, who who the media is right now in the midst of beatifying Kamala Harris, when we had violent riots and we had for a year riots across this country, cities being burned, mostly peaceful police cars. CNN apologizing for him like crazy. Police cars being firebombed, police officers being murdered. And these Democrats who are now high and mighty, were apologizing for celebrating, encouraging Kamala Harris raised bail money. Yeah, to bail out not the peaceful protesters, the violent criminals.
So he's literally after they had committed acts of violence, she was raising money to bail them out. Now. The truthful matter, the truthful assessment of it is none of this is incitement. Right. But there is no coherent standard that says what Trump said is incitement. And what common Schumer said is not you can't have it, you can't have the only people guilty are the ones politically I dislike. And that's really what the Democrats are. This is the issue because I don't think any Republicans out there are really saying we need to kick Cory Booker out of the South because, you know, he said something one time, but they're actually believe in free speech, even dumb speech.
You have a right right to it. But if we're going to take this unprecedented action, impeach a former president, now a private citizen in Florida for this language where he said it, maybe it was overblown at times, but he did say at the moment, be peaceful, don't be violent. If we're going to do that, why on earth are we letting Nancy Pelosi off the hook, Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, all these people? Because this is not a legal argument.
It's not a constitutional argument and it's not a principled argument. There's a reason why 90 percent of what they did today was emotional. It was just designed to have you go, oh, my God, this was horrible. Yeah. And it was horrible. It was a terrorist attack. Now, there is a difference, which is that you and I and most people on the right unequivocally condemn this violence. It's bad and all. And let me be clear, whoever is responsible for killing Officer Picknick.
Assuming it was deliberate, I think those facts are still being investigated, but assuming it was deliberate, I'd execute for murder. Crime scene officer, as far as I'm concerned, if that's deliberate and not maybe the facts come out that it was somehow accidental, in which case it wouldn't fall under capital punishment, you'd instead prosecute them and put them away for a long time. But you and I are perfectly happy to unequivocally condemn the violence. The difference with the Democrats.
Is most of the Democrats still haven't condemned the violence and rioting of BLM of Antifa when they agree politically with someone, violence somehow doesn't count.
So the Democrats seem to not have any coherent standard here and the Republicans seem not particularly interested in this. I know there were a handful of Republicans who seemed gung ho on the the impeachment trial, but most seem really uninterested. I think there was a report that some Republican senators were like reading books today, gazing off in the distance. Yeah, look, to be honest, that's a little bit of gotcha journalism. OK, so when you were in the room, you saw so I was in the room.
We were all sitting at our desks. Most senators were at their desks the entire time. People would occasionally get up and go to the restroom. Look, the median age in the Senate is about 97.
So people have to go to the restroom. You know, you would also have so periodically you would get up and go in the cloakroom is something we talked about in the last impeachment trial. Yeah, there were multiple times during the trial. When I went back in the cloakroom, I went back to talk with Lindsey Graham, went back to talk with Rand Paul. I went back to talk with John Kennedy. I don't want to ask for tales out of school here, but I do.
Can you give us anything of what was going on? You know, I don't necessarily want to get into it because a lot of what I was talking with them about was strategy for the next couple of days about where the arguments are going, what are the responses? Although, look, a lot of what we're talking about is some of what we're saying here, which is the double standard. Yeah. That that that by any measure, you know, Lindsey was pointing out that that I guess one of the people who was bailed out from this fund that Comilla raised money for went out and committed violence and yet another riot and injured somebody else.
So, I mean, it was it was not, you know, not just once, but twice. Yeah. And so we were talking about we're going to have probably on Saturday four hours of questioning. Remember the first impeachment trial we had, Senator questions. Yeah. And so a lot of what I was talking with Lindsey and John and Rand about is what sort of questions to ask. Yeah, but there's a fair amount of that strategizing that goes on just off of the just off of the floor in the cloakroom.
Now, I know some reports are I mean, you have to take with a grain of salt because it's the left wing media, but that the House impeachment managers, they're doing a great job. As you say, it was emotionally persuasive, if not logically all that persuasive. So. How long is this going to go? Is there any chance that the Democrats succeed or is this full of sound and fury signifying nothing?
So stop quoting Faulkner. So I don't think it will go much longer. I think we are likely to be done Saturday night. Yeah. So what's currently scheduled? The House managers have two days, 16 hours to present their case. So we're one day into it. Yeah, they have. Tomorrow will go. My guess is we'll wrap up eight or nine o'clock tomorrow night. And then Trump's lawyers have 16 hours over two days to present their case.
I think it's quite likely Trump's lawyers will not take the whole 16 hours. I think. Virtually every senator thinks they should not take the whole 16 hours, when that is completed, there will be a vote on whether we should call additional witnesses. Now, right now, my understanding is the Democratic senators don't want additional witnesses, so everyone expects that vote to be now. Remember, we had a big fight in the last one about calling witnesses. Right?
Right. But is the idea here? What's the point? What would be the point of additional witnesses? I think so. And I think also. I think a lot of the Democratic senators wish they weren't there, that this impeachment look, if you're a Democrat.
Your guy just won the White House. You got a new administration, you get a new Democratic Cabinet members, you've got a Democratic majority in the House, and you just got a Democratic majority in the Senate. So they're a bunch of Democratic senators who suddenly are committee chairmen.
They have gavels. They want to get on to the business of destroying the country. And by the way, that is what they're going to be doing, right. But they are eager to pass. Their radical agenda. Yeah. And this is just sort of an impediment, this is a waste of time. I think they're frustrated. It was really the House Democrats that drove this there. So the House Democrats are. Just consumed with hatred for Trump.
Yeah, and so I think the Senate Democrats felt like they didn't have much of a choice they had to go through with it. I don't get the sense Biden's very happy about this. I mean, you know, look, if you were you know, we were in week three of the Noles presidency, I don't know that you would be all that interested in impeaching former president Ben Shapiro would be like, well, you know, in that specific case, maybe.
But of course, if you if you get in there, you say especially if someone like Joe Biden has been running for president since 1988. It's been a long time. This guy knows what he wants to do. He wants to wield the power and he's got to hold up to keep talking about the guy that he just booted out of the White House. The way, you know, Biden was accused of plagiarism, too, just like Andrea Mitchell accused me.
So maybe that augurs well for future future political endeavors, but. Look, Biden wants to get on with it, I think there are a lot, so my sense of the Democrats, they don't want to see witnesses. We don't want to see witnesses, I think will vote on that. I think witnesses will they will not be called.
And then we'll have four hours of questioning. And the way the questioning works is it alternates Democrat, Republican, Democrat, Republican. Under the agreement, if we ceded back our time, you just have four hours of Democratic questioning, so I don't think we'll do that. I think if we could actually get back our time, we might. But given that we'd just be giving it to the Democrats, I think we're unlikely to do that. Right. And then my guess is at the end of that, which will be probably Sunday evening or Saturday evening, I think we'll vote.
And to to to cut to the ending, Donald Trump will be acquitted. You're confident there's I mean, 100 percent OK. It is to convict. Trump takes 67 votes. There's not going to be 67 votes. There's going to be 55 votes to convict him. And I'd say plus or minus two.
OK, so it could be as high as 57 seven, as low as fifty three. It ain't getting close to 67. Yeah. And we actually saw a proxy of that. We've had two two votes. Now on the jurisdictional question, the first vote, there were fifty five votes on jurisdiction, actually the second vote there were 56. And I think those are proxies for where the final vote is going to be. Well, presumably if you're one of the forty five senators who said the Senate doesn't have jurisdiction here, I can't imagine you're going to vote to convict.
Right. You're saying the whole trial is a farce?
One would certainly think so. Yeah, but but who knows? I mean, that's why I say plus minus two. I mean, you could have one or two who change their mind. You know, you look at the first vote we had was a procedural vote on the jurisdictional question right at the outset that there were forty five the vote yesterday they were forty four. So Bill Cassidy, Republican from Louisiana, who sits next to me on the floor, he changed his vote.
And the reason he changed his vote, he thought the Trump lawyers did terribly well. You know, was kind of an interesting guy, Bill, a doctor. He's listening to the two sides. And he just said, well, gosh, you know, the Democratic lawyers did a much better job than than the Republican lawyers. And he said, so I'm going to vote for them.
This is something that surprised me the first time we did this, you know, a year ago, which is that it does matter what arguments people are making in the room. You know, these are these are real people in the room. They're responding in real time. Maybe in this case, it's not going to be enough to change the outcome. But it does.
It does matter. It does matter. And it matters probably more for those without legal training and a deep constitutional background.
Bill is a very talented doctor. If we were having a couple of people arguing about the right medical procedure to do, I wouldn't know anything. I guess I'd have to depend on whoever presented the best argument if I were asked to judge. Yeah, right. How to treat some disease or injury that I'd have to listen to, like the size. And I don't know what that guy sounds like.
He knows what he's talking about, particularly with those look for for for people who have. A lot of experience in these issues, frankly, the arguments of the lawyers, you listen to them, but but I'm spending time studying the text of the Constitution, the history. I'm assessing the arguments on my own. And so this is not a debate tournament. You're not filling out a ballot for who who gave the best speech. You're trying to reach the right conclusion.
And so I felt very comfortable with the conclusion of how I voted yesterday, which is no jurisdiction, although, as I said, not that we don't have the authority, but that we shouldn't exercise jurisdiction. Right. And I'm very comfortable that that on Saturday or whenever we vote, that I'll vote not guilty. And I think there will be the president will be acquitted. I think, one, we're as always over time, but one important mailbag.
But before we do that, I do have to tell you kind of a funny thing that happened at the end. OK, so we are almost completely done. And in fact, Jamie Raskin, the lead Democrat House impeachment manager, stands up and says, OK, we're done for the day. We can wrap up. And everyone's relieved because they finished a little bit early tonight. They went they didn't go quite as long as they told us they would.
And as we're getting ready to leave, Mike Lee stands up and he raises an objection, so in the course of the Democratic House managers presentation. They talked about on January six, right, as the capital riot was beginning. That. President Trump called Mike Lee cell phone. And he was looking for Tommy Tuberville, the new senator from Alabama, and apparently the White House had the wrong number. So so like Trump calls and says Tommy, and as they relayed, Mike said, no, no, it's not Tommy, it's Michael.
But here, let me give you Tommy brought the phone over and put Tuberville on the phone with Trump. And so they relay that those events. But but the Democratic House manager also describes some things that he says. Mike Lee said, and I guess this came from some newspaper article about what Mike said contemporaneously at the time. So Mike got up and raised an objection and said I asked for this to be stricken from the record because I didn't say that it's a lie.
It's false. There's no evidence of it. And I asked that it be stricken from the record. Now, this is where so everyone's kind of confused and not sure and this is where some of the dynamics you got to understand, normally the presiding officer would be the chief justice who is prepared to make rulings of his legal training. Because the chief justice is not there, because Donald Trump is not the president today, right. The presiding officer is Pat Leahy.
Now, Pat Leahy is the president pro tem. He's the most senior most. Senator, in the majority now, by the way, he is also a partisan Democrat who has already said that Trump should be convicted. So pause for a moment to think about. What kind of fair and impartial judge is that, who's a juror in the case and has already stated before it starts that he wants wants the defendant convicted, makes that whole thing seem even more ridiculous, actually, and already does it?
It is a big top circus. So Leahy. It is kind of confused and he's not sure what to do. So the Senate parliamentarian sits right in front of it and look, Pats not a spring chicken. The president pro tem never is.
By definition, they are. They are the most senior senator in the majority. And so they're typically in their 80s Senate parliamentarian. And we've talked about her quite a bit on verdict as well. She hands.
Leahy, a piece of paper that she's written that says, under the agreement for the trial, the House managers are not required to limit their arguments to the record. So the the I rule your objection out of order.
Mike is like, what what are you talking about? I'm not saying that it's not in the record, I'm saying it's false. I'm saying they said nothing about me. That's a total lie. And there's no evidence of and Leahy is just kind of confused, dazed. And so he reads the same ruling again, which is just the pretaped piece of paper the parliamentarians handed him. At that point, Mike stands up and says, I appeal the ruling of the chair, which is at any point a senator can appeal the ruling of the chair and it goes to a vote to the body and and.
Lahey's million for the parliamentarian's like art fund asked for the yeas and nays, which is you have to have sufficient senators raise their hand and second it. Yeah, and if there's enough seconds, then you have a roll call vote and everyone votes.
And so. We all second it and they start the roll call vote now Chuck Schumer is looking at this going, wait, oh crap, this is a problem and it's a problem on a couple of fronts. Number one, just on the merits, it's a little bit ridiculous that you've got a senator who you're saying House member came and said something totally false about me and it should be out of the record. That's pretty messed up, right. By the way, Joe Manchin, a Democrat, stands up and says, well, what was false about it?
So it's chaos on.
Yeah, but mansion's concerned, like, you know, look, no senator wants House members to come in a proceeding and just say stuff about libel on the record.
Right. So on the substance, Schumer recognize it's a problem. Not only that, if we have a vote. Leahy's going to have to vote, yeah, how's that going to vote on whether to overrule his own ruling? And it really does underscore how asinine it is to have a partisan Democrat presiding over this. This is the judge, right? Not only that, if it ends up being a party line vote, that all the D vote one way and all the R's vote the other way, that's a 50 50 vote.
So maybe they have to call Kamala Harris to get the vice president president to break the tie. So it was it was chaos. And they're just going ahead with the vote. And Schumer, to his credit, and you won't hear me often praise Schumer, but I will say Schumer stepped in the way majority leader like they don't like what's going on. They stand up and say, I suggest the absence of a quorum, which is sort of magic words that pause everything.
It's just like hitting pause. Right, OK. And the clerk starts calling the roll just enough to see if there's a quorum.
By the way, everyone in the room, like everyone knows. Yes, there's no one disappeared. And there are 100 senators in the room.
But when you suggest the absence of a quorum, it's like freezes everything. And so Schumer goes over to the House managers, it's like, guys, this is stupid, come on, why are you doing this? Like you mean he's talking to the House Democrats and do you care about this? And they're like, no, we don't care about it. So then he goes, talk to Mike. And Mike's mad. I love Mike, but he's emotional.
He's like, they said something about me that's false. And I wanted to put that in the right. I understand that you and Schumer, to his credit, says, all right, I'll tell you what. He tells the House managers, you withdraw it and Mike, will you withdraw your objection? Mike says, All right. And so they get up and they have Jamie Raskin lead house managers say we withdraw it. And so Mike withdraws this objection.
So that's how the night ended. And it's funny, Mike was still pissed. I'm like, Mike, you won. Like they surrendered. They withdrew it and took it out. And and and Franklin was telling one of the Democratic senators after I said, look, Schumer was really smart to do that. That was the right thing to do. He's a clever guy, no question. But so that's just a bit of it was. The night, you know, people were kind of.
It woke everyone up and startled everyone because it was a bit of drama and chaos that no one knew what would happen and then it got resolved. And it's a sort of it's a minor issue, I mean, relatively that some journalists live in. Some House impeachment manager lied. Mike Lee was upset about it. But it raises all of these major issues about the nature of this impeachment trial. Well, and it does. And it also shows, you know, things seem so ordered and structured.
It was chaotic. Yeah. Like nobody knew there. So. When Mike appealed the ruling of the chair and the clerk starts calling, you know, Miss Baldwin, Mr Barroso starts calling the names, you know, Schumer gets up and goes, what was the ruling of the chair like?
We were voting on, like, how do you vote yes or no? Usually things are more orderly, but it was truly chaotic where no one even knew whether to vote yes or no because we didn't know what the chair had ruled and what we were like. What yes or no means? You know, it I think it's a good symbol of the of the entire impeachment trial. I also have to say this. This may be the first episode where you have changed my opinion about something from the beginning to the end of it.
So because we've been dealing with these very intricate, sophisticated issues and arguments, I want to end, even though we're way over time, I want to end on what I consider to be a much more important question. You're spending, what, eight hours at a clip or more in these these kind of long proceedings from Brian. How's the food in the Senate cafeteria?
So it's actually normally quite good in normal times. We have lunch together. The Republican senators have lunch together Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the food's quite decent.
Thursday's a different Republican senator hosts it. And so you bring in and often you'll fly in food from your home state. So I've flown in barbecue and Mexican food, and you you host it and you normally give a goody bag of treats to your other senators and you'll give, you know, all sorts of stuff. I've given people, Shiner Bock, we give each other lots of liquor. It's interesting that I've given salsa and things from buses and you kind of from your state, you get up and bring them stuff.
Tuesday and Wednesday, the Senate food is usually quite good and we eat because of covid and. We're eating all prepackaged stuff and so, like for lunch today, I had well, and I'm also trying to do kind of kito I'm trying to avoid car. We're all trying to do or, you know, we hear it's supposed to work. And so I come in and the choices are really like I got a salad which I hate salad.
You feel like it was the food that you're foodies. I know.
I tell Heidi all the animals I eat are vegetarian. And then they had like this sort of shrimp salad sandwich that was like packaged in, to be honest, it was almost like what you'd see in, like a grocery store. Like a gas station. Yeah.
And since I'm doing quinoa, I just scraped the shrimp stuff off the like, didn't eat the bread. So it was I will be glad when covid is over and meals can return to some semblance of normal.
Senator, of all the stories that I expected to hear today about this awful, just disgusting impeachment trial. I didn't realize the food would really it would be as grotesque. It would match in Grote.
So for dinner tonight, because we did have a dinner break. They had something where you could order some stuff. I actually had a guy on my staff go down to Union Station and get a cheesesteak with no bread, just cheese steak on a bed of lettuce. And so just chopped up beef and cheese. And that was my dinner, which we went to Union Station to get. That, frankly, sounds more exciting. It was good than the than the entire impeachment trial you really have, though.
You've really, really explained it to me. Makes me makes me actually long for this impeachment trial to continue because I wanted to stave off whatever kind of crazy legislation the Democrats want to push on us. Well, it's coming and there's going to be a lot to talk about. But but we did get a chance to do quite a bit of logic stuff tonight.
I know. Well, you always enjoy doing it because you know all the stuff. And I always enjoy it because I don't know any of it. So it's pretty helpful to me. But there will be there will be a whole lot more once this silly season is over. And that will have probably far greater consequences for the country. We'll have to wait until then. I'm Michael Noles. This is verdict with Ted Cruz.