Hugh Hewitt: GOP should make rules for Senate trial assuming that the entire impeachment of Trump is a sham

Hewitt: “It's a complete fraud on the American people and a threat to future presidents. The rules, I think, should reflect that.”

Hugh Hewitt suggests GOP rig the Senate trial of Trump because his impeachment is a "sham"

Hugh Hewitt
Audio file

Citation From the January 14, 2020, edition of Salem Radio Network's The Hugh Hewitt Show

HUGH HEWITT (HOST): If, for example, John Bolton is somehow on the stand, and somebody asks him what did the President say to you about Ukraine, is it your opinion that the Chief Justice will grant Ambassador Bolton as much time as he needs to set up that conversation, because I think that’s grabbing the sharp end of a knife if they start posing questions of John Bolton. They’re going to end up with a lecture on how Crimea ended up in Russia under President Obama’s watch if they ask that question. But just the hypothetical, if they, if the Chief Justice poses a question…

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Yeah, look, I would certainly expect the Chief Justice to do everything possible to conduct a fair trial. Both you and I know Chief Justice Roberts very well. I think he’s going to want, he’s going to want people to have a reasonable time to answer. He’s going to, he’s not going to want people just to be badgered. He’s not going to be interested in a lot of gamesmanship. Now that being said, I don’t expect him to keep a tight hand on the reins controlling the trial, if for no other reason than this is a trial unlike any trial you or I have ever been a part of, because every question of law, every question of fact is ultimately decided by 51 senators. And so whatever, the Chief Justice rules on any question, 51 senators can overrule him immediately. That is not the way it works in any other trial court. As a consequence, when the Bill Clinton impeachment was happening, the approach that Chief Justice Rehnquist took is, on major contested issues, he simply deferred immediately to the body.

HEWITT: Now without quoting anyone within your caucus, are you confident that the caucus is aware of the stakes for future presidents? In other words, this is a sham proceeding. It is unsupported by a meritorious inquiry that was in anywhere fair.

CRUZ: Yeah.

HEWITT: It's a complete fraud on the American people and a threat to future presidents. The rules, I think, should reflect that. Do you believe your caucus is aware of the threat to future presidents posed by the procedures they adopt?

CRUZ: I think there’s certainly a significant number of senators who are aware of that. I can’t necessarily say everybody, but that has been an issue we have discussed at great length. And you are right that on the face of this, the articles of impeachment voted out by the House don’t meet the bare thresholds -- the Constitution sets as the standard for impeachment. Impeachment of a president lies when the President has committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. And on the face of it, these articles do not allege treason, bribery or other high crimes or misdemeanors. In fact, they don’t allege any criminal conduct whatsoever. It’s the first time in the history of our country a president has been impeached without an allegation of criminal conduct. They don’t allege the president violated any criminal law. They don’t even allege he violated any civil law. They don’t so much as allege that he had a speeding ticket. And that, ultimately, bringing impeachment in those circumstances with no underlying criminal conduct, is an abuse of power by the House Democrats. It is partisan, it is political, and it is not consistent with the threshold for impeachment set out in the Constitution. That’s why I’m confident at the end of this proceeding, and as I said, we’re going to conduct a fair proceeding. We’ll let both sides present their case. But at the end of this proceeding, these claims are going to be thrown out, because they fail to satisfy the constitutional standard for impeachment.