Good afternoon Mr. Chief Justice, House Managers, and United States senators.
I rise to explain my you must acquit my client, President Donald J. Trump.
To explain, I ask you to entertain this simple thought experiment.
Consider the conduct of three presidents. I will call them President Alpha, President Bravo, and President Charlie. In my thought experiment, you do not know their party affiliation, you do not know whether they are liberal or conservative, and you do not know whether they are on your side or on the other side.
Here is what President Alpha did. President Alpha intentionally turned a small war into a large war, well knowing that we could not win the war. He did this for base political reasons. Specifically, he knew that if he did not make the war much bigger, he would be accused of being “soft on Communism,” and that the accusation would stick.
After the United States was defeated several years later, and we counted up the total cost. it turned out that two million civilians lost their lives, along with 58,220 American soldiers, whose names are carved on a black wall.
What about President Bravo? President Bravo lied about a middle eastern country, in order falsely to justify his decision to invade that nation. Approximately half a million people died as a result, including several thousand U.S. military deaths.
Now let me tell you what President Charlie did. President Charlie temporarily withheld military aid from a country under attack, and he did so in his political interest. Specifically, he wanted the nation under attack to produce information harmful to a U.S. political opponent. When his actions became public, he released the military aid. No deaths have been attributed to his actions.
Now, members of the Senate you know who President Alpha was. But the House did not impeach Lyndon Johnson, even though he murderously abused the powers of his office.
And you know who President Bravo was, and the House did not impeach President Bush, 43, either, even though his repeated lies resulted in incalculable loss of lives and treasure.
But the House did impeach President Charlie. I submit that his misdeeds were far, far outweighed by the faults of prior presidents that the House chose to ignore.
I submit that the difference can only be explained by partisan political vitriol on the part of the House.
Now, senators, much has been made of the words of Alexander Hamilton. But the Constitution is a document whose meaning evolves over time. Its meaning is not forever fixed in stone, as of 1787. Rather, it changes are a result of changing times, national experience, and precedent.
If Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush were not impeached and removed, then, a fortiori, you must not remove my client.
Nor do you need hear any witnesses in order to acquit.
Mr. Chief Justice and senators, I now rest my case and move for the ordering of a vote on the question: to remove or not to remove President Donald J. Trump.