Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent, has provided the 13 questions he submitted to Democratic Party leaders for consideration to be asked during President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

Questions 3, 4, 5 and 13 had been accepted for inquiry, and questions 4 and 13 had been asked during the proceedings Wednesday.

1. To House managers: Impeachment is preventative, not punishment, so the likelihood of future wrongdoing should be an important part of the decision – which is why the president’s total lack of remorse is so important. Not only does he lack any sense of having abused his power, he affirmatively and loudly proclaims he did nothing wrong and everything was “perfect.” Doesn’t this lead to the inescapable conclusion that, given the chance, he can and almost certainly will do something similar again, or worse?

2. To House managers: There has been a lot of attention to whether there was a quid pro quo; isn’t it an abuse of power to solicit assistance from a foreign government in one’s election campaign, regardless of whether the offense was compounded by inducements like the White House meeting or pressure like withholding the aid?

3. To House managers: Several of you are former prosecutors and one was even chief of police. How many alleged wrongdoers would you have been able to convict if the defendant had had the power to control what evidence could be used at trial?

4. To House managers: Mr. Rudolph Giuliani was in Ukraine exclusively on a political errand – by his own admission – so doesn’t the president’s mention of Giuliani by name in the July 25th call conclusively establish the real purpose of the call?

5. To House managers: Executive privilege is based upon the idea of insuring a free flow of ideas between the president and his closest aides. How in the world does that principle apply to an email from an OMB (Office of Management and Budget) official to the Department of Defense?

6. To House managers: Past presidents have produced documents and witnesses in impeachment proceedings; has this impaired subsequent claims of executive privilege?

7. To House managers: Is there any evidence of a policy review by anyone at any department or at the White House involving either burden sharing or corruption generally during the period of the hold on the aid?

8. To House managers: Would the president’s tweets and retweets about witnesses such as Ambassador Yovanovitch and Lt. Col. Vindman be considered witness tampering in a normal criminal (or even civil) trial?

9. To House managers: Isn’t the use of the word “though” critically important in the president’s response to President Zelensky’s comment about buying Javelins? Because it relates the president’s favor request back to the reference to the military aid. “I hope you can do us a favor” changes the subject; “I hope you can do us a favor though” responds to what came before.

10. To House managers: In their argument Saturday morning, the president’s counsel, in attempting to undercut the managers’ case, said “most of the House managers’ witnesses have never spoken directly with the president.” Isn’t this an admission that those witnesses who did have direct contact with the president should be called?

11. To House managers: Did the Mueller report find “no collusion” as Mr. Sekulow asserted Saturday? (No, this is a deliberate misrepresentation of the report. What it found was insufficient evidence to sustain a charge of criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt.)

12. To House managers: Was any information whatsoever contained in the whistleblower complaint used as an evidentiary basis for either of the Articles of Impeachment?

13. To House managers and the president’s counsel: President Trump’s former chief of staff Gen. John Kelly has reportedly said, “I believe John Bolton,” and suggests Bolton should testify, saying, “If there are people that could contribute to this – either innocence or guilt – I think they should be heard.” Do you agree with Gen. Kelly that they should be heard?

 

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