“Not a Crime”: Republican Senators Try Out Their Impeachment Defenses

“People do things. Things happen.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in senators for President Trump's impeachment trial.Senate Television/AP

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President Donald Trump’s senatorial allies-slash-jurors hit the Sunday news shows to try out their best defenses of him ahead of his impeachment trial, which begins on Tuesday.

On ABC’s This Week, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) disputed the fact that the president has encouraged foreign  interference in US elections. “Do you think it was proper to solicit foreign interference in our election?” George Stephanopoulos asked Shelby. “I don’t know if that’s actually been proven. That’s in dispute,” Shelby said. 

When Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump has publicly called for foreign election interference, Shelby argued that those statements were only “political.” “They make them all the time…People make them. People do things. Things happen.”

Meanwhile, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), denied the findings of a watchdog report from the Government Accountability Office, which found that the Trump administration had violated the law by withholding aid to Ukraine. The president’s actions were “certainly not a crime,” he asserted on CBS’s Face the Nation.

Over on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) argued that testimony from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of presidential lawyer Rudy Guiliani, should not be permitted in the Senate because it is “second-hand information.” “This is a distraction,” Perdue said.

“How is it second hand? He was in Ukraine,” Chuck Todd said. “He was doing the bidding.”

Perdue then seemed to imply that Parnas, in fact, had no reliable evidence and was only acting to “have his sentence reduced.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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