Trump lawyer: He can't be guilty since he's working on 'peace in the Middle East'


Trump's defense attorney Jay Sekulow argued that Trump isn't driven by self-interest.

Defense attorney Jay Sekulow delivered his final arguments on Tuesday for why Donald Trump shouldn't be removed from office, making a rambling, Fox News-conspiracy-laden speech that painted Trump as a victim who is simply trying to cure the world's problems.

At one point, Sekulow condemned House Democrats for suggested that Trump is self-serving.

"The one, it still troubles me, this idea that the president, said by several managers, is only doing these things for himself," Sekulow said. "Understanding what is going on in the world today as we're here — They raised it, by the way. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. They raised it — this president is only doing things for himself, while the leaders of opposing parties by the way, at the highest level, to obtain peace in the Middle East, to say you're only doing that for yourself?"

Sekulow seemed to be referencing the Democratic argument that Trump used the office of the presidency for personal gain when he withheld military aid to Ukraine to push the country to investigate his political rivals.

It's unclear how Trump introducing a Middle East peace plan that was quickly rejected by Palestinians has anything to do with Trump demanding Ukraine interfere in the 2020 election in order to obtain funding Congress promised.


However, irrelevant arguments have been par for the course from Trump's impeachment defense team.

For example on Monday, a Trump defense lawyer argued that Rudy Giuliani — Trump's personal lawyer who has been a ring leader of the Ukraine scandal that led to Trump's impeachment — can't be a bad guy because he was mayor of New York during 9/11.

"Rudy Giuliani is the House manager's colorful distraction," lawyer Jane Raskin said. "He's a household name. Legendary federal prosecutor who took down the mafia, corrupt public officials, Wall Street racketeers. Crime-busting mayor who cleaned up New York and turned it around."

"A national hero. America's mayor after 9/11," Raskin continued. "And after that? An internationally recognized expert on fighting corruption."

Democrats have attacked the Trump defense, saying that Trump's lawyers haven't disputed the facts the House impeachment managers laid out.

"They don't contest the facts of Trump's scheme," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of the seven House impeachment managers, said on Saturday. "They're trying to deflect, distract from, and distort the truth. And they are continuing to cover it up by blocking documents and witnesses."

Trump's defense team will wrap its arguments on Tuesday. After that, Senators will get to submit questions, and then a vote will be taken on whether any witnesses should testify.

So far, it's unclear whether Democrats will get the four GOP votes needed to subpoena critical witnesses, such as former national security adviser John Bolton.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.