— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 27, 2020
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow responded to the John Bolton book news without explicitly discussing it on Monday afternoon, day two of President Donald Trump’s trial response to the articles of impeachment against him.
If you were wondering how or if the Bolton squall would affect Team Trump’s strategy, look no further. It didn’t affect anything at all, and that’s because Sekulow smartly dismissed it as rumor and speculation that is not a part of the evidentiary record.
“What we’ve done on Saturday is the pattern that we are going to continue today as far as how we are going to deal with the case. We deal with transcript evidence, we deal with publicly available information. We do not deal with speculation–allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all,” he said.
Trump defense lawyer Jay Sekulow: 'We deal with transcript evidence, we deal with publicly available information. We do not deal with speculation, allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all.'
— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 27, 2020
This is true on its face. Until the GOP-led Senate officially seeks to learn more and enter such things into the evidentiary record, or until House Democrats issue a subpoena and so on, Sekulow et al. needn’t say anything other than this. Multiple GOP Senators, though not all, offered similar reactions to reporting about Bolton’s book.
CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said that Sekulow’s opening illustrated why getting Bolton’s testimony is important.
Sekulow opens by saying the Trump defense team will only be addressing things that are in the evidentiary record, essentially. Which is the best possible argument FOR calling Bolton and getting his testimony on the record.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) January 27, 2020
[Image via CBS News screengrab]