Democrat Senator: 'I Don't Care' if Trump's Defense is 'Legal' or 'Constitutional'
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) blasts President Trump and 'your little Constitution' during rant
Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) has blasted President Donald Trump's legal defense during the Senate impeachment trial, declaring she doesn't "care" about his "legal" or "constitutional" arguments.
In a disturbing rant during an interview with MSNBC, the Hawaii senator appeared to warn Trump that Democrats will continue to pursue the president, whether he acts legally and within the Constitution or not.
“I don't care what kind of nice, little, legal, constitutional defenses that they came up with,” Sen. Hirono declared.
Hirono’s comments come in response to the 51-49 vote in the Senate on Friday, meaning Democrats’ attempts to prolong the impeachment trial, by calling for new witnesses and documents, were voted down.
A video of Hirono’s remarks was shared on Twitter by Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
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“Democrat leaders want to destroy the Constitution in order to impeach @realDonaldTrump," McDaniel tweeted.
"That’s wrong on so many levels,” she added.
Democrat leaders want to destroy the Constitution in order to impeach @realDonaldTrump.— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 31, 2020
“I don't care what kind of nice, little, legal, Constitutional defenses that they came up with.” – Dem Sen. Mazie Hirono
That’s wrong on so many levels.pic.twitter.com/Wweiul4Zuj
Trial lawyer Harmeet K. Dhillon also mocked Hirono's troubling statement.
"I'll get you, my pretty, and your little Constitution too!" https://t.co/MoGf2yjXC3— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) January 31, 2020
Dhillon compared the Democrat's remarks to the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton in the film “The Wizard of Oz,” writing: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little Constitution too!”
FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Senator, I could see you listening as I read a portion aloud of your colleague Senator?
MAZIE HIRONO: Did you see me rolling my eyes and muttering to myself, too?
WILLIAMS: I wasn’t going to characterize what I was seeing, but your reaction to Lamar Alexander and this parting statement tonight, as we reckon he’s already home or close to it. He’s a no-vote but backs up the case of the House managers, in part, if not in full.
HIRONO: Did you get the impression from what he said that the House managers did prove that there was abuse of power, that he would vote to convict the president? I don’t think so. It didn’t sound like that to me.
So, maybe he’s going to split the baby. I do not know. But the fact of the matter is, even as to article two on the obstruction of Congress, that they can put forth all kinds of claims to executive privilege and all that without really having to prove anything.
So, it was blanketed comprehensive. In the law, we have this thing called good-faith negotiations. If you’re not negotiating in good faith, that’s bad faith, and I would say that there’s ample evidence to show that the president, who at the very outset said, “I will fight every subpoena,” and “I’m giving you nothing,” by the way, throughout this whole process, he’s called the process a witch hunt, a sham, whatever else.
He had no intention of cooperating. So, you bring out these lawyers to say, oh, well, he was actually asserting constitutional privileges. Don’t make me laugh, okay?
So, let’s get to the abuse of power. Do you have any questions about that? He did it!
RACHEL MADDOW: Is it cold comfort to you that even as your colleague, Lamar Alexander, is saying he doesn’t want to vote to hear witnesses — and perhaps with his decision here, that forecloses that possibility — he is saying, by the way, I completely admit that he did it.
He says, “It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent. When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations" — I mean, he’s saying, the question is not whether the president did. He did it. >>
HIRONO: Yes, and the question becomes — so, Rachel, this is the last response for these two days of question and answers that I got from the president’s team, and that is, let’s just assume he did it. So what?
And I’ve been saying for a long time that that’s probably what they’re going to end up with. You can say all these things, but so what?
And the so what means that this president, who believes that he can do anything he wants under article two of the Constitution will continue to go for it.
And I tell you, when the Trump team said, oh, well, you know, if you’re going to impeach him and convict him for what he did, that means this president is going to be facing impeachment at every turn, what they really are afraid of is that this president, unfettered without a conviction, means that he’s going to be doing a lot more stuff that was subject to impeachment because that’s what this guy is.
He believes he’s king now. I think our country is in great danger. >>
MADDOW: Well, to that point, if the president has, in arguing his defense in this impeachment, has staked out new, totally unprecedented legal ground, in which he and his legal advisers assert that he can do anything — >> Yes. >>
He can condition the U.S. Government’s actions for anything that would help him for his re-election, as long as it’s to try to help him get re-elected and he thinks that would be good for the country — I mean, what do you think this opens the Gates to?
HIRONO: Which is the most bizarre kind of defense. So, there’s Dershowitz. He hardly made sense at all throughout this whole thing.
But what I get from Dershowitz — and he is part of their legal team, so I assume that the defense he was putting forward is something they all subscribe to, even if they try to weasel out of parts of it.
But yes, it means that the president can ask for foreign interference in our elections, in spite of the fact that we have a law prohibiting that, but not to these guys.
And then he can use money that the Congress has appropriated — he can illegally withhold that money and don’t tell anybody, either, because most of the time when we hold foreign aid, it’s all out in the open, but this one was in secret.
So now he can do it in secret, he can — what other pot of money is he going to use as a bribe? What other country is he going to bully, you know?
This is a president who already we know he has very few constraints on his behavior, and there will be even fewer. He will be running around saying that he has been exonerated.
No, he has been let off the hook by the Republicans who are not going to vote for his conviction, but he is not going to be set free by the American people, I hope, who get that this was not a fair trial with no witnesses, no documents, total stonewalling by the president.
And I don’t care what kind of nice, little, legal, constitutional defenses they came up with, all in my view in bad faith.