Sen. Ted Cruz explains the core legal issue underlying the Democrats' impeachment case folowing the conclusion of the president's defense team arguments.
" The legal issue before this Senate is whether the President has the authority to investigate corruption. So the House managers built their entire case on the proposition that investigating Burisma corruption, investigating the--the Biden's for corruption was baseless and a sham," Cruz explained. "That proposition is absurd. They said there wasn't a shred of evidence concerning corruption. We just seen two hours of evidence. And at a minimum it was not only reasonable and justified but the President I think had an obligation to investigate corruption to potentially extend it to the very highest levels of government."
"This has been a sham from the beginning. Presidents have the authority to investigate corruption and it was overwhelming."
QUESTION: Senator Cruz, pleasure to see you. Quick question--is there any logical reason not to have Bolton testify?
CRUZ: This afternoon was devastating to the House managers. For the first time in the entire proceeding we have heard just a beginning of the serious evidence of corruption involving Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son a million dollars a year while Joe Biden--let me answer--I'll answer the question but--
QUESTION: Answer the question. I appreciate it.
CRUZ: Let me--let me answer the question without interrupting me, please?
QUESTION: You got it.
CRUZ: Burisma play--paid Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, a million dollars a year while Hunter Biden threatened Ukraine to withhold a billion dollars in aid unless and until the fired the prosecutor investigating his son. Joe Biden threatened--Joe Biden as Vice President of the United States. And we just saw a video which I would encourage every news outlet to actually show the vide of Joe Biden bragging how he told the President of Ukraine that he was going to cut off a billion dollars--he was going to block a billion dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine unless they fired the prosecutor. And in Joe Biden's own words, son of a bitch, they fired the guy.
QUESTION: So why not have Bolton testify? You said you would answer the question. (INAUDIBLE) come on, (INAUDIBLE) answer the question. You said you would answer.
CRUZ: So, I--I get that the press loves to obsess over the latest bombshell. Listen, I don't' know what John Bolton's book says or doesn't say. I have seen the New York Times coverage. But at the end of the day it doesn't impact the legal issue before this Senate. The legal issue before this senate. The legal issue before this Senate is whether the President has the authority to investigate corruption. So the House managers built their entire case on the proposition that investigating Burisma corruption, investigating the--the Biden's for corruption was baseless and a sham. Hold on, let me finish this.
QUESTION: Let me--let me ask my question.
CRUZ: No, I'm going to finish my point and then I'm happy to answer your question. The House managers based their entire case on the proposition that investigating corruption for Burisma and concerning the Bidens was baseless and a sham. That proposition is absurd. They said there wasn't a shred of evidence concerning corruption. We just seen two hours of evidence. And at a minimum it was not only reasonable and justified but the President I think had an obligation to investigate corruption to potentially extend it to the very highest levels of government.
QUESTION: Sir, (INAUDIBLE) over two hours. None of the President's attorneys mentioned one single possible crime that Hunter or Joe Biden are accused of. Basically what this is--Hunter Biden got a job, his dad was Vice President, if that's a crime you shouldn't half of your children be in prison?
CRUZ: My--my children are 9 and 11. I'm sorry that you want to throw a 9-year-old in prison. But at this point my--my third-grader plays basketball and softball at her school. So stop playing the nasty--no, no stop playing the an--nasty Washington game.
QUESTION: I'm sorry, it's not nasty Washington games.
CRUZ: Attacking a nine-year-old?
QUESTION: Senator, I have no idea what age your children are.
CRUZ: All right.
QUESTION: Senator, we have seen reports about a possible one for one, one republican witness, one democratic witness. Would you be open to that idea?
CRUZ: Look, in my view, additional witnesses are not necessary. The House managers have represented their case and they haven't come remotely close to meeting their burden of proof. Now, that being said if the Senate later this week when we vote on witnesses decides to go down the road to additional witnesses I think at a minimum the most important witness for--for the Senate to hear form is now Hunter Biden. The House Manager made a decision let--let another reporter have a chance. Okay.
QUESTION: Why don't--why don't you want to hear from John Bolton?
CRUZ: I don't believe the testimony is necessary. The house managers have a burden of proof. A burden of proof to prove their case. They have fallen woefully short. The standard under--under the Constitution is high crimes and misdemeanors. They have not demonstrated any law was violated. And, the president was entirely justified in asking for an investigation of corruption concerning Ukraine and potentially Hunter Biden and Joe Biden. At the end of the day there may or may not have been--
BRAUN: You see this last hour we just saw.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) over the president if you don't have testimony in a trial?
CRUZ: Look if the shadow over--over the Presidency is the last several months of sham proceedings in the House where they only heard from prosecution witnesses and they ignored the very substantial evidence of corruption with the vice president going to the very top, potentially of the administration. By the way, the Obama administration pointed out the conflict of interest over and over and over again and so did the press until--until the press decided to--to defend the House democrats partisan impeachment attack. This has been a sham from the beginning. Presidents have the authority to investigate corruption and it was overwhelming.