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House and White House impeachment legal teams offer stark contrast on facts and style

Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

"Nadler is exactly what the White House lawyers were hoping for -- someone who caters to the Manhattan chattering class but is politically tone-deaf about the rest of the country," said one Democratic Senate aide. "Every other manager has been the opposite of that. But Nadler is what Fox News dreams about."

Republicans claimed to be still livid about Nadler's remark when they returned to the chamber Wednesday afternoon.

"I am covering up nothing," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. "I'm exposing your hatred of this president to the point that you would destroy the institution."

"If the point was to go on for 13 hours to no apparent purpose ... and to alienate the very senators that they're trying to convince, then I'd say it was a raging success on their part," said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. "But if the point was to try to convince people, I think they're off to a terrible start."

For their part, Trump's critics were similarly unimpressed with the president's lawyers, at least so far.

"I had assumed the president's legal team would be reluctant to tell outright lies in front of the chief justice. I was wrong," tweeted Laurence Tribe, a constitutional scholar at Harvard Law School.

"If there's any unfairness in these proceedings, it's the astounding mismatch between the high skill and preparation of the House managers and the rambling, dissembling and gaslighting of @realDonaldTrump's counsel," tweeted George Conway, the conservative attorney and vocal Trump critic who is married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.


"It's like the New York Yankees versus the Bad News Bears," he added.

(Times staff writer Sarah D. Wire contributed to this report.)

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