Trump Lawyers Preview Defense: Attack FBI and Biden
President Trump's lead lawyer, Jay Sekulow, previewed some of the defense team's strategy for their opening presentation set for Saturday -- go after the FBI and Joe Biden.
Sekulow spoke to reporters Friday afternoon, first saying they'd hit the FBI because of the infamous Steele dossier, which he said was cooked up by the FBI and Democrats as part of their own scheme to interfere in the 2016 election -- with Trump as the real victim.
"Was that not foreign interference?" Sekulow said.
Part of that strand of argument would include bringing up the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant that FBI agents got to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, he suggested.
The FBI inspector general has found the agency did not use the Steele dossier to open the probe of Trump's campaign and possible Russian collaboration, but did use it improperly to extend FISA warrants on Page.
The point pf going after the dossier and the FBI would be to show why the president might not have had faith in his own intelligence and law enforcement officials, and why he might want a private citizen like Rudy Giuliani to go digging for evidence to help Trump while the Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating the president.
Democrats say Giuliani's involvement shows nefarious aims.
Sekulow also suggested a robust attack on Biden was coming, especially after, he said, Democrats opened the door in their presentation, which Democrats used as a sort of prebuttal.
Sekulow described the prebuttal as an opportunity for his side.
"Why they opened up the door as wide as the double door, on the Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Burisma issue -- I guess they figured that was their way of getting ahead of it. We will address it," Sekulow promised.
"I want you to think about this for a moment. Joe Biden was charged as Vice President of the United States with Ukraine policy," he said. "That was his specific charge. His son went to work for, was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. First, the Vice President said he knew nothing about it. But the state Department knew about it."
"Believe me, you'll hear about that issue," Sekulow said.
Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham has been making similar claims in recent days, saying he wants to know what Hunter Biden was telling his father, and what his role was.
There is no evidence that Hunter Biden swayed his father on Ukraine policy, though Republicans keep arguing that Biden's efforts to remove a special prosecutor there looks like a conflict. Biden, however, was carrying out U.S. policy -- as well the policy of European partners -- in forcing out then-Ukraine Special Prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Shokin was seen as corrupt, and as hindering investigations into companies like Burisma.