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Tipsheet

WATCH: Sen. Ted Cruz Explains the One 'Critical Mistake' House Dems Made in Their Arguments

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Following the president's defense team's presentation on Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on "Justice with Judge Jeanine" to discuss what he saw and his expectations for the trial's future.

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"I think it was gratifying that, number one, it was the first time the president has had his legal team to defend him," Cruz explained. "Throughout this whole proceeding in the House, they wouldn't let the president defend himself. Finally, today, we got that."

"Secondly, I think every senator is grateful for the neverending argument, the 24 hours of nonstop from the House managers, is over," the Texas senator said. "As their closing argument ended last night, I sense, and I think the sense of a lot of people, is they failed to prove their case. Today, I think, the president's lawyers did an effective job pointing out just how selective the Democrats'] quotations were from the record, how much they left out."

Cruz said he's looking forward to Monday's hearing when President Trump's defense team gets to present "the principled defense." 

"What I really hope to hear from them is a substantive defense on the merits, that lays out the case, on the facts, for the president's innocent," he explained. 

Cruz said he believes House impeachment managers "made a critical mistake because the central element of their argument is the proposition that [the call] was baseless, that it was frivolous, to want to investigate Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company, and whether or not Joe Biden and Hunter Biden – remember [Burisma] was paying Hunter a million bucks a year – and Joe Biden pressured Ukraine, threatened a billion dollars in aid, to force Ukraine to fire the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, the company that was paying Hunter," Cruz explained.

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Judge Jeanine mentioned that, at the end of the day, the only person on trial is President Donald Trump and nothing will get resolved as far as the corruption relating to Burisma goes.

"The complete and total answer is there was overwhelming evidence of corruption and a president is always justified – in fact has a responsibility – to investigate corruption," he said. "The fundamental argument that disposes of this case, that makes clear the president did nothing that is impeachable, is he has the authority to investigate corruption."

According to the Texas senator, the House impeachment managers "opened the door" to making Hunter Biden a "critical witness."

Cruz made it clear he doesn't believe a motion to dismiss will come up. Instead, he believes the president's defense team will finish their arguments on Monday, possibly Tuesday, and then the senators will have 16 hours to ask questions. 

"Those questions, we can't ask them ourselves, unfortunately. I would love to go round and round and round with Adam Schiff but the Senate rules don't allow it," he explained. "Instead, we have to write it down and the chief justice will ask the questions for us."

After that, he believes a vote will take place on whether or not additional witnesses should be called, something Cruz says is a toss-up. The 47 Senate Democrats have argued for wanting to hear from additional witnesses. Four Republicans could potentially side with the Democrats. Naturally, all eyes are on the moderate Republicans: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Mitt Romney (R-UT).

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"I don't think there's any need for additional witnesses. I think we have more than enough to reject these articles on the merits because they haven't proven our case," Cruz said. 

After the vote on witnesses, Cruz believes the next vote will be on a motion to judgment. 

"Rather than dismiss the case, I believe we will go to judgment and we will acquit the president, which means we will stand up and vote guilty or not guilty on each of the articles," he said. "I think it's a much better outcome for the president and the country, for him to be acquitted, not dismissed and thrown the case out, but reach final judgment and find the president not guilty."

Although the Texas senator doesn't believe additional witnesses are necessary, he made it very clear that if the Senate decides to call additional witnesses, that it needs to be fair. He specifically cited the Democrats' desire to hear from John Bolton and the Republicans' desire to hear from Hunter Biden.

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