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Lee Zeldin Asked To Serve On Trump's Impeachment Defense Team

Patch logo Patch 1/21/2020 Lisa Finn
Lee Zeldin looking at the camera © Patch file photo.

LONG ISLAND, NY — Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) was named to President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Monday.

Zeldin confirmed the news in a Tweet, saying he was "honored to be asked to serve" on Trump's impeachment team. "The President never should have been impeached in the first place," he added. In an earlier post he wrote, "This impeachment charade is almost as incredibly stupid as it is dangerous."

Zeldin, along with his House colleagues Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona, Rep. Mark Meadows of South Carolina, and Rep. Elise Stefanik of upstate New York will also serve on the team.

Zeldin has been a stauch supporter of Trump's, taking to social media often in recent months to express his alliance.

According to a post by Newsday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said those newly appointed to the team have already provided “guidance” to the White House’s legal team, "which includes nine attorneys led in part by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone."The President looks forward to their continued participation and is confident that the Members will help expeditiously end this brazen political vendetta on behalf of the American people,” Grisham said in the post.

On Saturday, Trump's legal team delivered a roughly six-page response to the secretary of the Senate tonight, addressing what they say are "the procedural and the substantive issues raised in the articles of impeachment."

The response is the legal team's answer to Trump's formal impeachment summons sent to the White House Thursday. Sources familiar with the document called it "aggressive" in nature, and in it, Trump's lawyers write that the articles of impeachment are "a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president."

Social media has been abuzz since the news broke with those for and against Zeldin's appointment.

Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, running for Zeldin's seat in 2020, wrote on social media Monday: "Last week, Lee Zeldin was named a New York co-xhair of Donald J. Trump's re-election campaign. This week, he's being named to help lead the anti-impeachment effort for the White House. This means more time that Zeldin will spend defending Trump at the expense of our district and its very real concerns. Join my campaign right now to get our district real representation."

"Make your blood boil? This is our representative, the one whose last town hall was in April, 2017. He would rather cover for a corrupt president than work to eliminate the SALT cap. Transcripts of the closed-door House impeachment hearings reveal Zeldin spoke more than any other GOP representative, including Jim Jordan. This is not why Long Island sent Zeldin to Washington and this November is our time to vote him out," said Perry Gershon, also running again to unseat Zeldin in 2020.

Others lauded the move on Facebook: "Excited to see my long-time friend Lee Zeldin stepping up to protect our President from this vindictive phony impeachment by the Democrats. With Lee on his side we will prevail," one woman wrote.

"Proud of our Congressman," another wrote.

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