President Donald Trump’s legal team asserted Monday that the House Democrats’ impeachment case against the president is frivolous and a “dangerous perversion of the Constitution,” while again saying Trump did “absolutely nothing wrong,” setting the tone for the potentially weeks-long Senate trial.
In a brief that was submitted to the Senate before the trial will start Tuesday, Trump’s lawyers will make the argument that both articles of impeachment against the president were constitutionally deficient, while potentially endangering the future office of the presidency and upsetting the government’s balance of power.
“House Democrats were determined from the outset to find some way—any way—to corrupt the extraordinary power of impeachment for use as a political tool to overturn the result of the 2016 election and to interfere in the 2020 election,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “All of that is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn.”
The Trump legal team’s filing comes after House Democrats submitted their own brief that essentially summarized weeks of testimony from witnesses.
“The process that brought these articles of impeachment to the Senate” was “completely unprecedented” in U.S. history, said a source working with Trump’s legal team in a conference call. The source said that every presidential impeachment inquiry has “involved basic due process” protections for the accused, while arguing that Trump was given none of these rights by House Democrats during the inquiry late last year.
The same source echoed House Republicans’ claims during the inquiry that only one of the witnesses involved in the case, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, actually spoke to the president.
An executive summary of the filing asserts Democrats have no evidence to support their arguments and are engaging in a political process.
“The Senate should speedily reject these deficient articles of impeachment and acquit the president,” the executive summary stated. “The only threat to the Constitution that House Democrats have brought to light is their own degradation of the impeachment process and trampling of the separation of powers. Their fixation on damaging the president has trivialized the momentous act of impeachment, debased the standards of impeachable conduct, and perverted the power of impeachment by turning it into a partisan, election-year political tool.”
Democrats’ impeachment case accuses Trump of abusing his power by withholding military aid from Ukraine while he was pushing to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and Burisma Holdings, of which the younger Biden sat on the board. They have also alleged Trump obstructed Congress by not sufficiently cooperating with their inquiry.
Trump on Monday signaled that he opposes witnesses, writing on Twitter: “They didn’t want John Bolton and others in the House. They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!” He was referring to his former national security adviser John Bolton, who indicated earlier this month that he would be willing to testify in the trial if he were subpoenaed.
Over the weekend, House Managers for the impeachment trial, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), filed a brief of their own with the Senate.
“The facts are indisputable, and the evidence is overwhelming: President Trump abused the power of his office to solicit foreign interference in our elections for his own personal political gain, thereby jeopardizing our national security, the integrity of our elections, and our democracy. And when the president got caught, he tried to cover it up by obstructing the House’s investigation into his misconduct. Senators must accept and fulfill the responsibility placed on them by the framers of our Constitution and the oaths they have just taken to do impartial justice. They must conduct a fair trial—fair to the president and fair to the American people,” they wrote.
From The Epoch Times