The White House on Monday released a trial memorandum outlining President Trump’s defense strategy a day before his impeachment trial resumes in the Senate.
Trump’s legal team argues that the president should be swiftly acquitted because the Democratic-led House overstepped its authority and committed a “brazenly political act … that must be rejected.
“The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions. The Articles themselves — and the rigged process that brought them here — are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected,” a statement accompanying the document reads.
“They debase the grave power of impeachment and disdain the solemn responsibility that power entails. Anyone having the most basic respect for the sovereign will of the American people would shudder at the enormity of casting a vote to impeach a duly elected President,” the statement continues.
The administration accuses House Democrats of gloating after passing the articles on a mostly party-line vote on Dec. 18, and asserts that they had to be warned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over their behavior.
“Upon tallying their votes, House Democrats jeered until they were scolded into silence by the Speaker. The process that brought the articles here violated every precedent and every principle of fairness followed in impeachment inquiries for more than 150 years,” the statement reads.
“Even so, all that House Democrats have succeeded in proving is that the President did absolutely nothing wrong. All of this is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn.”
During an earlier conference call, a White House source working with the president’s legal team told reporters that the entire process was tainted and illegitimate.
“This entire impeachment charade has been illegitimate from the start. The articles of impeachment, as a matter of law, are deficient on their face,” the source said.
The source insisted the president did not apply any pressure on Ukraine President Voldymyr Zelensky to open probes into Joe and Hunter Biden or the 2016 election, a request Trump made at a time he was withholding $391 million in military aid to the country.
“Despite the slanted and illegitimate process, the House developed a factual record that the president did nothing wrong,” the source claimed.
He added that a Government Accountability Office ruling that withholding the aide was illegal made no difference because it was not included in the articles of impeachment.
The same rule should apply to Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who offered new allegations of the president’s involvement but who is not mentioned in the articles of impeachment, he said.
The memo reveals that Trump’s lawyers will argue that the Senate should “swiftly reject” the articles of impeachment and acquit him because he was the victim of a partisan takedown.
The Democratic-controlled House voted to approve two articles of impeachment — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and House managers delivered the charges to the Senate last week.
They claim Trump held up millions in military aid to Ukraine to force the country’s president to announce an investigation into the Bidens.
Trump has called the July phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky “perfect” and said he paused the aid because he was concerned about rampant corruption in the country.
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