Tuesday, January 21, 2020

White House Calls Impeachment Charges ‘Frivolous’ and ‘Dangerous’ in Legal Brief

Photo: kevin lamarque/Reuters
First formal response to impeachment comes as McConnell lays out Senate rules
President Trump’s legal team urged the Senate to swiftly reject the House’s two articles of impeachment against him, calling the case frivolous and dangerous while offering for the first time a detailed legal defense for why he shouldn’t be removed from office.
Mr. Trump’s team submitted a 171-page legal filing with the Senate on Monday, a day before the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history kicks off in earnest and just hours before the president departed Washington for a global economic conference in Switzerland, where he is to deliver a speech early Tuesday morning.
Back in Washington, a debate over the impeachment trial’s rules is expected to consume much of Tuesday, with substantive arguments about the case from each side expected on the Senate floor in the coming days. Late Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) proposed a timetable for the proceedings that could mean the complete trial is over by the end of next week, should the Senate oppose bringing in new witnesses or evidence.
House Democrats will present their case first, arguing that Mr. Trump broke his oath of office by pressuring Ukraine this past summer to open investigations that would benefit him politically just as aid to the country was being withheld, the issue at the heart of his impeachment. Mr. Trump’s legal team will follow and will tell senators that the president should be acquitted because of what they have called a flawed impeachment process—and that he was acting in the national interest.
“The Articles themselves—and the rigged process that brought them here—are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected,” Mr. Trump’s lawyers, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, wrote in the White House document filed Monday. “They debase the grave power of impeachment and disdain the solemn responsibility that power entails.”
Trump Lawyers Rip 'Impeachment Inquisition' to 
Shreds in Powerful Defense Brief
The White House document, which includes a 110-page brief and 61 pages of backup materials, also argues the impeachment articles approved by the Democratic-controlled House last month included no violation of law. House Democrats said in their own 111-page weekend filing that a criminal violation isn’t a constitutional standard for impeachment.
“That President Trump believes otherwise, and insists he is free to engage in such conduct again, only highlights the continuing threat he poses to the Nation if allowed to remain in office,” the House impeachment managers, a group of seven Democratic lawmakers appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), wrote in a separate brief Monday in response to Mr. Trump.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE and follow links to related stories below:


Trump Lawyers Rip 'Impeachment Inquisition' to Shreds in Powerful Defense Brief

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