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Trump legal team official response calls impeachment case ‘dangerous’

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  • President Donald Trump’s legal team argued in a six-page letter that House Democrats’ articles of impeachment were a “dangerous attack.”
  • The letter was the first formal response to the House’s two impeachment charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
  • The letter revealed the strategy Trump’s legal team will use in the Senate trial beginning next week, arguing that the articles of impeachment don’t include any criminal actions.
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President Donald Trump’s legal team issued its first formal response to the House Democrats’ articles of impeachment on Saturday, calling the case a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President.”

Trump faces two impeachment charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The charges are based on allegations that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine after urging its president to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

The White House’s six-page formal response called the charges “an affront to the Constitution of the United States, our democratic institutions, and the American people,” lambasting the House impeachment proceedings as a “rigged process” conducted by vengeful Democrats.

“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election — now just months away,” the letter said. “The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated and continues to this day.”

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he welcomes the 2019 NCAA National Championship Football team the Louisiana State University Tigers to the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he welcomes 2019 National Championship Football team the Louisiana State University Tigers to White House in Washington
Reuters


The letter also revealed the strategy Trump’s legal team will be adopting — mainly arguing that the articles of impeachment don’t include any criminal actions and are therefore unconstitutional.

The Constitution allows Congress to remove a president from office after determining the president is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the definitions for which have stoked much debate in recent months.

Yet the White House’s letter urged senators to reject the articles of impeachment in the trial that begins next week, arguing that both articles failed to state impeachable offenses, crimes, or violations of law.

“They are defective in their entirety. They are the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the President any due process,” the letter said. “They rest on dangerous distortions of the Constitution that would do lasting damage to our structure of government.”

Also on Saturday, House impeachment managers filed a 46-page trial memorandum arguing that Trump “abandoned his oath” by using “his official powers to pressure a foreign government to interfere in a United States election for his personal political gain,” and must be pulled from office.

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