Trump Attorneys: Senate Must 'Swiftly' Reject Charges

Nothing the president did is impeachable, says legal briefing
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2020 11:45 AM CST
Trump Attorneys: Senate Must 'Swiftly' Reject Charges
President Trump gestures as he and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He prepare to sign a U.S. China trade agreement in the East Room of the White House Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A day before the Senate's impeachment trial is to begin in earnest, President Trump's legal team called for senators to "swiftly" reject the charges against him, reports the New York Times. In a legal brief, the attorneys asserted that Trump has done "absolutely nothing wrong" and called Democrats' actions a "constitutional travesty," per the AP. The brief provides a glimpse at the legal strategy Trump's team will employ in rebutting the two impeachment articles. On "abuse of power," for instance, the lawyers do not deny that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. However, they said that Trump had a valid reason (fighting corruption) and that he, like any president, should be allowed to conduct foreign policy the way he thinks is best.

As for "obstruction of justice," the lawyers say Trump has a right to try to keep deliberations with advisers confidential. “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," writes Trump's legal team. “All of that is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn." They also used words such as "rigged" and "charade." Trump, meanwhile, addressed impeachment himself Monday and signaled he's opposed to new witnesses. “They didn’t want John Bolton and others in the House," he tweeted. "They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!" (More Trump impeachment stories.)

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