Trump Defense Team Calls Impeachment Articles ‘An Affront To The Constitution’
In a legal brief released ahead of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the president’s legal team argued that the charges against him are “an affront to the Constitution” and should be rejected by the Senate.
The 110-page brief, written by Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone was filed with the Senate on Monday. Sekulow and Cipollone are leading the impeachment defense.
Over the weekend, the defense attorneys put out a six-page brief claim that the “flimsy” impeachment articles “allege no crime or violation of law whatsoever.”
“The diluted standard asserted here would permanently weaken the presidency and forever alter the balance among the branches of government in a manner that offends the constitutional design established by the founders,” it read.
It continues to argue that House Democrats don’t have evidence to support their claims listed in the articles of impeachment, and that the Senate should therefore reject them. “The Senate should speedily reject these deficient articles of impeachment and acquit the president. 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.”
They argue that “abuse of power” is not an impeachable offense listed in the Constitution, referring to one of the articles of impeachment against the president. Trump was charged with abuse of power for asking the President of Ukraine to investigate his political rival to help his chances of winning the 2020 Election, “Obstruction of Congress,” they’re arguing, is also not an impeachable offense because they believe that Trump’s blocking of witnesses from testifying and withholding evidence was Trump asserting “legal rights and privileges of the executive branch against defective subpoenas.”
Trump’s impeachment trial is set to begin Tuesday afternoon.