President Donald Trump’s attorneys argued in a legal brief Monday that the articles of impeachment passed by the House are a “dangerous perversion” of the U.S. Constitution and should be rebuked in the upcoming Senate trial.
“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,” wrote White House counsel Pat Cipollone and the president’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow.
“All of this is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn,” they added.
Cipollone and Sekulow also slammed the “flimsy” articles of impeachment as a “political tool to overturn the result of the 2016 election and to interfere in the 2020 election.”
“House Democrats’ novel theory of ‘abuse of power’ improperly supplants the standard of ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ with a made-up theory that would permanently weaken the Presidency by effectively permitting impeachments based merely on policy disagreements,” reads the brief.
“House Democrats’ concocted theory that the President can be impeached for taking permissible actions if he does them for what they believe to be the wrong reasons would also expand the impeachment power beyond constitutional bounds,” it adds.
The filings’ release comes after House Democrats submitted a legal brief of their own on Saturday in which they outlined their case for impeachment.
The brief reiterated allegations that the president is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and details evidence they are slated to present to the Senate.
“The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that he is guilty of both. The only remaining question is whether the members of the Senate will accept and carry out the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and their constitutional Oaths,” the filing reads. “History will judge each Senator’s willingness to rise above partisan differences, view the facts honestly, and defend the Constitution.”
“President Trump’s ongoing pattern of misconduct demonstrates that he is an immediate threat to the Nation and the rule of law. It is imperative that the Senate convict and remove him from office now, and permanently bar him from holding federal office,” it adds.
The House Democrats’ brief was made public as President Trump’s legal team argued Saturday that the impeachment articles are “constitutionally invalid” and should be rejected by the upper chamber.
“The articles of impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever let alone ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as required by the Constitution,” explained Cipollone and Sekulow. “The articles of impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution of the United States, our democrat institutions, and the American people.”
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi succumbed to pressure from Republicans and several Democrats in the Senate by transferring the articles to the upper chamber. The development put an end to a near four-week stand-off with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in which she failed to force the Kentucky Republican to bow to her and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) demands to agree on rules for evidence and list of witnesses.
McConnell criticized the Democrat leaders’ requests as a “non-starter” and a “fantasy” and confirmed that the trial will begin as early as Tuesday.