President Trump’s lawyers filed their formal response to the articles of impeachment on Saturday night, insisting in a brief that Trump has done nothing wrong and that his impeachment is “constitutionally invalid.” Meanwhile the seven House Democratic impeachment managers filed their own brief, including a 45-page trial memorandum and a 61-page statement of facts — all heavily footnoted. (The Trump team’s response, in contrast, was less than six pages long.)
“President Trump’s conduct is the Framers’ worst nightmare,” argued congressman and impeachment manager Adam Schiff. He and the other House prosecutors reiterated the House impeachment inquiries findings, arguing that there was “overwhelming evidence” that Trump was guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and that the Senate “must eliminate the threat” he poses to the country by convicting him. “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,” House prosecutors wrote.
In the White House’s response, Trump laywers Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone wrote that the president “categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation,” argued that neither article of impeachment alleged real crimes in the first place, and called Trump’s impeachment “a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”
“The articles of impeachment violate the Constitution. They are defective in their entirety,” the White House alleged.
Trump’s lawyers also repeated what have become routine Trump-world attacks on the validity of the process House Democrats use to investigate the president. What’s different this time, is that the brief is the Trump team’s first official legal filing in the impeachment process after avoiding the House investigation in protest. Now, with a far more accommodating audience due up the GOP-controlled Senate, the White House is making its case for dismissing impeachment entirely.
Read the House Democratic impeachment managers’ brief below:
And read the Trump team’s official response below: