President Trump’s lawyers released a 171-page memo Monday calling his impeachment by the House “a brazenly political act” and asking the Senate to “swiftly and roundly” dismiss the charges. The “President did absolutely nothing wrong,” the memo argues.
Neither “abuse of power” nor “obstruction of justice” is an impeachable offense, Trump’s lawyers, led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, write. The memo comes a day before Trump’s Senate impeachment trial begins in earnest and several days after the House Democratic impeachment managers released an brief of their own that called Trump’s conduct “the Framers’ worst nightmare.”
The memo from Trump’s lawyers echoes arguments he’s made for months, only in slightly more formal language. It doesn’t call Trump’s phone call last July with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “perfect,” but it does say the call was “perfectly appropriate.” The House impeachment inquiry isn’t referred to as “the most unfair witch-hunt in the history of Congress,” but it did violate “every precedent and every principle of fairness followed in impeachment inquiries for more than 150 years,” according to the memo.
House Democratic impeachment managers responded to team Trump’s filing Monday in a statement. “President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment,” the statement says. “That is a chilling assertion. It is also dead wrong. The Framers deliberately drafted a Constitution that allows the Senate to remove Presidents who, like President Trump, abuse their power to cheat in elections, betray our national security, and ignore checks and balances.
The memo from Trump’s lawyers can be read in its entirety below: