Trump Lawyers Call for Immediate Acquittal in Legal, Political Defense

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday rejected the Democratic-led House of Representatives’ impeachment charges and called for their immediate dismissal by the Republican-led Senate in a memo offering a legal and political case against his removal.

The 116-page Trial Memorandum sought to undercut charges that the Republican president abused his power and obstructed Congress, and constituted Trump’s first comprehensive defense before his Senate trial begins in earnest on Tuesday.

“The Senate should reject the Articles of Impeachment and acquit the president immediately,” the memo concluded.

Separately, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell put forward rules that could lead to a quick impeachment trial for Trump, with no guarantee that witnesses or new evidence would be allowed.

Under the resolution, which could face a vote as early as Tuesday, lawyers for Trump could move early in the proceedings to ask senators to dismiss all charges, a senior Republican leadership aide said, a motion that would likely fail.

Under the Republican proposal, the Senate would have to vote later on whether to even allow materials collected by the House during its impeachment investigation to be admitted as part of the trial.

Trump, only the fourth of 45 American presidents to face the possibility of being ousted by impeachment, is charged with abusing the powers of his office by asking Ukraine to investigate a Democratic political rival, Joe Biden, and obstructing a congressional inquiry into his conduct.

Democrats say Trump abused his power by withholding U.S. military assistance to Ukraine as part of a pressure campaign and obstructed Congress by refusing to hand over documents and barring administration officials from testifying, even when subpoenaed by House investigators.

Trump’s defense argued neither charge constituted a crime or impeachable offense, that he was within his rights as president to make decisions about foreign policy and what information to give Congress, and that the House pursued a flawed and one-sided process before impeaching him on Dec. 18.

The memo’s executive summary asserted that the House Democrats’ “novel theory of ‘abuse of power'” was not an impeachable offense and supplanted the U.S. Constitution’s standard of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

It rejected the obstruction of Congress charge as “frivolous and dangerous,” saying the president exercised his legal rights by resisting congressional demands for information, also known as subpoenas.

It also accused the House Democrats of conducting a rigged process, said they succeeded in proving only that Trump had done nothing wrong and argued, as the White House has repeatedly, that this was an effort to overturn Trump’s 2016 election victory and to prevent his re-election in November.

While the Senate is highly unlikely to remove Trump from office, it is important for him to try to diminish the Democratic accusations to limit political damage to his bid for a second term.

‘CHILLING ASSERTION’

In part of his legal filing, Trump’s lawyers cast their arguments in unabashedly political terms.

“They want to use impeachment to interfere in the 2020 election,” the memo said. “Put simply, Democrats have no response to the President’s record of achievement in restoring prosperity to the American economy, rebuilding America’s military, and confronting America’s adversaries abroad.”

In their own filing with the Senate on Monday, the seven House impeachment “managers” who will make the Democrats case for Trump’s removal to the Senate said he had “jeopardized our national security and our democratic self-governance.”

“President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment. That is a chilling assertion. It is also dead wrong,” they wrote, arguing that despite Trump’s “stonewalling,” the House had amassed “overwhelming evidence of his guilt.”

Trump’s team says he was well within his constitutional authority to press Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy last year to investigate Biden and his son Hunter as part of what Trump says was an anti-corruption drive. The Bidens deny any wrongdoing and Trump’s allegations have been widely debunked.

While Trump’s legal papers laid out extensive arguments as to why he did not commit a crime, the General Accounting Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, said last week that Trump did commit a crime by withholding U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, money that was ultimately sent after a brief pause.

Seeking to show he is still conducting presidential business despite the trial, Trump left late on Monday for Davos, Switzerland, to join global leaders at the World Economic Forum. Some advisers argued against his making the trip, where he will meet Iraqi, Pakistani, Swiss, Kurdish and European Union leaders.

As a result, he will be in the Alps when the Senate on Tuesday engages in a potentially bruising battle over whether witnesses should be allowed to testify in the trial and whether new documents could be introduced, as Democrats wish.

The resolution McConnell unveiled on Monday would give House Democratic prosecutors and Trump lawyers 48 hours, evenly split, to present their arguments over a maximum of four days.

It drew immediate criticism from Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who accused McConnell of failing to stick to the rules used during President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment, calling it “nothing short of a national disgrace.”

“It’s clear Senator McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through,” Schumer said in a statement.

While there could be a fast-track trial, Democrats could slow things down by proposing that a series of witnesses testify. If senators vote to subpoena witnesses, that also would consume time by requiring that the witnesses first be deposed before deciding on whether they actually testify to the Senate.

No president has ever been removed as a direct result of impeachment. One, Richard Nixon, resigned before he could be removed. Andrew Johnson and Clinton were impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Karen Freifeld; Additional Reporting by Richard Cowan, Alexandra Alper, Katanga Johnson and Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Ross Colvin, Daniel Wallis, Bernadette Baum, Tom Brown and Paul Simao)

Responses

  1. >Always Confused (HE Admits It)<

    There is no need for a "Plan B" as I have mentioned several times to you. Pay attention! With the Schiff-Sham-Show going on since 2016, the Party of Hate American voters will be lucky IF they can remain in control of the House while Trump is decisively reelected in November. The D'RATS have NO ONE who can win or even buy their way into the WH without also having an AK -47.

    1. That is NOT what a “Plan B” is all about. It is a contingency plan to manage whatever unplanned does happen.

      You are leaving yourself exposed to risk because you are obviously not ready for that eventuality. I feel that you and many others here will not be ready to handle that kind of change.

      Plan B?

  2. “Is your plan “ B” (and I do mean “B”) to resurrect Hillary from the grave, dust her off, and stand by her, “Weekend at Bernie’s “ , style? You may have to shake her out of her vodka induced coma first!” An Unhung Chad

    You sure don’t pay attention to much but your own rhetoric.

  3. “Unhung Chads” confuse the Genitally confused one!

  4. Trump won’t lose, moron. No need for a plan B because the current line up of Dimwits ain’t gonna do it. Is your plan “ B” (and I do mean “B”) to resurrect Hillary from the grave, dust her off, and stand by her, “Weekend at Bernie’s “ , style? You may have to shake her out of her vodka induced coma first!

  5. “ and Trump’s allegations have been widely debunked.”

    You stepped WAY over the line there into fake news editorializing.

    1. Uh, no, KDTL’s allegations are based on nothing truthful.

  6. The dem cartel are abusing their power to engage in a coup against the American people, remove them from office America!

  7. “The Left needed Trump out of Office because they knew then (and know now) they have no candidate who can beat him in November.” Confused James

    What if you are wrong and he loses? What is your Plan B?

    You still haven’t answered this very direct question.

  8. syphilis is at it again. She is a no nothing lying witch (with a B). The bidens have a record of illegal activities, as do the obamas and clintons, but the communists (like syphilis) will do nothing about them and protect them at all cost. After all, the communist party is made up of liars, criminals and all kinds of violence. It would NOT be a party without those things. I am waiting for the Barr/Durham report to come out. Then maybe we can take down the biden, obama and clinton cartels.

    1. “syphilis is at it again” The Real Bob

      And you are still confused by what communism is and by who is a communist and who isn’t.

      1. No confusion on Bob’s part. Democrats = communists. Simple as that,

  9. You idiot reporters and so called journalist lose all credibility when you make the idiotic statement that Trump is trying to have his political rival investigated. Then run around like Nancy Pelosi and Schitthead and schumer screaming “no one is above the law”. Unless you are a Democrat running for President. Presidential candidates don’t get immunity from crimes committed as a vice president 4 years ago. Biden bragged on recording that he did a quid pro quo with Ukraine, fire the DA investigating my son and Burisma or you won’t get 1.2 billion US taxpayers dollars you have 6 hours to make your decission. That is a clear quid pro quo and it is on video recording yet the media and the Dems say look away ignore that he is a Democrats and therefore above the law. Furthermore he did it as a Vice President and surely would do it again as a President and the Dems will say “He didn’t intend it to be a quid pro quo” like they said with hilary: “Yes she violated many laws but it was not her intensions to break law so let’s give her a break and let her walk scott-free.

    1. I agree with your comment, the democrats are doing exactly what they say the President was trying to do to Joe Biden. I wonder why they don’t want to investigate Joe Biden? Could it be because more of the democrats in House and Senate have made money also from the Ukraine?

  10. The typical opening salvo of any trial proceeding is to demand an immediate dismissal of the charges by the defense as unsubstantiated. So, to read anything else in this memorandum is ludicrous, as the writers have attempted to mislead, out of ignorance of the rules and regulations of the courts set by the lawyers themselves… in this case, the Senate, and they haven’t even been decided on yet, which happens this afternoon and evening, the first day of the trial.

    The charges will not be dismissed, but they are illegitimate. Anyone who thinks like Donald Trump does, and his team, realizes that Trump has been goading the Democrats to get to this point, from the transition period between Obama’s administration and his own… from November 8, 2016, until January 17, 2017. He’s going to extract sweet revenge against them and the Deep State, FOR the American people, and use this venue to expose every single crime that the Democrats and Deep State has perpetrated against us, and the world, in the most watched trial of the century… what better way to introduce the evidence into a legal proceeding? The world will decide for themselves who is the good guys, the white hats, during this trial, once and for all. It is the ONLY way for the American people to restore faith in their Constitution, their Republic, and their government, by exposing and shining light on every bit of corruption and crime, and eradicating it from within. Transparency, let the people see what has been happening for the last 3 years.

    This trial is the Democrats’ funeral procession. ENJOY the show!

  11. Obstruction of Congress is not even a cognizable cause of action at any level of the common, statutory or constitutional law, not at civil or criminal, not at state or federal. It is a pure product of the Democrats farce and fantasy perpetrated upon this this republic. The President was completely within his Article two rights to assert executive privilege and it was incumbent upon the House, if it disagreed with that assertion to seek remedy in the judiciary; it did not. Indeed, obstruction of Congress is contemplated and permitted in the Constitution. It is called the presidential veto.

    But, expediency among the Democrats twitched and declined to wait for judicial process. Now, having acted in haste, the House Democrats repent in leisure only to watch their machinations unravel before the nation. Good. But the lawyers should have prepared motions for judgment on the pleadings and directed verdict as the House managers have failed to deliver in the articles a claim upon which relief may be granted.

    1. No, the House did not seek remedy in the Judiciary (SCOTUS) because they would not have gotten a ruling (most likely negative) before June and this matter of impeaching Trump was “urgent”. The Left needed Trump out of Office because they knew then (and know now) they have no candidate who can beat him in November.

  12. Trump will not be impeached by the senate, as he has done nothing that is impeachable by the laws of our constitution!

    1. Michelle is confused.

      The president has ALREADY been impeached. That part is a done deal.

      All that is happening now hs deciding what to do about why he was impeached.

      1. Ok then. Trump won’t be removed from office. In fact, he will be re-elected and rewarded with a Republican Senate and Republican House.

  13. “Trumps assertion have been widely debunked” that is a lie! The binned have not been investigated so it has not been debunked

    1. Not my down vote, Bob. BUT, I think your typo is suppose to be the Bidens, and if the U.S. and former Ukrainian investigations came up with a violation for either Biden, Trump would NOT have needed to violate campaign finance laws and Impoundment Control Act to attempt to get what he wanted. If “The binned” is not suppose to be The Bidens, I have no idea what bins you want investigated.

    1. In 1998, I thought it appropriate for the House to recognize that a sitting POTUS should not LIE to a grand jury. I understood the bipartisan support for acquittal. I will not understand support for jeopardizing the national security of the United States for personal political purpose. I am not a symbols idolizer–I want someone in the Oval Office that respect the laws of the country the FLAG represents—hugging the flag and flag pin wearing are meaningless to me if the actions are not there to indicate patriotism,

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