Trump's Lawyers Formally Answer Articles of Impeachment

Posted: Jan 18, 2020 6:30 PM
Trump's Lawyers Formally Answer Articles of Impeachment

Source: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

The president's legal counsel formally responded to the two articles of impeachment leveled against the president, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The deadline for House Democrats to file their trial brief was 5 p.m EST on Saturday. The president's answer to the two articles was due just an hour later. The president's lead attorneys, Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone, prepared Trump's six-page formal response to the articles.

"The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president," the formal answer reads. "This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away. This highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the president began even before his election and continues to this day."

Trump's counsel argued the impeachment articles are "constitutionally invalid on their face" and are the result of a "lawless" House inquiry that violated basic principles of fairness and due process. 

"The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution of the United States, our democratic institutions, and the American people. The Articles themselves -- and the rigged process that brought them here -- are a transparent political act by House Democrats. They debase the grave power of impeachment and the solemn responsibility that power entails. They must be rejected."

In his answer, the president "categorically and unequivocally" denies "each and every" accusation leveled against him in both impeachment articles. Trump's attorneys then lay out a series of arguments as to why both articles of impeachment against the president must be rejected. 

"In order to preserve our constitutional structure of government, to reject the poisonous partisanship that the Framers warned against, to ensure one-party political impeachment vendettas do not become the 'new normal,' and to vindicate the will of the American people, the Senate must reject both Articles of Impeachment. In the end, this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote." 

Earlier this week, the White House announced a few additions to Trump's legal team as they prepare to defend the president before the Senate. Former impeachment counsel and Whitewater investigator Kenneth Starr and Harvard University Law Professor Alan Dershowitz will defend the president in his upcoming trial. Former Florida attorney general and adviser to the president Pam Bondi, as well as Jane Raskin and Robert Ray will also take part in the president's defense.