Lawyers for President Trump submitted his official response Saturday evening to the impeachment summons.
“In the end, this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote,” Trump’s attorneys wrote. Lawyers defended President Trump against the “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
The statement is six pages and signed by Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
“President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both Articles of Impeachment,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. The Trump lawyers argued that the Democrats’ impeachment process in the House was “rigged … the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the president any due process rights.”
“The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president,” Trump’s legal team wrote. “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,” they added.
“The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated and continues to this day.”
“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. They are the result of a lawless process that violated basic due process and fundamental fairness.”
“Nothing in these Articles could permit even beginning to consider removing a duly elected president or warrant nullifying an election and subverting the will of the American people,” the statement reads. “They must be rejected.”
Regarding the first article of impeachment, which alleges a presidential abuse of power, Trump’s lawyers argued it fails to meet the standard of an impeachable offense.
Moreover, Trump’s lawyers argue that President Trump has “faithfully and effectively executed the duties of his office on behalf of the American people.” Trump’s actions related to Ukraine “were constitutional, perfectly legal, completely appropriate, and taken in furtherance of our national interest.”
Regarding the second article of impeachment that alleges obstruction of Congress, the statement argues that Trump used legitimate executive branch confidentiality interests by instructing top aides not to testify in the impeachment inquiry and not producing documents involved in congressional subpoenas.
“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,” the statement concluded.
Another legal brief is due to be issued by Monday.
Recently Sen. Lindsey Graham criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s actions after she sent over the articles of impeachment to the Senate. He claimed that Pelosi was not finished but still “spiked the ball at halftime.” Graham added, “I think 2020 is going to be a blowout.”
Republican Senator Rand Paul also predicted how President Trump’s Senate trial will unfold: No Republican members will back it.
“I really think the verdict has already been decided as well. I don’t think any Republicans are going to vote for impeachment,” Paul said during an interview with the Hill.
Not only Republicans but Democrats too have already decided how they will ultimately vote, despite the trial not yet beginning, Paul contended.
“I think the votes have been decided. As much as anybody will be pretending to be judicious about this, I don’t think that there’s one senator who hasn’t decided how they’re going to vote,” the senator from Kentucky said.
Paul’s comments came with glowing confidence, adding he would be “very, very surprised” if a Republican voted with Democrats to back either impeachment article, “particularly after the way we’ve seen the House go.”