In a 110-page legal brief, filed on Monday, January 20, 2020, President Trump’s legal team called the House’s impeachment case “flimsy” and a “dangerous perversion of the Constitution.”
The filing claimed that the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – do not amount to impeachable offenses, and called on the Senate to quickly “reject them.”
“The only threat to the Constitution that House Democrats have brought to light is their own degradation of the impeachment process and trampling of the separation of powers. Their fixation on damaging the President has trivialized the momentous act of impeachment, debased the standards of impeachable conduct, and perverted the power of impeachment by turning it into a partisan, election-year political tool,” the brief in part reads.
“The diluted standard asserted here would permanently weaken the Presidency and forever alter the balance among the branches of government in a manner that offends the constitutional design established by the Founders,” it adds.
The document, which was filed to the Senate, resembles the rhetoric found in a legal document Trump’s lawyers also submitted over the weekend that called the articles of impeachment “constitutionally invalid.” The president has been charged with “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” accusations Trump has repeatedly rejected.
House impeachment managers filed their own brief over the weekend. Not surprisingly, it rejects and counters every argument made in Trump’s brief.
The House’s prosecution team said in its filing,“[The] Constitution provides a remedy when the President commits such serious abuses of his office: impeachment and removal.”
And in a message directly aimed at the senators, who will serve as jurors in the trial, the House Democrats wrote, “The Senate must use that remedy now to safeguard the 2020 U.S. election, protect our constitutional form of government, and eliminate the threat that the President poses to America’s national security.”
Trump’s lawyers asserted that there is no evidence to support House Democrats’ claims, noting that Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have stated that there was no quid pro quo or pressure placed on them to do anything.