Posted by: maboulette | January 18, 2020

Impeachment Of Pres Donald John Trump


House Democrats formally outlined their case on Saturday for President Trump’s removal from office, arguing in their first legal filing that the Senate should convict him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to a pressure campaign on Ukraine.


In a 46-page trial memorandum, the House impeachment managers asserted that beginning in the spring, Mr. Trump undertook a corrupt campaign to push Ukraine to publicly announce investigations of his political rivals, withholding as leverage nearly $400 million in military aid and a White House meeting. He then sought to conceal those actions from Congress, they said, refusing to cooperate with a House impeachment inquiry and ordering administration officials not to testify or turn over documents requested by investigators.
“President Trump’s conduct is the framers’ worst nightmare,” the managers wrote, framing their argument in constitutional terms.


The House filing came as the president’s legal team prepared to forcefully deny that he abused his power or obstructed Congress, making his first formal response against two articles of impeachment at the center of the Senate trial that begins in earnest next week. It will be only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.


Addressing head-on the political dynamics of the Senate, where majority Republicans have denounced the impeachment inquiry and said they want to quickly acquit Mr. Trump, the House managers warned that voters and future generations would sit in judgment of their actions.


“History will judge each senator’s willingness to rise above partisan differences, view the facts honestly, and defend the Constitution,” they wrote. “The outcome of these proceedings will determine whether generations to come will enjoy a safe and secure democracy in which the president is not a king.”


In a six-page document set to be released later Saturday, according to people close to Mr. Trump’s legal team, the president’s lawyers will defiantly reject the accusations against him. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not have authorization to comment on the argument in advance, said Mr. Trump’s defense team will denounce the impeachment case brought by House Democrats as illegitimate, driven by malice toward him and lacking a factual or legal basis.


It will call the bid to remove Mr. Trump from office a dangerous attempt to thwart the will of American voters, the people said. That echoes what the president has been arguing since the start of the impeachment inquiry, which he has repeatedly dismissed as a hoax perpetrated against him by political adversaries who fear they cannot beat him at the polls in 2020.


The filing from the House Democrats, too, repeated many of the same arguments they laid out last fall in a report on their impeachment inquiry’s findings. But the managers’ brief provided a glimpse of their strategy for the high-stakes legal and political fight.


The heavily footnoted document, formatted in the style of a courtroom filing, was headlined “In re Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump,” and addressed to the Senate, “sitting as a court of impeachment.” The memorandum laid out the evidence and legal arguments the managers intend to present in oral arguments on the floor of the Senate, likely beginning on Wednesday. The filing also included an additional 60 pages of facts the managers deemed material to their case.


After months of ad hoc defense before television cameras and on Twitter, the White House’s filing, which is akin to a pleading in a normal court case, was to be the first time Mr. Trump and his lawyers have offered a formal defense of his dealings with Ukraine and made a legal argument as to why those actions did not rise to the impeachment standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.

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