USA

House Democrats: Trump filing on impeachment 'dead wrong'

"President (Donald) 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," the House managers wrote in their nine-page brief. "

The House's filing on Monday, known as a replication, was written in response to the White House brief released on Saturday that called the House's impeachment a "brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of 2016 election."
The House will also respond on Tuesday to the White House's trial briefing that was released on Monday that said the House's case was "flimsy," the impeachment process was a "charade" and called on senators to swiftly dismiss the charges.
The impeachment managers' argument released Monday added to the brief that was filed on Saturday laying out the facts of the case, arguing that the President abused his power and obstructed Congress by withholding a White House meeting and US security aid from Ukraine while pressuring Kiev to open investigations into his political rivals.

"The Framers deliberately drafted a Constitution that allows the Senate to remove Presidents who, like President Trump, abuse their power to cheat in elections, betray our national security, and ignore checks and balances," the House managers wrote. "That President Trump believes otherwise, and insists he is free to engage in such conduct again, only highlights the continuing threat he poses to the Nation if allowed to remain in office."

The briefings are the preamble to the substance of the Senate trial that will begin on Tuesday. The House managers are preparing for the trial on Capitol Hill. They met on Sunday in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and are conducting a walkthrough of the Senate chamber on Monday.

It's still not clear what day the trial arguments will start, as the Senate still has to vote on the rules of the trial, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet released. But it's expected that the House and President's team will each have 24 hours to make their case split over two days, which Democrats have blasted as an attempt to conduct the trial in the middle of the night.

The House pushed back on the arguments the President's legal team made to defend Trump on Saturday, in which the President's team said the House failed to charge the President with an actual crime and that the articles were part of a "rigged" process.

"The President also asserts that Article I does not state an impeachable offense. In his view, the American people are powerless to remove a President for corruptly using his Office to cheat in the next election by soliciting and coercing a foreign power to sabotage a rival and spread conspiracy theories helpful to the President. This is the argument of a monarch, with no basis in the Constitution," the impeachment managers wrote.

House Democrats rebutted several statements the President's team made in its first legal brief, including that the President raised corruption with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his July 2019 call.

"Astoundingly, the Answer claims that President Trump raised the issue of 'corruption' during the July 25 call, but that word appears nowhere in the record of the call, despite the urging of his national security staff," the House managers wrote.

The House also pushed back on the argument that two people who spoke with Trump — Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — said he told them there was no quid quo pro. The impeachment managers said both of these conversation came after Trump had learned of the whistleblower complaint, and his statement to Sondland came after there was public reporting about the Ukraine aid being held up.

"These self-serving false statements are contradicted by all of the other evidence," the House wrote. "They show a cover-up and consciousness of guilt, not a credible defense for the President."

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.