President Donald Trump’s legal team said in a six-page memo refuting the House’s impeachment summary on Saturday that it was “constitutionally invalid” because the allegations contain no violations of law.
As such, the team argued in the memo, the articles should be rejected out of hand.
“The articles of impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face,” the response read. “They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever let alone ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as required by the Constitution.”
“The articles of impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution of the United States, our democrat institutions, and the American people,” said the legal team ahead of the expected trial start date of January 21.
The Democrat-led House impeachment articles accuse the president of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” And while Democrats claim those amount to impeachable offenses, Republicans and the White House have countered that the president committed no “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the constitutional standard for removal from office.
Officials close to the White House defense team said their legal brief to be filed with the Senate will be much more detailed and address specific allegations contained in the House’s 111-page summary.
“The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president,” said the legal team response.
The team further argued that the impeachment hearings were part of a “highly partisan and reckless obsession” with impeaching the president, even before he was elected.
One source close to the president’s legal team said they would first address the “serious constitutional implications” as a result of flawed articles of impeachment.
“It’s going to be a full-throttled address, we will take the facts head-on and we believe that the facts will prove and have proved that the president did nothing wrong,” the source said.