Trump to submit defence ahead of impeachment trial

Cheryl Sanders
January 20, 2020

President Donald Trump's lawyers on Sunday anticipated impeachment with the questionable allegation that the allegations against him were invalid and took a position that the Democrats rejected as "nonsense" because both sides tightened their arguments for legal proceedings.

The House last month voted largely along party lines to impeach Trump on two counts: abuse of power for withholding military aid to Ukraine and a coveted White House meeting unless the newly elected president of Ukraine opened investigations into Trump's political rivals; and obstruction of Congress for blocking current and former federal employees from producing documents or testifying as part of the House investigation.

A key swing-vote senator said she wants to first hear from House impeachment managers and President Donald Trump's legal team before deciding on whether the Senate needs additional witnesses and documents.

Trump is also scheduled to deliver his State of the Union address on February 4. For Trump to be convicted, two-thirds of the Senate (i.e. 67 members) must vote to convict him.

Trump's first official response to the charges comes as the House-appointed impeachment managers published a lengthy 111-page memorandum ahead of a Saturday deadline, breaking down their arguments for Trump's removal.

He referred to President Trump's July 25 call asking the Ukrainian president to investigate possible corruption involving the Bidens, the incident at the heart of the impeachment proceedings. At the same time, Senate Democrats plan to call John Bolton, the former national security adviser, among other potential eyewitnesses after the White House prevented officials from appearing in the house.

"My understanding is that the resolution will give the president's team the option to either move to judgment or to move to dismiss at a meaningful time", Hawley said.

Last month, she told KTUU that she was "disturbed" by a statement made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about how he would coordinate with the White House during the trial. "So the only thing really new about the president's defense is that they're now arguing that because they can't contest the facts that the president cannot be impeached for abusing the power of his office". The officials had raised concerns about Trump and his personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani's attempts to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter and the Ukrainian energy company he worked for, as well as into the debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russian Federation, sought to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. This has been a partisan railroad job.

The back and forth came when everyone involved was excited that the Senate was conducting the third impeachment process in the country's history. What should be remembered is that the Senate consists of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents who align themselves with Democrats.

Trump must be removed, the Democrats argued in their briefing, owing to the egregiousness of his past misconduct and his ongoing efforts to encourage or coerce foreign tampering in United States elections.

Trump's Senate impeachment trial is only the third such event in the almost 2 1/2 centuries of US history.

The House, now controlled by the Democrats, impeached the president last month. A fourth US president, Richard Nixon in the mid-1970s, faced nearly certain impeachment in the Watergate political scandal, but resigned before the House acted.

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