President Donald Trump’s legal team effectively whacked House Democrats in the face with a two by four.
The White House flipped the Democrat impeachment script back in their faces Saturday evening, when they filed the President’s official “Answer” to the Articles of Impeachment. There’s no doubt about it, Team Trump swings a big club.
By approving the Articles, “the House violated our constitutional order, illegally abused its power of impeachment, and attempted to obstruct President Trump’s ability to faithfully execute the duties of his office.” You can’t impeach him for doing his job.
The charges, White House lawyers write, “rest on dangerous distortions of the Constitution that would do lasting damage to our structure of government.” The President was doing the job he was elected to do and that isn’t a crime.
Starting with the very first paragraph, the administration goes on the offensive. The Articles of Impeachment are “a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president.”
It’s clearly, “a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election.” Not only that, it’s a plot to “interfere with the 2020 election — now just months away,” Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone write.
They make sure to point out “the highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated.”
Right off the bat, both charges are “constitutionally invalid on their face.” That’s because “they fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever.” Instead, “They are the result of a lawless process that violated basic due process and fundamental fairness.”
Both the Articles themselves, and “the rigged process that brought them here” are a “transparently political act.” The House, they say, “violated every precedent and every principle of fairness governing impeachment inquiries for more than 150 years.”
President Trump “has not in any way ‘abused the powers of the Presidency.'” Since day one, he has “faithfully and effectively executed the duties of his Office on behalf of the American people.”
That is exactly what he was doing on July 25, 2019. He had a phone meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. That call, an earlier call, and all the other “surrounding and related events were constitutional, perfectly legal, completely appropriate, and taken in furtherance of our national interest.”
They discussed two main points. “President Trump raised the important issue of burden sharing on the July 25 call, noting that other European countries such as Germany were not carrying their fair share. President TRump also raised the important issue of Ukrainian corruption. President Zelenskyy acknowledged these concerns on that same call.”
Despite the “entirely illegitimate and one-sided process,” the facts themselves prove the President didn’t do anything wrong.
The transcripts of both the April 21 call and the July 25 call stand on their own. “President Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly confirmed that the call was ‘good’ and ‘normal,’ that there was no quid pro quo, and that no one pressured them on anything.”
Two of the Democrats own witnesses back the President. “Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland stated that when he asked the President what he wanted from Ukraine, the President said: ‘I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo.’ Senator Ron Johnson reported that, when he asked the President whether there was any connection between security assistance and investigations, the President responded: ‘No way, I would never do that.'”
Instead of facts, House Democrats “rely entirely on assumptions, presumptions, and speculation from witnesses with no first-hand knowledge.” Their sketchy case is “founded exclusively on inherently unreliable hearsay that would never be accepted in any court in our country.”
The legal team points out that Rep. Adam Schiff cooked up his own version of the call, never dreaming that the administration would release the real transcript. Schiff, it seems, was caught red handed.
“Mr. Schiff created a fraudulent version of the July 25 call and read it to the American people at a congressional hearing without disclosing that he was simply making it all up. The fact that Mr. Schiff felt the need to fabricate a false version of the July 25 call proves that he and his colleagues knew there was absolutely nothing wrong with that call.”
Throughout the entire kangaroo court, the President was denied due process. “House Democrats ran a fundamentally flawed and illegitimate process that denied the President every basic right, including the right to have counsel present, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to present evidence.”
They still can’t come up with anything solid. “Despite all this, the information House Democrats assembled actually disproves their claim against the President.”
The Second Article isn’t any better. There is no actual crime described there either. President Trump actually cooperated a lot more than he was required to in the interest of transparency.
“Following the President’s disclosure of the July 25 call transcript, House Democrats issued a series of unconstitutional subpoenas for documents and testimony.” The problem was those subpoenas weren’t legal to start with.
“They issued their subpoenas without a congressional vote and, therefore, without constitutional authority.” The administration cooperated more than they were required to.
“Notwithstanding these abuses, the Trump Administration replied appropriately to these subpoenas and identified their constitutional defects.” The Democrats knew they didn’t have the right to do what they were doing.
“Tellingly, House Democrats did not seek to enforce these constitutionally defective subpoenas in court. To the contrary, when one subpoena recipient sought a declaratory judgment as to the validity of the subpoena he had received, House Democrats quickly withdrew the subpoena to prevent the court from issuing a ruling.”
They can’t be allowed to get away with trying to “usurp Executive Branch authority” and “bypass our Constitution’s system of checks and balances.”
The team concludes, The first Article is nothing but an attempt to “seize the President’s power under Article II of the Constitution to determine foreign policy.” The second count “attempts to control and penalize the assertion of the Executive Branch’s constitutional privileges, while simultaneously seeking to destroy the Framers’ system of checks and balances.”
Democrats “attempted to obstruct President Trump’s ability to faithfully execute the duties of his office. They sought to undermine his authority under Article II of the Constitution, which vests the entirety of ‘the executive Power’ in ‘a President of the United States of America.'”
“In the end,” they write, “this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote.”