In the impeachment trial of U.S. President donald trump, his defenders have gone on the attack.
The charges against the president are unconstitutional and must be dismissed, according to a letter released by the white house on saturday night. "President trump categorically and unequivocally denies every allegation in both indictments," trump’s defense lawyers write. This was the first time the government center formally responded to trump’s indictment before the U.S. Senate.
For their part, democrats in the U.S. House of representatives laid out the allegations against the president in a comprehensive document that also cites materials underlying the indictment.
Trump faces impeachment proceedings, the third president in U.S. History to do so. He is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of the house investigation. Ukraine affair paved way for impeachment trial.
Democrats accuse trump of pushing ukrainian president to investigate political rival joe biden to sway 2020 U.S. Presidential election in his favor. They see it as proven that trump conditioned a meeting with selenskyj at the white house and the release of some $400 million in military aid to ukraine on the announcement of such investigations. When that came out, he said, trump did everything he could to block the house investigation.
Trump’s eight-member defense team is led by white house counsel pat cipollone and trump’s personal lawyer jay sekulow. One name is still familiar from the last impeachment against former president bill clinton: kenneth starr was the special prosecutor in the case at the time. Harvard professor emeritus alan dershowitz was named in the mid-1990s as a member of the defense team for football star O.J. Simpson announced.
The strategy of trump’s defenders is aimed at dismantling the democrats’ impeachment in its entirety in the house of representatives. The charges did not include felonies or violations of the law, let alone "serious crimes or misdemeanors," the letter reads. The U.S. Constitution lists "treason, bribery, or other serious crimes and misdemeanors" as grounds for a so-called impeachment trial. In addition, the defense makes serious accusations against democrats, saying their charges against the president "are a dangerous attack on the right of the american people to freely elect their president".
From the perspective of the seven impeachment lawyers in the U.S. House of representatives, it is the president who poses a threat to U.S. Elections. "His misconduct calls into question the fundamental principle that americans should decide american elections," reads the 111-page document released by impeachment officials on saturday. They consider it proven that the president abused the power of his office for his personal goals. In addition, trump allegedly wanted to avoid being held accountable by obstructing the impeachment investigation. Trump’s behavior is the "worst nightmare" of the american founding fathers.
On thursday, the impeachment process had begun in the U.S. Senate. Constitutional court judge john roberts was sworn in to lead the proceedings. He then took the oath to the 100 senators who will ultimately decide whether to impeach trump. Now the substantive part of the impeachment process can begin. The senate will meet for this at noon on tuesday – trump is expected to be attending the world economic forum in davos, switzerland, at that time. Many procedural questions still need to be clarified. For example, it is completely unclear whether new witnesses will be heard and documents will be referenced. The democrats insist on it, the republicans reject it so far.
Democrats lent weight to their demand with the release of more materials on the ukraine affair. Several photos suggest trump knows businessman lev parnas. The latter is alleged to have played a central role in efforts by trump’s personal lawyer rudy giuliani to find incriminating material on biden in ukraine. Trump denies knowing parnas. Parnas turned over the materials to the house intelligence committee, committee chairman adam schiff said friday night. Schiff is the house’s lead impeachment trial prosecutor.
Impeachment proceedings dominate domestic political debate in U.S. However, it is considered extremely unlikely that trump will have to leave office. His republicans have a majority in the crucial house chamber. For trump to be impeached, a two-thirds majority of 67 senators would have to vote in favor of at least one of the two charges. However, this is not foreseeable.