Ahead of Senate trial, Trump legal team rejects impeachment as flawed
By Steve Holland
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s legal team on Saturday issued a resounding rejection of the House of Representatives’ impeachment of him, proclaiming his innocence and calling the charges against Trump a “dangerous attack” on Americans.
In a six-page document to be released on Saturday, Trump’s lawyers for the first time formally addressed the merits of the two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — that the Democratic-led House approved late last year.
The two articles, aimed at ousting Trump from office, form the basis of a trial that will begin in earnest on Tuesday in the Republican-controlled Senate.
“We are on strong legal footing. The president has done nothing wrong and we believe that will be borne out in this process,” said one of three sources close to the Trump legal team who briefed reporters on a conference call about the contents of the document.
At the same time, House Democrats planned to unveil their legal strategy to argue that he should be removed from office. Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, for the weekend, played a round of golf on Saturday.
The Trump impeachment response will say the case against the president is “nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people” and their right to vote, the sources said.
The document will argue that the articles of impeachment violate the U.S. Constitution and would do lasting damage, they said.
Trump is accused of abuse of office for pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and of obstructing Congress in its investigation into his conduct.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and has accused Democrats of a partisan-driven effort to undo his 2016 election victory.
The Senate trial is unlikely to lead to Trump’s ouster, as no Republican senators have voiced support for doing so.
The Trump lawyers, in their document, argued that Trump acted at all times with full constitutional legal authority, the sources said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Paul Simao and Chizu Nomiyama)