Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Trump’s lawyers urge dismissal of ‘flimsy’ impeachment case

Published:Monday | January 20, 2020 | 1:12 PM
The American flag flies over the US Capitol in Washington, Sunday, January 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s legal team asserted Monday that he did “absolutely nothing wrong,” urging the Senate to swiftly reject an impeachment case that it called “flimsy” and a “dangerous perversion of the Constitution.”

The lawyers decried the impeachment process as rigged and insisted that abuse of power was not a crime.

The brief from Trump’s lawyers, filed before arguments expected this week in the Senate impeachment trial, offered the most detailed glimpse of the lines of defence they intend to use against Democratic efforts to convict the president and oust him from office over his dealings with Ukraine.

It is meant as a counter to a filing two days ago from House Democrats that summarised weeks of testimony from more than a dozen witnesses in laying out the impeachment case.

The 110-page filing from the White House shifted the tone toward a more legal response.

It still hinged on Trump’s assertion he did nothing wrong and did not commit a crime — even though impeachment does not depend on a material violation of law but rather on the more vague definition of “other high crimes and misdemeanours” as established in the Constitution.

“It is a constitutional travesty,” the lawyers wrote.

The prosecution team of House managers was expected to spend another day on Capitol Hill preparing for the trial, which will be under heavy security.

Before the filing, House prosecutors arrived on Capitol Hill to tour the Senate chamber.

The impeachment case accuses Trump of abusing power by withholding military aid from Ukraine at the same time that the president was seeking an investigation into Biden, and of obstructing Congress by instructing administration officials not to appear for testimony or provide documents, defying congressional subpoenas.

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