President Trump is acknowledging that there is ongoing interference in the 2020 election, but he says it is by the Democrats in Congress.
That is one of the takeaways from his and his legal team's response Saturday to the articles of impeachment on which he is being tried by the Senate beginning Tuesday (Jan. 21). That is not to be confused with the President's legal brief, which will go into greater detail on the charges and isn't due until Monday (Jan. 20).
According to sources close to the President's legal team, they are arguing that the impeachment proceeding is a dangerous attack on the American people and their fundamental right to freely choose their President.
They will call it a brazen and unlawful attempt to overthrow the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, which they say is a highly partisan (translation: Democrats") obsession with impeachment that began before President Trump was elected.
They will argue that far from high crimes and misdemeanors, the articles don't allege any crime at all. They say the abuse of power article could do lasting damage to separation of powers becuase it threatens the President's assertion of a legitimate executive branch confidentiality interest, which they said cannot constitute obstruction of Congress.
The President's legal team will also argue that Democrats continued to move the linguistic target, from "extortion" and "bribery" (they did not mention "collusion") to "quid pro quo" and finally "abuse of power," with "quid pro quo" failing to make an appearance in the articles.
They will also go to process issues, saying that the House impeachment process was fundamentally flawed and illegitimate because it denied the President basic rights to counsel, to cross examine witnesses and to present evidence. They will argue that the President responded appropriate to all those subpoenas he didn't provide information for, which was to point out their constitutional defects.
Asked about the Government Accountability Office report that concluded the GAO violated the law in holding up Ukraine aid for political purposes, they said that, first, that was not part of the articles of impeachment and, second, that the GAO just appeared to be asserting itself into the news cycle and that they had had to go back and change rulings in the past and that "it went after" Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and George W. Bush and the media hadn't reported that--they did not elaborate.
In any event, they said, the President did nothing wrong.
The White House has confirmed the President's legal team, led by counsel to the President Pat A. Cipollone and Jay Alan Sekulow.
Joining them are Kenneth Starr, former Solicitor General, former Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and former independent counsel; Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School; Pam Bondi, special advisor to the President and former attorney general of Florida; Jane Serene Raskin, private counsel to the President; Eric D. Herschmann, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres LLP; Robert Ray, partner, Thompson and Knight, LLP, and former independent counsel.
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