Trump: Impeachment is 'Attempted Coup'

In a six-page letter of protest to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the eve of debate over articles of impeachment, an obviously exercised President Donald Trump likened Congress to a "Star Chamber of partisan persecution" and the Democrats as "declaring open war on American democracy" via an "illegal, partisan attempted coup."

Related: Pelosi Denies C-SPAN Cameras in Impeachment Debate

According to a copy supplied to Multichannel News by the White House, Trump told Pelosi that the impeachment was a partisan crusade, an unconstitutional abuse of power and, in something of a "you are but what am I?" moment, said it was the Democrats in Congress that were doing all the things he was being accused of.

"You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy [CQ]. You are the ones Obstructing Justice [capitalization the President's]. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain."

The President spent much of the letter defending his "perfect" call with Ukrainian President Zelensky and called the charge of abuse of power--the other article is obstruction of Congress--"a completely disingenuous, meritless, and baseless invention of [Pelosi's] imagination."

As to obstruction of Congress, Trump said it was he who was being denied due process and that "more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials." He has long called the process a "witch hunt."

The President slammed former Vice President Joe Biden as guilty of the kind of coercion of which Trump himself was innocent.

Related: House Judiciary Votes to Impeach Trump

The President warned that anyone voting to impeach him was displaying "how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America's Constitutional order.

In addition to the President's angry letter, there were multiple made-for-video moments on the eve of the vote, all captured by C-SPAN, the cable industry-funded suite of public interest channels.

C-SPAN2 aired the press conference by House Democrats talking about impeachment as well as their legislative agenda, while on C-SPAN3 and later on C-SPAN, the House Rules Committee debated the rules for how the impeachment articles would be introduced, debated and voted on.

C-SPAN2 also had Senate floor speeches on the coming House impeachment vote.

All those were also streamed on C-SPAN's website.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.