President Donald Trump’s legal team on Monday filed a lengthy response to charges he abused his office and obstructed Congress, decrying the attempt to remove him from office as a “charade” and calling on senators to quickly reject it.
The legal brief amounts to a preview of the case Trump’s lawyers will make on the Senate floor when the impeachment trial commences this week.
Speaking ahead of the document’s submission, people working with Trump’s legal team said the impeachment articles failed to cite any violation of law.
And they said the charge Trump obstructed Congress was “frivolous and dangerous” and represented an attempt to alter the separation of powers outlined by the Constitution.
The 110-page filing reflects the most fulsome rebuttal of Democrats’ accusation that Trump abused his office and attempted to impede congressional investigations.
It comes after a shorter document was filed on Saturday laying out Trump’s arguments against impeachment.
That response — which called the articles “constitutionally invalid” and claimed they are an attack on Americans — argued both substantively against the charges in the articles and procedurally against the House’s impeachment inquiry.
The document submitted on Monday expands on those arguments in detail, offering examples of what Trump’s legal team claims are reasons the impeachment is invalid.
Trump’s lawyers were required to produce the comprehensive filing ahead of the trial, which is expected to begin in earnest on Tuesday.
The legal team — led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and outside attorney Jay Sekulow — is expected to rely on the arguments in Monday’s brief in their presentations to the Senate.
The sources working with the legal team who briefed reporters on the filing declined to specify whether their call for a swift rejection of the impeachment charges would include asking for a motion to dismiss during the Senate impeachment trial set to begin Tuesday.
“I’m not going to get into our details on what our strategy will be when the trial starts,” one of the people said.
Instead, they argued the impeachment case should be rejected because the “articles of impeachment are deficient on their face.”