The House impeachment managers said on Monday that President Trump jeopardized national security and “orchestrated a cover-up unprecedented in the history of our Republic” in their response to the president’s legal team’s brief, and just a day before the Senate impeachment trial is slated to begin in earnest.
The House managers, who are led by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., reiterated the Democrats' main arguments as to why Trump should be impeached and removed from office – namely that Trump abused the powers of the president’s office for personal gain, threatened U.S. national security and tried to influence the country’s elections. They also accused Trump of attempting to block the House investigations into his actions.
“President Trump has engaged in the trifecta of constitutional misconduct warranting removal,” the managers wrote in replication to Trump’s brief. “He is the Framers’ worst nightmare come to life.”
The filing continued: “President Trump did not engage in this corrupt conduct to uphold the Presidency or protect the right to vote. He did it to cheat in the next election and bury the evidence when he got caught.”
The replication filing by the House managers comes just hours after Trump’s legal team filed their own brief claiming the two articles of impeachment brought against the president – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – do not amount to impeachable offenses, and that the Democrat-led House inquiry was not a quest for the truth.
“House Democrats were determined from the outset to find some way -- any way -- to corrupt the extraordinary power of impeachment for use as a political tool to overturn the result of the 2016 election and to interfere in the 2020 election," Trump's brief said. "All of that is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn."
The replication by House managers also follows a similar brief they filed over the weekend, which in 111-pages outlines their case against the president.
In the filing, House Democrats allege that Trump abused the power of the presidency by soliciting foreign election interference and using military aid to Ukraine and a White House visit for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pressure Ukraine into announcing that they were investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Biden is currently running for the Democratic presidential nomination and is seen as one of Trump’s biggest rivals to his reelection hopes.
Trump is also accused of obstructing Congress by instructing potential witnesses not to testify before the House during the impeachment inquiry.
The prosecution team of House managers is spending Monday on Capitol Hill to prepare for the trial, which will be under heavy security. Opening arguments are expected within days following a debate Tuesday over rules, including about whether witnesses are to be called in the trial.
Trump signaled his opposition to witnesses, tweeting Monday: “They didn’t want John Bolton and others in the House. They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!"
That's a reference to former national security adviser John Bolton, who was not subpoenaed by the House in its impeachment inquiry but has said he is willing to testify in the Senate if he is subpoenaed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has so far shed no light on how the proceedings will follow — and differ from — the precedent of President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.