The House Democratic impeachment managers on Tuesday slammed the argument from President Trump’s legal defense team that the charges brought against the president are not impeachable offenses, calling it “wrong and dangerous” in their own separate filing.
The managers, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called Trump’s action “indefensible” and reiterated the team's previous arguments that the framers of the Constitution would have found Trump liable to be removed from office on both articles of impeachment the House voted in favor of last month.
“There can be no reasonable dispute that the Framers would have considered a president’s solicitation of a foreign country’s election interference in exchange for critical American military and diplomatic support to be an impeachable offense,” the managers wrote in their brief. “Nor can there be any dispute that the Framers would have recognized that allowing a president to prevent Congress from investigating his misconduct would nullify the House’s ‘sole Power of Impeachment.’”
The managers added: “No amount of legal rhetoric can hide the fact that President Trump exemplifies why the Framers included the impeachment mechanism in the Constitution: to save the American people from these kinds of threats to our republic.”
The brief from the House managers is the second one they have submitted in response to a brief sent Monday to the Senate by the president’s defense team, who it argued 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 House impeached the president last month on charges that he 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 was also impeached for obstructing Congress by instructing potential witnesses not to testify before the House during the impeachment inquiry.
The latest brief the House managers came shortly before the Senate began their debate over the rules of the impeachment trial, including whether to subpoena witnesses.
Fox News Brooke Singman contributed to this report.