White House Responds To Senate Impeachment Trial Summons

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Trump also rejected allegations that he obstructed Congress by withholding documents or preventing witnesses, including his former and current advisors, from testifying. The document offers a taste of the rhetoric expected to be deployed by the president's defenders in the Senate.

Trump said that he "acted with extraordinary and unprecedented transparency" by releasing the transcripts of both calls that triggered the impeachment probe in the first place, while calling Democratic subpoenas "unconstitutional" and noting that his aids "are absolutely immune from completed testimony" in line with bipartisan practice of previous administrations.

"The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a risky attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president", the White House's response says, according to sources close to the president's legal team.

In a six-page document to be released on Saturday, Trump's lawyers for the first time formally addressed the merits of the two articles of impeachment - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - that the Democratic-led House approved late a year ago. The President can not be unaware that the two charges ~ the articles of impeachment ~ against him are serious, and reflect poorly on his conduct of foreign policy.

It was far shorter than the House managers' memorandum, but White House lawyers have until noon on Monday to produce a more comprehensive legal brief laying out the defense case they will make on the floor of the Senate.

In a six-page filing responding to the House charges submitted shortly after and filled with partisan barbs against House Democrats, Mr. Trump's lawyers denounced the impeachment case as constitutionally and legally invalid, and driven purely by a desire to hurt Mr. Trump in the 2020 election. The president's legal team will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and the Trump's private attorney, Jay Sekulow.

Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, a central figure in the Ukraine investigation, had also hoped to join the defence, but he did not make the cut.

Dershowitz is a constitutional expert whose expansive views of presidential powers echo those of Trump.

House Democrats say in a brief filed ahead of impeachment trial arguments that U.S. President Donald Trump "abandoned his oath to faithfully execute the laws and betrayed his public trust".

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Two people close to the president's legal team outlined the filing in advance on the condition of anonymity.

A statement provided by Mr Dershowitz said he will present oral arguments at Mr Trump's trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal from office.

The managers' filing repeated numerous same arguments they laid out last fall in a report on their impeachment inquiry's findings. But because there are only 47 Democratic senators many expect a ruling of not guilty.

They said the argument against the second article, obstruction of Congress, will involve claiming Trump was within his rights to ignore what they will describe as invalid requests from Congress.

'The Articles of Impeachment violate the Constitution, ' the letter reads.

Mr Trump has denied wrongdoing and has called the impeachment process a sham.

Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow will lead the president's defense at trial.

Trumps outside attorneys, Prof.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from NY.

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