Trump’s harsh brief

President Trump filed his 110-page impeachment trial brief with the Senate today. The Wall Street Journal has linked to the brief in its article on it and also posted it online here. I have uploaded the document to Scribd and embedded it below.

The trial brief was anticipated in Trump’s Answer to the impeachment articles filed in the Senate late last week. I posted the Answer in “Trump responds, harsh brief to follow.” This is the harsh brief.

The brief opens with an executive summary that fairly conveys its spirit. Putting errors of usage to one side, I want to quote the introductory paragraphs:

The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions. The Articles themselves—and the rigged process that brought them here—are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected. They debase the grave power of impeachment and disdain the solemn responsibility that power entails. Anyone having the most basic respect for the sovereign will of the American people would shudder at the enormity of casting a vote to impeach a duly elected President. By contrast, upon tallying their votes, House Democrats jeered until they were scolded into silence by the Speaker. The process that brought the articles here violated every precedent and every principle of fairness followed in impeachment inquiries for more than 150 years. Even so, all that House Democrats have succeeded in proving is that the President did absolutely nothing wrong.

After focus-group testing various charges for weeks, House Democrats settled on two flimsy Articles of Impeachment that allege no crime or violation of law whatsoever—much less “high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as required by the Constitution. They do not remotely approach the constitutional threshold for removing a President from office. The diluted standard asserted here would permanently weaken the Presidency and forever alter the balance among the branches of government in a manner that offends the constitutional design established by the Founders. House Democrats jettisoned all precedent and principle because their impeachment inquisition was never really about discovering the truth or conducting a fair investigation. Instead, 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. All of this is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn.

The brief includes four valuable appendices that also appear in the document as embedded below.

Trial Memorandum of President Donald J. Trump 1-20-2020 by Scott Johnson on Scribd